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Business Meetings & Commuting

Old 08-27-08, 07:08 AM
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johnbatzer
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Business Meetings & Commuting

I'm relatively new to bicycle commuting -- started in March of this year and have been gradually increasing the number of rides/week. Today is the first day in weeks that I didn't bike in. I have an offsite meeting this afternoon. The meeting is about 20 miles away, and is at a significantly higher elevation than I am currently at (meaning that any given route is going to be uphill in some shape or form).

So, I drove in today - specifically to drive to the meeting. It feels like a waste, though. Any advice on how I can best handle situations like this in the future? Fortunately, meetings of this type are few and far between in my day to day work, so I should be able to limit these. Do I just "suck it up" on these days, or is there some strategy that I should employ to keep myself on the road?
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Old 08-27-08, 07:14 AM
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Just drive in when you have a meeting like this. That is what I do when I have a meeting. If they are few and far between as you say it shouldn't be an issue to drive once in a while.
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Old 08-27-08, 07:40 AM
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Not sure if it's a possibility for you but could you catch a ride with someone else from your office to the meeting and then back to the office? If not, I'd say your best bet is to drive.
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Old 08-27-08, 07:47 AM
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Danre
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If you have a public transport option, you might be able to combine the bike with that and hopefully take out some elevation. Otherwise, it's alright to drive a car once in a while.
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Old 08-27-08, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by johnbatzer View Post
So, I drove in today - specifically to drive to the meeting. It feels like a waste, though.
What do you mean by "it feels like a waste?"

In a business meeting, you want to be remembered for your business and personal attributes.
Not as
"that guy with the expensive Mercedes" or
"that guy with the puple suit" or
"that guy who's so cheap he took the bus here" or
"that nut who rode his bike here."

If driving is necessary, it's necessary. There's nothing wrong with driving, especially when circumstances call for it. I do the same thing...ride when I can, drive if I have a meeting.
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Old 08-27-08, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by johnbatzer View Post
Any advice on how I can best handle situations like this in the future?
I have to say, this strikes me as really odd phrasing. It's the sort of thing one would say when asking how to handle a road-raging truck driver or something like that. But I digress.

Not everyone here agrees with me, but there are quite a few people whose situations prevent them from bicycle commuting at all. Either they have to wear formal clothing all the time, and shlepping it back and forth and hanging it up in their office is not an option (hey, I've never had an office with a closet in it), or the distance is just too much, or they've got to do the daycare shuttle with kids, or any number of other reasons. As for me, once in a blue moon I have a customer meeting where I have to wear grown-up clothes. That once in a blue moon, I suck it up and don't angst about it. If your "situations" are of a similar frequency, I suggest you do the same. If they're every other day, OTOH, you might have some decisions to make about how important commuting is to you vs. how important your job is to you. Business culture in the USA today is not at the point where arriving for a business meeting on a bicycle would generally be considered appropriate -- you can rail all you want about how that sucks, but it is what it is.
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Old 08-27-08, 09:16 AM
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i would do whatever is most reliable. i'm guessing driving is for this sort of thing.
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Old 08-27-08, 09:19 AM
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I think it is reasonable to assume that a 40 mile round trip is well beyond the crossover point within which the bike is faster and more convenient than the car. Just drive, and don't worry about it.

Paul
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Old 08-27-08, 09:23 AM
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Indeed.
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Old 08-27-08, 09:32 AM
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Maybe get a bike rack for the back of the car. On days when you can't ride in, you can drive the bike in and ride it home, and then ride it to work in the morning and drive it home at night.

Depending on distances, conditions, personality, etc., this might not be worth it--or it might keep you riding every day.
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Old 08-27-08, 09:37 AM
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I have a similar meeting situation with my job, so I use that one day a week to drive in and replenish my locker supplies for the week. Take home the dirty laundry, bring in clean shirts and pants, fresh towels, etc. That way I can just bring my lunch each day, and not worry about loading myself down with a bunch of gear.
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Old 08-27-08, 09:51 AM
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Depends on who I'm meeting. Most of my off site meetings can be casual and people already know me as the "nut on a bike." For those -- if I know the people I'll be meeting well -- I make sure to ask if I can show up in "biking casual." I have a recurring monthly meeting 10 miles away that I look forward to riding too. More miles!

Other times, you just have to drive or -- as I'll have to do for a presentation a week from Friday -- take the T.
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Old 08-27-08, 09:58 AM
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As previous poster said, find someone in your office going to the same meeting that will be at the office before the meeting and see if you can hitch a ride with them.

Last month we had an offsite meeting about four miles away. Even them who drive in to work car-pooled to the meeting. But only four miles meant that I could bike there, and did. Got to chide the hotel concierge for not having bike parking, too...
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