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commuting just for fun?

Old 09-15-11, 09:33 AM
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commuting just for fun?

Anybody else commuting just because riding a bike is fun?

When I decided to start commuting to work this month, I just wanted to get back on a bike again. Used to ride off-road a bunch when I was close to trails, but now that I'm living the city life that's not as easy to do. While it's clear that most forumites do enjoy biking and commuting, many threads and posts seem to focus on some other benefit, aside from just riding a bike on a nice day.

Exercise - I'm not using the bike to get in shape. I workout after work most days. Not that biking isn't an added benefit, but my commute is only about 20 blocks (2 miles) with no hills to speak of. So, even if I charged hard between lights and stop signs, I'm not burning that many calories. In fact, I'm not charging hard at all.

Pollution - My wife and I have been a one-car family since we moved to DC, and I've taken public transportation exclusively during those 5 years (she's a real estate agent, so she's all over the place, while I spend all day in one office). So, I'm not taking a car off the road (and the car we have is small and very fuel efficient).

Cash - I'm not saving money. In fact, I work for the government, so my bus fare is paid. If anything, buying a commuter bike and all the goodies has made for a very expensive month.

Time - That bus also picks me up almost at my back door, and drops me off 2 blocks from work, and takes about 15 minutes. So, not really saving time either, unless I miss the bus.

Advocacy - I'm not riding a bike to make a statement. I've seen some posts where folks are riding to promote biking, promote enviro issues, etc. I mean, I have a master's in enviro law and policy, and those issues are very important to me, but it's not why I'm riding a bike to work now.

I just want to, and I'm having fun.
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Old 09-15-11, 10:38 AM
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No, because while riding my bike is fun, the bus part of my commute is not. And I'm pretty sure my bike would stop being fun some time before I arrived at work 49 miles away, or at least on the way home. I actively hate riding in towns so your commute wouldn't even be fun for me.

We had a guy move back there from Eastern Oregon who doesn't have a car and just walks everywhere, working for USDA AMS FV. I was there in DC for a week and living car-free would be pretty easy.
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Old 09-15-11, 10:46 AM
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Yes! I completely get what you mean. I ride a bicycle for fun. Sure, it is also helping me get in better physical condition. That's a really good side effect. Frankly, if it weren't fun, I wouldn't do it, evidenced by the fact that I avoided exercise and found my self rather unfit in the first place. :-)

I started commuting to work because it's a reasonable distance (11-12 mi each way), and I really like it. It's a great way to start the day.
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Old 09-15-11, 10:53 AM
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My commute is hardly long enough to serve as a warmup, never mind exercise. But, it's quicker than either driving or walking, and definitely less aggravating than driving, too.

So, yeah, you could say that I use my bike 'cuz it's fun.
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Old 09-15-11, 11:00 AM
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The just for fun aspect is a big part of it. But there are a lot of other reasons, too.
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Old 09-15-11, 11:23 AM
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Yes! I can completely relate. My bike commute to work is only about 3 miles, and I have train stations a couple blocks from my house, and directly across the street from my office. I also pay for an unlimited use combination subway/bus pass, and in 30 years I have never had a driver's license or car. But one day I thought, "I feel like buying a bicycle" and the next thing I knew I was riding through urban traffic to work. It's not a long enough ride to burn calories, I get to work uncomfortably drenched in sweat, and I've tossed out a bazillion dollars on the bike, a Chrome bag, helmets, lights, tools, tubes.... But it's fun.
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Old 09-15-11, 11:27 AM
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I don't do anything unless it's fun.
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Old 09-15-11, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Surrealdeal
I don't do anything unless it's fun.
Well said.
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Old 09-15-11, 11:38 AM
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I'm car free because I want to be!
It's fun!

I enjoy the thinking of how I am going to do things on a bike.
I haven't started my car in about 2 years. Nor my motorcycle in almost 1 year.
I haven't wanted to!

I am car free because it's fun!
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Old 09-15-11, 11:50 AM
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I used to joke that I commuted for a bunch of negative reasons: too lazy to walk; too impatient to take the bus; too cheap to pay for parking. But the truth is, I just like riding my bike and even on a crappy day, commuting means I get to ride my bike twice.
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Old 09-15-11, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso
I used to joke that I commuted for a bunch of negative reasons: too lazy to walk; too impatient to take the bus; too cheap to pay for parking. But the truth is, I just like riding my bike and even on a crappy day, commuting means I get to ride my bike twice.
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Old 09-15-11, 01:11 PM
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I could get the bus- there's a bus stop right outside my house, one bus takes me right to university. Aside from saving money, keeping fit and travelling outside of timetables, riding a bike just seems better.
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Old 09-15-11, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by tar wheels
Anybody else commuting just because riding a bike is fun?
you mean there are other reasons?
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Old 09-15-11, 02:42 PM
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Fun is the primary reason and the others are just a bonus.
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Old 09-15-11, 02:54 PM
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My reasons were, in order of decreasing importance:

Fitness/Time saving (Days got shorter, couldn't fit 3 hours of biking in the day anymore... eliminate 1.5 hours of car commute and suddenly I have 3 full hours of cycling again!)
Fun
Bragging Rights (I get to say neener, I can bike 19 miles to work and you moan about taking the stairs to the 2nd floor, oh by the way I weigh 150 pounds more than you!)
Saving Money (Up to $1000 per year at my current rate)
Moral Superiority/Advocacy (hey I burn less gas! That makes me better right? Ok maybe not, but eh.)
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Old 09-15-11, 03:16 PM
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I'm a masochist.....I hate it.......wouldn't change a thing.....
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Old 09-15-11, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by tar wheels
Anybody else commuting just because riding a bike is fun?
Are you kidding? I hardly have time for bike riding for its own sake. By commuting I can take time I have to spend anyway getting to work, and do it enjoyably while getting exercise at the same time. By that analysis, bike commuting saves me time. Other than that, I go shopping & to social outings by bike whenever it is a feasible option. Other than for exercise to make up for missed commuting days; I don't have time to go biking with no destination.

Last edited by old's'cool; 09-15-11 at 05:34 PM. Reason: duh
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Old 09-15-11, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by tar wheels
Anybody else commuting just because riding a bike is fun?

When I decided to start commuting to work this month, I just wanted to get back on a bike again. Used to ride off-road a bunch when I was close to trails, but now that I'm living the city life that's not as easy to do. While it's clear that most forumites do enjoy biking and commuting, many threads and posts seem to focus on some other benefit, aside from just riding a bike on a nice day.

Exercise - I'm not using the bike to get in shape. I workout after work most days. Not that biking isn't an added benefit, but my commute is only about 20 blocks (2 miles) with no hills to speak of. So, even if I charged hard between lights and stop signs, I'm not burning that many calories. In fact, I'm not charging hard at all.

Pollution - My wife and I have been a one-car family since we moved to DC, and I've taken public transportation exclusively during those 5 years (she's a real estate agent, so she's all over the place, while I spend all day in one office). So, I'm not taking a car off the road (and the car we have is small and very fuel efficient).

Cash - I'm not saving money. In fact, I work for the government, so my bus fare is paid. If anything, buying a commuter bike and all the goodies has made for a very expensive month.

Time - That bus also picks me up almost at my back door, and drops me off 2 blocks from work, and takes about 15 minutes. So, not really saving time either, unless I miss the bus.

Advocacy - I'm not riding a bike to make a statement. I've seen some posts where folks are riding to promote biking, promote enviro issues, etc. I mean, I have a master's in enviro law and policy, and those issues are very important to me, but it's not why I'm riding a bike to work now.

I just want to, and I'm having fun.
All of the above.
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Old 09-15-11, 07:22 PM
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Fun is why i started, but soon I discovered many other benefits.
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Old 09-15-11, 09:45 PM
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All of my commutes are fun. They are 10,000,000 times better than taking public transit. Even when it is raining.
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Old 09-16-11, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclokitty
All of my commutes are fun. They are 10,000,000 times better than taking public transit. Even when it is raining.
This is going to be my big dilemma. Do I still commute when it's freezing, raining, etc... The bus I catch SUCKS. It's bad. But I don't know if it's worse than riding a bike in the rain. Guess I'll find out eventually.
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Old 09-16-11, 11:08 AM
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My number one reason to ride my bike for anything is fun. Everything else is just a great benefit. It probably costs me more to commute by bike than car, since I spend so much money on the latest gizmo for me or one of my 6 bikes I ride regularly. But I can afford it and as I said, I ride my bike because it is fun.
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Old 09-16-11, 11:27 AM
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I can't stick with any exercise plan except cycling, simply because it is fun, and the other things I've tried aren't.
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Old 09-16-11, 04:09 PM
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Started out going car-free (mostly because of my inclination/contribution towards a grass-roots, cut-off the cash flow of the "people who would keep us on our knees"), then (when tired of waiting for late buses in sub-freezing weather) remembered that I had a real boat-anchor of a bike. So my first reason was freedom to move (not all that different from when I was 6 ). All the other reasons followed shortly thereafter.

Now: all of the above in no particular order...
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Old 09-16-11, 04:56 PM
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I started commuting by bike almost 30 years ago, and then it became a way of life for me. Simple as that....
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