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Lacking motivation. Should I go cold-turkey?

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Lacking motivation. Should I go cold-turkey?

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Old 12-11-04, 12:02 AM
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TrevorInSoCal
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Lacking motivation. Should I go cold-turkey?

Lately I've been slacking and caging to work quite a lot, and I really have no excuse for it.

The worst part is, I live in SoCal, where if it gets below 45 that means we're having a "cold-spell" (Though mornings close to freezing are not that rare around here in the dead of winter.).

Those of you commuting in colder climes with ice, snow and subzero temps have my utmost respect. What keeps you going? Where do you find the motivation when you start to burn-out on your commute?

I'm really tempted to simply sell my truck so that I wouldn't *have* the choice. For day-to-day use I don't really need a car. OTOH, living in SoCal surburban sprawl, with no reliable public-transit options leaves me wanting another option.

It wouldn't be totally "cold-turkey" 'cause I do have a motorcycle. However, due to lack of maintenance, a mechanical issue I've not had the time/money to fix (Any KLR650 owners here, familiar w/ the "doohickey"?), and lack of time to ride it (if I'm spending leisure time to ride, it's usually on a bicycle.), it has been sitting unused for close to a year now. I'm doing some work in it this weekend and it should be back up and running again soon. I'm seriously considering selling the truck once it's running reliably again.

This is about as close to "car-free" as I'm willing to commit to right now, and I'd still have the bail-out option of riding the motorcycle.

Is there anyone who's made the car-free (or "car-lite" in this case) decision and really regretted it?

I guess I'm just afraid I'll sell it and then end up *really* wishing I hadn't.

-Trevor
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Old 12-11-04, 12:20 AM
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jslopez
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Hey Trevor,

The wife and I haven't been in SOCAL long, maybe just a year and a half. I moved to cycling about 9 months ago, the wife 3 months and we are definitely loving it.

That being said, I think you may want to assess why you're not riding (as cold weather doesn't seem to be it), not comfortable perhaps? Roads that make you feel nervous? Some health reason holding you back? Maybe even overdoing it.

Once you can identify why you don't "feel" like riding then you can address the problem then see what your next best step is.
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Old 12-11-04, 12:35 AM
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Robert Gardner
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When you live in Southern California your blood gets so thin that you have bundle up like an eskemoe when the temperature gets down to 60oF. At 50oF you suffer through a short ride. When the temperature drops below 40oF, forget it. Even when I was a young man back in Ohio I did'nt ride through slush and snow. That would have seemed crazy. However I have got to take my hat off to you guys in the plains and northern countries who have the guts and courage to commute year around.
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Old 12-11-04, 01:58 AM
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I am 19 years old, born and raised in southern cali. im 5'9", 180lbs and with a medium built. i wear a armwarmers, jacket, leg warmers, bandana (i have a shaved head, so its cold) along with my regular jersey and tights, and when its 60 degrees ish out.. i feel like im in alaska or something. holy crap. my commute to work is only 5 miles (30 mins, going at a pretty slow pace) and it feels so cold out, i've been slacking too. dont know what it is about us so cal folks.. but man... we are wussies when it comes to the cold.
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Old 12-11-04, 04:07 AM
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I'm in TN and I've commuted recently as cold as 28 degrees outside. Tonight it was low 40's and raining and I still rode home. Then again, I don't have a car and I get off @ 2am so it's not like I have any other options. I ride regardless of the weather. I can't say it bothers me too much as I have gear for nearly all situations. Remind me never to move to SoCal, though.
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Old 12-11-04, 05:22 AM
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I go down as low as -8C (18F) - which is not very often.

The reason I cycle is that it is the highlight of my working day!

I'm fortunate as I work flexitime - I love to be in work by 7am and leave the building no later than 4pm. I do this whether I cycle or drive to minimise the traffic I encounter - makes the experience more enjoyable.
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Old 12-11-04, 05:50 AM
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cryogenic
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I work a weird schedule... 6pm-2am, so I basically have all day to spend cycling as I see fit then I show up at work around 6pm... then I get off @ 2am which is nice because the amount of traffic is virtually zero. I'll admit that having a flexible schedule such as you have would be nice, however.
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Old 12-11-04, 12:19 PM
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We are a one-car family by choice. I commute to work on my bike most days. I usually regret when I drive (usually out of pure laziness), and see the cyclists on the bike path. I have never regretted riding my bike to work, even when I've really had to push myself out the door to do it.

I know the exact spot where I start jamming and feeling really good, about 15 minutes into the ride. Before that, I just pedal through a nice residential neighborhood in DC and admire the houses.
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Old 12-11-04, 02:25 PM
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I've been riding in cold temps and loving it. I just think of when it's summer and 90 @ 7:00 AM. I love the cold, but I'll admit, lately I've been a cager (love that word). I'm going to stop my car insurance and do some serious riding for everything, school, work, groceries, rec, etc... I know it sounds stupid and well, egotistical as hell BUT -I feel great when I ride into work and I'm fresh, awake, pumped, totally energized to take on the day! People notice and it's a boost to my humungous ego. Stuff like that keeps me pumped. I love riding.
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Old 12-11-04, 02:48 PM
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I've been "car-free" for about 5 years now. Sometimes I miss not having one, but not that often. When I want to get out of the city for hiking or something, I just rent a car. Much depends on your area. Here in Seattle, it's fairly compact, making it much easier; everything I need to get to regularly is within about 4 miles of my residence (granted, there are lots of hills, but still). Also, public transit here is generally good.

I lived in SoCal (San Diego) for the first 14 years of my life. Since it's a more sprawling area, going car-free might be more difficult, but it's still do-able. If you live within 4 miles of the necessities you regularly need, it's certainly feasible.
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Old 12-13-04, 08:57 AM
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My wife and I have two vehicles. I started trying to convince my wife about 6 months ago we don't need two vehicles and so since then I have been treating the second vehicle as if we have already sold it. About 2 months ago I convinced her with some incentive as to what we could do with the money we save. Now I just need to find a buyer. I make sure that I have back up alternatives to biking every day. In this country you just never know what the weather is going to be like from day to day. I have access to city transit (about a block away) but would rather bike if possible (I haven't used it yet). It is about a 45 min bus ride to work. Worst case scenario I could take a cab. If we absolutely need two vehicles for some reason we will rent or borrow one. I guess my incentive to ride comes from the fact that I don't like driving as it stresses me out. I am too tight to pay for a gym membership and I can't justify taking two hours out of each day to go to the gym and I would still have to drive. This way I save money on gym membership, gas, insurance and vehicle ownership and maintenance; I get to spend more time with my family than if I drove and went to the gym. I also like the fact that everyone thinks I must be just a little nuts to bike all year.
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Old 12-13-04, 09:57 AM
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When the winter first sets in, I find myself wanting to avoid my commute. Especially when it is near freezing and raining. After a couple of days of this kind of hell though, I don't mind at all. The key is dressing properly so that you are comfortable. Try commuting for a solid week, and I think you will have a hard time stopping. I rode to work 16km each way every single day last year, and there were only a handful where I wished I had taken transit. On those particular days it was -28C and very windy-so my gear wasn't up to the conditions.
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Old 12-13-04, 10:32 AM
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I know how you feel. I live in Santa Barbara. I have a really hard time riding to work on foggy mornings, which we have about 45% of the time.

I rarely drive, however. Maybe in heavy rain. If I don't ride my bike I ride my motorcycle (Vespa, 150cc). What keeps me on two wheels rather than 4 is the elimination of car frustration from my life. The stress of the freeway is eliminated because neither can go on the freeway. The stress of parking is eliminated. The stress of navigating narrow streets choked with frustrated SUV commuters coming in from Ventura is eliminated. Both the Vespa and the bike have me feeling the frigid So Cal mornings, so when I do take the bike I always realize it's actually not that bad to ride in the cold. At least on my bike I warm up.

Why not try letting the air out of your truck tires? Or leave the key somewhere where you can't get to it.

Don't feel too wimpy. Mark Twain said the coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.
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Old 12-13-04, 10:39 AM
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The biggest barrier to me getting out of the cage was having a way out in the morning.

My "sleepy" persona and "awake" persona are two very different people. I had completely remove the possibility of being able to drive (my wife used the one vehicle and the other I lent to one of my brothers). I had to stop buying bus tickets and pack up absolutely everything I needed for the commute the night before and pile it nicely next to my bed so it was the first thing I saw when I woke up.

After about 2 weeks of biking, I was hooked! I still have to make sure I have everything packed and ready, but even if there's a car available or bus tickets hanging around, I will almost always bike.

My advice is to note the excuses you come up with in the morning for not biking, and deal with them as best you can.
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Old 12-13-04, 11:00 AM
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Riding through a forest, over fresh snow, along a river. Why would you not do this?

For a list of answers, see the top 100 reasons to ride in the winter thread, which actually expanded to several hundred.
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Old 12-13-04, 11:12 AM
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Hi,
get some fall tights,wool socks (Smartwool RBX racer) a skull cap, a cycling jacket, warm gloves,and.. http://www.coldlizard.com/cgi/wc.dll...alog~DETAIL~58
...and... you will be good to go. Don't forget to bring a jersey (makes a good base layer, too) in case it warms up. I will also bring cycling shorts on those days where you get huge swings of temprature. We can see a swing of over 30 degrees.
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Old 12-13-04, 11:16 AM
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Being warm and comfortable definitely keeps me motivated... I used to just NOT ride my bike when it rained (although I had no problem with snow/subfreezing temperatures). Once I tried it a few times with appropriate clothing, I found it was fine.

I think my biggest motivation to bike to work and wherever I can is that I feel so much better. I just feel energetic and cheerful all day. And I can skip out of work and go on a ride if I want =)
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Old 12-13-04, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by moxfyre
I think my biggest motivation to bike to work and wherever I can is that I feel so much better. I just feel energetic and cheerful all day.
Ditto, that's exactly what I was going to say. On days that I ride, no matter how bad the weather was, I feel a hell of a lot better all day long. Just the lethargic, half-awake feeling that I have on days that I don't ride makes me wish I had ridden those days, and makes me look forward to the next day when I can ride all the more.

Today: 20 MPH winds, 30*F, snow and ice. I drove and wish I hadn't.
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Old 12-13-04, 11:41 AM
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Selling your car is one way to motivate yourself. It also gives you an excuse to spend the kind of $$$ you need for a reliable, fully-equipped commuter and proper clothing.
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Old 12-13-04, 11:49 AM
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I have many days that I just don't feel like riding. I just remind myself that once I'm out there I'll be glad I did it. That and getting everything ready and out the night before. Hey, it works for me.
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Old 12-13-04, 11:58 AM
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For me it's a lot faster to use my bike than to take public transportation. Plus, I am not a morning person, and hate waiting for trains, only to be crushed inside one with all the other commuters. I have a car, but it's usually not immediately available to me. And even if I did drive to work, I'd have nowhere to put it without paying outrageous parking fees.

So I guess money and fitness are good motivators for me. It's also a good conversation starter. Heh.
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Old 12-13-04, 12:41 PM
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Michel Gagnon
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Trevor, how long is your commute? It might be hard to go cold turkey if your commute is more than 10-15 km unless you already cycle a lot. But even then a few days on the road, a few weekend rides or driving half way should help you make the transition.

Before selling the car, you might want to look at situations where you really need the car, and you might conclude that you don'T really need it. If that's the case, it makes your transition simpler.
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Old 12-13-04, 01:34 PM
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I live in the San Diego area, and a couple weeks ago it was in the High 20's in the morning. Being a transplanted Iowan, I was wishing it had rained during the night so I could get up in the morning, turn on the tube and watch the news reports of massive pileups, and how everything was closed. It quickly warmed up into the 60's. I didn't let a little low 30's, high 20's weather stop me. Still did my 19 mile commute from east county to downtown. I did find out how much my shoes breath as I couldn't feel my toes by the time I got to work. Brings back memories of playing outside as a kid until you were numb and then coming in and warming up only to go back out and freeze again. Heck, I find myself in shorts clear down into the 40's and 50's. Most people in socal bust out the parka's any time it gets below 67.
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Old 12-13-04, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by mtessmer
I have many days that I just don't feel like riding. I just remind myself that once I'm out there I'll be glad I did it. That and getting everything ready and out the night before. Hey, it works for me.
Ditto. The only time I don't commute by bicycle is when I am too sick, there is snow on the sides of the roads where I ride (no fenders and no suitable tires for it) or if its raining (I absolutely hate rain and cold together). In the summer though, I don't let rain stop me. I just went 2 weeks without commuting on bike and I went about 4 days too long. I had to get back my motivation and it was hard the first day. Having decent clothing and being comfy will help.
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Old 12-13-04, 02:46 PM
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I'm not sure I'll ever be car-free. My biggest barrier to "car free" is the hauling aspect that happens after wook. Ever tired to bring a 2X4 on the bus? OK That's rare. But basic stuff like the $200/weekly groceries and transporting sound equipment etc.
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