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Why Do You Commute?

Old 07-10-12, 08:00 PM
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TrekCommuter
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Why Do You Commute?

Hello,

Just joined the forum. Seems like a wealth of cycling knowledge.

I am sure the above question has been asked many times, but I am sure there are many varied answers.

I only have a two mile commute one way, so it almost seems pointless to drive. I feel better when I get to work and love not paying for gas. I also enjoy incorporating exercise into something that must be done (getting to work everyday).

So, why do you commute?
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Old 07-10-12, 08:43 PM
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To get to work so I can pay the rent and feed myself and because I am explicitly prohibited from telecommuting.
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Old 07-10-12, 09:07 PM
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Oy, this is going to be a long post.

1. My truck broke last September. I was still paying child support a the time (it's done now, thank goodness) and the repair was an expensive one. I started riding Houston Metro. An average day was two hours bus stop to bus stop, and that didn't take into consideration the time spent walking to the bus stop. Add another twenty minutes each way. A bad day was three hours stop to stop. I tried riding my bike to the bus stop and then putting it onto the bike rack on the front of the bus, but far too often the bus I needed would show up w/ two already in the rack, which meant another half hour wait to catch the next bus.

2. I went to the doctor, stepped onto the scale and found I had broken the 300 lb barrier. I moped about that for a couple more months.

3. I started hearing people who were about my age (47) complaining about the pills they were taking for high blood pressure, cardiac disease, high cholesterol levels and diabetes. According to my doctor my blood work numbers were good, but it was a bit spooky to hear that my brother (two years younger than me) had started taking Lipitor, or that my brother-in-law (three years older than me) had a defibrillator implanted in his chest.

4. One day I was at the bus stop after work and the bus was 45 minutes late. I thought "This is ridiculous. I could ride a bicycle home faster than I could make it taking the bus, and I'd probably lose weight. I bet it would help stave off all those health issues that I keep hearing about from others as well...."

So I started riding to work.

Well, actually, I started riding 2/3 of the way to work; to a convenient bus stop about 2/3 of the way there. I couldn't manage the whole commute to start. Now, three months later, I'm commuting the entire way (20 miles each way) daily. I feel great. At last count - about three weeks ago - I had lost twenty pounds. My heart rate is down and so is my blood pressure. When I first started riding the entire distance it took 1 hr, 50 min to do the ride, and I was just hosed out from the trip. Working was difficult, but I stuck with it. Now my average trip is around 1 hr, 30 min, and today I did it in 1 hr 26 min. My goal is to get to the point where I can do the ride in something close to one hour. I know that's going to take a while, but I figure it only took me three months to knock twenty minutes off my average time. I have much more weight to lose, and I have gotten faster as I've lost the weight. I believe ~ one hour is doable. If I can get to an hour each way I'll match what my average drive time used to be.

Houston traffic is maddening. I miss all of it when I ride since I'm moving through residential neighborhoods most of the way rather than down congested highways.

It's just a much better way to move my fat rear end from point A to point B.

Last edited by SkippyX; 07-10-12 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 07-10-12, 09:51 PM
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I commute for a few reasons, none of which are terribly original: It's less expensive than driving and sometimes faster, I don't like adjusting my own schedule to match that of mass transit, It's much healthier for me than sitting on my butt stuck in traffic and getting angry, it's better for the environment, but mostly because I think it's fun.
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Old 07-10-12, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by SkippyX View Post
Oy, this is going to be a long post.

1. My truck broke last September. I was still paying child support a the time (it's done now, thank goodness) and the repair was an expensive one. I started riding Houston Metro. An average day was two hours bus stop to bus stop, and that didn't take into consideration the time spent walking to the bus stop. Add another twenty minutes each way. A bad day was three hours stop to stop. I tried riding my bike to the bus stop and then putting it onto the bike rack on the front of the bus, but far too often the bus I needed would show up w/ two already in the rack, which meant another half hour wait to catch the next bus.

2. I went to the doctor, stepped onto the scale and found I had broken the 300 lb barrier. I moped about that for a couple more months.

3. I started hearing people who were about my age (47) complaining about the pills they were taking for high blood pressure, cardiac disease, high cholesterol levels and diabetes. According to my doctor my blood work numbers were good, but it was a bit spooky to hear that my brother (two years younger than me) had started taking Lipitor, or that my brother-in-law (three years older than me) had a defibrillator implanted in his chest.

4. One day I was at the bus stop after work and the bus was 45 minutes late. I thought "This is ridiculous. I could ride a bicycle home faster than I could make it taking the bus, and I'd probably lose weight. I bet it would help stave off all those health issues that I keep hearing about from others as well...."

So I started riding to work.

Well, actually, I started riding 2/3 of the way to work; to a convenient bus stop about 2/3 of the way there. I couldn't manage the whole commute to start. Now, three months later, I'm commuting the entire way (20 miles each way) daily. I feel great. At last count - about three weeks ago - I had lost twenty pounds. My heart rate is down and so is my blood pressure. When I first started riding the entire distance it took 1 hr, 50 min to do the ride, and I was just hosed out from the trip. Working was difficult, but I stuck with it. Now my average trip is around 1 hr, 30 min, and today I did it in 1 hr 26 min. My goal is to get to the point where I can do the ride in something close to one hour. I know that's going to take a while, but I figure it only took me three months to knock twenty minutes off my average time. I have much more weight to lose, and I have gotten faster as I've lost the weight. I believe ~ one hour is doable. If I can get to an hour each way I'll match what my average drive time used to be.

Houston traffic is maddening. I miss all of it when I ride since I'm moving through residential neighborhoods most of the way rather than down congested highways.

It's just a much better way to move my fat rear end from point A to point B.
This is very inspiring- keep up the good work.
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Old 07-10-12, 10:01 PM
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i only commute to the gym to save gas and burn more fat, its a 6.5mile one way trip. I dont go on the weekends to give my body some time to rest so i leave my leg work outs for fridays but omg riding home after a full 26 set leg work out sucks so bad i add almost an hour extra to my trip lol
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Old 07-10-12, 10:10 PM
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+1 to all posts above.
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Old 07-10-12, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by SkippyX View Post
Oy, this is going to be a long post.

1. My truck broke last September. I was still paying child support a the time (it's done now, thank goodness) and the repair was an expensive one. I started riding Houston Metro. An average day was two hours bus stop to bus stop, and that didn't take into consideration the time spent walking to the bus stop. Add another twenty minutes each way. A bad day was three hours stop to stop. I tried riding my bike to the bus stop and then putting it onto the bike rack on the front of the bus, but far too often the bus I needed would show up w/ two already in the rack, which meant another half hour wait to catch the next bus.

2. I went to the doctor, stepped onto the scale and found I had broken the 300 lb barrier. I moped about that for a couple more months.

3. I started hearing people who were about my age (47) complaining about the pills they were taking for high blood pressure, cardiac disease, high cholesterol levels and diabetes. According to my doctor my blood work numbers were good, but it was a bit spooky to hear that my brother (two years younger than me) had started taking Lipitor, or that my brother-in-law (three years older than me) had a defibrillator implanted in his chest.

4. One day I was at the bus stop after work and the bus was 45 minutes late. I thought "This is ridiculous. I could ride a bicycle home faster than I could make it taking the bus, and I'd probably lose weight. I bet it would help stave off all those health issues that I keep hearing about from others as well...."

So I started riding to work.

Well, actually, I started riding 2/3 of the way to work; to a convenient bus stop about 2/3 of the way there. I couldn't manage the whole commute to start. Now, three months later, I'm commuting the entire way (20 miles each way) daily. I feel great. At last count - about three weeks ago - I had lost twenty pounds. My heart rate is down and so is my blood pressure. When I first started riding the entire distance it took 1 hr, 50 min to do the ride, and I was just hosed out from the trip. Working was difficult, but I stuck with it. Now my average trip is around 1 hr, 30 min, and today I did it in 1 hr 26 min. My goal is to get to the point where I can do the ride in something close to one hour. I know that's going to take a while, but I figure it only took me three months to knock twenty minutes off my average time. I have much more weight to lose, and I have gotten faster as I've lost the weight. I believe ~ one hour is doable. If I can get to an hour each way I'll match what my average drive time used to be.

Houston traffic is maddening. I miss all of it when I ride since I'm moving through residential neighborhoods most of the way rather than down congested highways.

It's just a much better way to move my fat rear end from point A to point B.
+1

This was an absolute pleasure to read. Keep up the good work, SkippyX!

PS.

Love your sense of humor in so many other threads!
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Old 07-10-12, 10:48 PM
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Because it makes me feel more alive.
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Old 07-10-12, 10:57 PM
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I guess the main reason I started commuting is I wanted to get in better shape and I hate going to the gym. Also, when I exercise I need a concrete goal short-term goal to motivate me. Long term goals don't work for me. A goal of making it to work (or home) does work. Now that I do it, I enjoy it which, above all, is the reason why I still do it.

Now that I've commuted by bike for a couple of months, I think once I get to work I'm more productive -- the ride wakes me up better than a Starbucks coffee (although I still love a nice coffee). Also, it doesn't take much longer then driving to do my 6.5 mile (each way) commute due to lights, traffic, etc. This means I get to save gas (which = $) and not "waste" much time "exercising" like I would (in my mind) do at the gym. I also think it helps me that my co-workers have been supportive. In fact, one co-worker has told me he is going to start riding his bike to work (once he gets it back from his brother) since his wife needs a car and he doesn't want to buy a second car. Although he didn't say it, I am sure that he sees me riding and that has help lead to this decision. He works in the same department as me and we have already started to plan where we can put two bikes.
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Old 07-10-12, 11:35 PM
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I like to ride my bike. I was trying to explain to a golf-playing coworker: If you could golf to work every day, wouldn't you do it?
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Old 07-11-12, 12:06 AM
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tl:dr Lose weight and I hate my commute.

This seems like a good place to make my first post.

I’ve just started riding my bike to work, and until a few weeks ago it’s something I never thought I would do.

Recently my work situation has changed.
-before: office environment/professional dress situation, 5 minutes by car.
-now: same company but on a construction site, appearance is not a priority, 30+ minutes by car.

After a few weeks of my driving commute, I was getting pretty miserable. The mornings weren’t bad, but the afternoons were brutal. Most of my drive home is going against the rush hour traffic, but other factors (ferry traffic, etc.) make it pretty slow. By the time I get home, I’m stressed and burnt out, and the last thing I feel like doing is exercising (which I really need to do....a lot).

Anyway, while I was sitting in traffic I started noticing people on their bikes cruising along the MUP that runs beside the highway. It looked like fun.

So I discussed my plan of buying a new bike (+ all the necessary gear) with the wife, and she was surprisingly supportive and even thrilled with the idea!

I spent a couple weeks shopping and test riding a bunch of bikes, and finally found and purchased my weapon of choice.

Right now I’m driving probably 80% of the way there and riding the rest, with the plan to gradually drive less and ride more. I’ve been 3 times so far and I love it.
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Old 07-11-12, 12:37 AM
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I don't have money for maintaining a car. Thanks to being a twenty-year old and newly licensed, insurance companies won't touch me with a ten-foot pole. Also, I live in a city where cycling's more convenient than a car. I don't need to find parking and get permits - I can just ride to the buildings I need to go to. Plus it gives me a convenient excuse to take fun detours that may or may not end with me getting very dehydrated.
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Old 07-11-12, 01:51 AM
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Living a mile from work makes it insane to drive, my bike is faster lol

First time I commuted to my other job was more of an "Oh Sh%& !!" my wife took my car and I don't have keys to hers... Work was 25 miles away in the next town and I could not leave them hanging. So I let them know I was going to be late as I have to ride my bike in. Never rode that far at once before and definatly not under a time crunch. Took about 90 minutes or so bit I got there in time for the late dinner rush, only 2 cooks on the line makes it hard to miss a day LOL.
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Old 07-11-12, 01:56 AM
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Because I like it.
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Old 07-11-12, 06:19 AM
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Faster than transit, more fun than transit, cheaper than driving (assuming I had a car, which I don't), more convenient than anything else.

But wimpishly I don't ride in the Toronto winter. Maybe one day.
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Old 07-11-12, 06:51 AM
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I commute for a few reasons.

-I like it.

-I gave up driving 14 years ago and never looked back, I HATE HATE HATE driving.

-It's good for me: I almost died from a blood clot last year after suffering a serious shoulder injury. My mother worked for 40 years in the medical field, 25 years as a nurse. She suspects that the clot was caused by some of the medications I was taking for the shoulder injury. Riding is a form of rehabiliation on my leg muscles that had residual damage from the clot. The doctors never were able to determine the exact cause of the clot. It's amazing to me how such a short term injury can have such long term efffects. My leg is slowly coming back to my pre-injury level.

I know people who suffered a similiar type of vascular injury and it permanently effected their ability to walk or stand for any legnth of time. That won't be me. That which doesnt kill me, can only make me stronger.
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Old 07-11-12, 07:01 AM
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1) Agree with the hate driving thing. Gave up cars 10 years ago, motorcycles a year ago. I'd rather ride my bike.
2) Because I can.
3) Its better for the environment
4) The only fuel needed comes from me.
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Old 07-11-12, 07:05 AM
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+1 SkippyX great progress, When I first started back up 4 yrs ago I lost about 30lbs too. At the time my Drs were trying to get me started on one of the statins for my cholesterol. 6 mos later my cholesterol was fine.

Why do I commute?

Exercise
Save money
It's enjoyable
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Old 07-11-12, 07:24 AM
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Couple good reasons. First it is cheap transportation, since my knees are shot, I get my cardio while saving money, and being a former motorcycle roadracer, it keeps me on two wheels..
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Old 07-11-12, 07:27 AM
  #21  
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To get to work to get to money to buy bike stuff? I enjoy biking. 1hr by car, 20 minutes longer by bike. When gas first hit $4.00 a gallon, it was cutting into my beer and coffee budget. Not Good. It makes me feel better. What else is there? I like the challenge.
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Old 07-11-12, 07:39 AM
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(Emphasis mine)

Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
To get to work to get to money to buy bike stuff? I enjoy biking. 1hr by car, 20 minutes longer by bike. When gas first hit $4.00 a gallon, it was cutting into my beer and coffee budget. Not Good. It makes me feel better. What else is there? I like the challenge.
When I used to drive my truck everywhere I would pass gas stations and keep a wary eye on the price p/gallon. Every price increase was greeted by grumbling. I don't know how many times I drove by a gas station and thought "that's a pretty good price, I'll stop on the way home to fill up", only to find that they had raised the price while I was at work.



These days I don't even pay attention to gas stations - aside from watching their entrances to make sure a motorist - angry at what it just cost him to fill the tank of his urban assault vehicle - doesn't run me over in a fit of pique. The last time I stopped at a gas station was with my wife in her car. I think that was around a month ago.
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Old 07-11-12, 07:45 AM
  #23  
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I'm 49 and my wife is pregnant. I did the math, and I'm going to have to live into my 70s to get my brood out of the house. I wasn't living a life that was going to get me into my 70s. I just had a vision one day of one of my kids telling a date that he couldn't really remember his father, but he heard he was a good guy. I'd like to avoid that.

I had a hip replaced, so running is out. Tae kwon do (which is what cost me my hip) is completely out. That pretty much left swimming and bicycling as sources of aerobic exercise which I actually enjoy.

The great thing about commuting by bike is that it essentially manufactures time. My commute to work by car is about 25 minutes each way without traffic issues; it has been as long as 50 minutes due to traffic. My commute by bike is 35 minutes each way and doesn't vary by more than a minute or two unless there's a brutal headwind. So I get 70 minutes of exercise at the cost of 20 minutes additional commute - I've basically created 50 minutes of workout time out of nothing.

It has been awfully expensive though - I've lost 110 pounds since I started, and the cost of buying clothes is adding up. It may even by more than I would have spent on gas. As problems go, though I'll take it.
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Old 07-11-12, 07:47 AM
  #24  
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i ride to work everyday because it's good for my soul.

also, i don't own a car, 15 miles is too far to walk, train fare is $7.60 round-trip, and bicycles completely rule the universe!
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Old 07-11-12, 07:49 AM
  #25  
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i thought i was being green but maybe not

http://www.portablechefnyc.com/2012/...rgy-efficient/
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