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Have you converted / convinced others to bike-commute?

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Have you converted / convinced others to bike-commute?

Old 01-11-13, 05:12 PM
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ChrisM2097
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Have you converted / convinced others to bike-commute?

Just wondering if you've been able to talk others at your work into commuting by bike.

One of my co-workers lives directly on my route to work - I pass by his house 20 minutes into my commute. I invited him to join me last summer, and he did a few times. He recently picked it up again, and has commuted via bike 3 times this week, putting me to shame with my measly 2 commutes this week. He says he loves it, feels healthier, and has more energy.
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Old 01-11-13, 05:21 PM
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Been retired 17 years now, but . . .
commuted to work for 16 years.
Was the only one that commuted; but by the time I retired had at least half dozen that would commute regularly
including one guy that lived near where I lived that drove to work daily. If traffic lights went right for me on the bike, but not for him in his car, I'd beat him to work.
Yup, he became a bike commuter too!
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Old 01-11-13, 05:26 PM
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Bluish Green
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I am a convert from last year. The woman who converted me has a longer commute, but does summer/nice weather, mostly. My commute is shorter, but I am 100% all year now. There are a couple of folks at work who are considering it....
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Old 01-11-13, 11:11 PM
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I've been riding my bike to/from school for almost a year now. It's only 2 miles each way, but it still counts My mom has always been interested in my bike riding, and the other day she finally took the plunge and rode the 6 or so miles to her work. She got a ride home, but I was still proud of her for going one way! She said it wasn't as difficult as she expected!
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Old 01-11-13, 11:37 PM
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Nope... people oh and ahh that I lost 30kg and ride everywhere, but when it comes to the crunch, no one wants to take the 3-4 months of pain it takes to get close to bike fit.
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Old 01-12-13, 05:44 AM
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I don't try. Why would I want to share the locker room with anyone when I now have it to myself? What if they got there before me and took away my bike parking spot under the stairwell? Geez, what's the matter with you, asking something like this?
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Old 01-12-13, 06:57 AM
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In the past 4 years I've helped two. One was co-worker who was already self-starting by talking bikes with her and convincing her to buy a better, properly fitting bike and a few accessories to make her more comfortable and confident. The other saw me commuting, thought about the fact that he lived about a kilometer closer than me, and started riding as well. Too bad he was satisfied with his clunker bike and insisted that be liked the seat so low he could stand flat footed on the ground. But at least he was riding.
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Old 01-12-13, 08:36 AM
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I took immense pleasure last November in taking a friend to buy her first bicycle since childhood (and, of course, showing off by pretending to be an awful lot more knowledgeable than I really am). Unfortunately a week later the first snow set in, but she assures me she'll be off the bus and cycling to class as soon as it warms up around here.
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Old 01-12-13, 08:38 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by scroca View Post
I don't try. Why would I want to share the locker room with anyone when I now have it to myself? What if they got there before me and took away my bike parking spot under the stairwell? Geez, what's the matter with you, asking something like this?
I used to be the only one riding to work. Now there are several occasional riders . This prompted the company to install a couple bike racks. One on the back patio, the other in the parking garage.
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Old 01-12-13, 09:16 AM
  #10  
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I don't think I've converted anyone, but may have encouraged a few cyclists to commute by bike more.
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Old 01-12-13, 09:35 AM
  #11  
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I don't commute for what I do but the advantages from what they were just a few short years ago has really improved for bicycle commuters. (pardon the convoluted sentence)

I used to live in north Minneapolis. The Memorial Parkway was five houses away at the end of my block. A stretch of commons with throngs of riders and walkers both in summer and winter. At the time I worked in a small lab a slight jog off it and discovered that in summer there were several commuters to this company. Vintage roadies I think you call them? Both the riders and their machines. Healthy people who convinced the owner to install a modern rack. It was enough to convince me to start in on my own Univega.

Since then, well over a decade ago, the twin cities have taken an entirely favorable approach to bicycle commuters. They now have bike specific traffic signals installed on many main thoroughfares throughout the concrete jungle. Saying I saw a thousand riders on a Saturday late last summer would be an understatement. Restaurants have rows of bike racks outside them. And those racks were full that weekend.

Harv
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Old 01-12-13, 09:58 AM
  #12  
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I haven't converted anybody to a commuter per say but I have influnced people to get out on the bike that thought they never would. When people in my office see me getting fitter and with a better attitude about half the office now rides their bike more often or went and bought a new bike. I think it all goes back to the saying that if you associate with positive people it will eventually rubb off on you.
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Old 01-12-13, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by kjmillig View Post
The other saw me commuting, thought about the fact that he lived about a kilometer closer than me, and started riding as well. Too bad he was satisfied with his clunker bike and insisted that be liked the seat so low he could stand flat footed on the ground. But at least he was riding.
Why was it "too bad that he was satisfied" with with his commuting technique and equipment? Is it also necessary to convert a satisfied commuter into the right kind of cyclist and sell some product too?
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Old 01-12-13, 10:26 AM
  #14  
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I don't actively try to "convert" coworkers to cycle commuting, but occasionally when someone mentions something about it to me I'll jokingly ask 'em when do they want to join me.

Our work place is on a busy high speed arterial where even people who do ride bikes other places are convinced it is much too dangerous to risk riding. This is the number one reason for not riding to work I hear. Never mind that I'm on my 8th year of event free commuting now...

There is one guy who started riding to work a couple years ago. He asked lots of questions and I helped him get started. After a year or so of watching him show up on a double suspension wallyland mountain bike with knobbies, I fixed up a decent commuter I got off CL for him to test out. He immediately loved it so I ended up giving it to him because I knew he was on low income.
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Old 01-12-13, 12:27 PM
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I very deliberately do not evangelize. The last thing I want to do is inadvertently discourage someone from commuting through a ham-handed sales pitch or guilt trip. My hope is to inspire people to do it by example.
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Old 01-12-13, 12:30 PM
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I don't try to convert others, but several friends and coworkers have started bike commuting after seeing me do it and talking to me about it. So I have influenced others in that regard. IMHO, setting an example is the best way to influence people. Not many people respond well to prosletizing.
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Old 01-12-13, 12:56 PM
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So far I haven't changed any minds at my job, though it is a fitness equipment shop. The other guys all have their own workout routines but they concentrate on bodybuilding and lifting more than cardio endurance. It is funny though to think that I get 2 45 minute workouts(10.5 mi of hills) per day and save money verses paying a gym fee for the hour or two that they do in addition to getting there.
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Old 01-12-13, 05:12 PM
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I did convert one colleague but I didn't approach him about it. He saw me doing it and got curious. He realized his commute would be shorter than mine and just went for it with the "if he can do it, why can't I" attitude. I gave him some pointers and that was it. He rides about 2mi/3.2km to work.

Initially he didn't have a bike, so he rode his wife's hybrid complete with tassels. He did that for about 6 months before he plunked down for a Kona Jake.

I've also seen a couple people give up after a month though because of all the hills here. They look at me like I was able to start off like it was nothing from day 1 when in fact the first month or two I had to stop to rest a few minutes during the climbs. I tell them this, but I guess they don't want to hear it. One of them rode about 4mi/6.5km with about 500ft of climbing; steepest portion is around 15%.

Last edited by jsdavis; 01-12-13 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 01-12-13, 05:35 PM
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One of my colleagues started biking to work on my Target special Magna, and is now looking to buy a new bike - if he enjoyed it on the Magna I think he will continue Another colleague borrowed my Magna to try it out, and returned the bike the next day - he was surprised at the effort required just to bike 3 miles.

I get a lot of people who ask me how much I bike one way, and are quite disparaging when I say 3 miles. They then proceed to drive out one mile for lunch.
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Old 01-12-13, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by scroca View Post
I don't try. Why would I want to share the locker room with anyone when I now have it to myself? What if they got there before me and took away my bike parking spot under the stairwell? Geez, what's the matter with you, asking something like this?
Yeah, I sometimes consider those aspects. I often promote commuting, but no-one has stepped up.
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Old 01-12-13, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by treadtread View Post
I get a lot of people who ask me how much I bike one way, and are quite disparaging when I say 3 miles. They then proceed to drive out one mile for lunch.


Of course the most popular question I (and probably every cycle commuter) gets, is how far is your ride? When I say 12 miles I get a surprisingly high amount of "oh, that's not bad" from folks I know darn well can't remember ever riding that far on a bike.
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Old 01-13-13, 12:02 AM
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I haven't actively engaged anyone about it unless they've asked me. Through the years a number of folks either started walking or riding after asking me about it.
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Old 01-13-13, 01:03 AM
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I think about 2 1/2 people. The two were co-workers at a lamp factory that I worked at early in my career. The half was my father, who took up bicycle commuting a little after got to the point of bicycle commuting. So I think I influenced him, but since he never asked anything, I can't take full credit. Later on, we happened to have one place where he'd be going to work sometimes as I was coming home and I was surprised how fast he was.
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Old 01-13-13, 01:33 AM
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Originally Posted by treadtread View Post

I get a lot of people who ask me how much I bike one way, and are quite disparaging when I say 3 miles. They then proceed to drive out one mile for lunch.
At work, the city is placing about a hundred or two parking meters where there were no meters in the past and colleagues parked for free. Going rate will be $2/hr up to a max of 2 hours. A lot of people at work are enraged about it.

Employer already provides a 97% subsidy for a contracted lot which fills up pretty quick. There isn't a week that goes where my colleagues don't complain about parking because it sucks, and now, about how they can no longer park on the street for free.
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Old 01-13-13, 09:10 AM
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I am in the lead by example group. No one has told me directly that they ride now because of my particular example. Ten years ago I was pretty much the only one who rode regularly at my building. Now there are easily 8-10 bike there in nice weather. This time of year there are generally 3-4 bikes daily, when in the past it would be just me.
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