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This Morning's Epiphany

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This Morning's Epiphany

Old 08-28-14, 06:16 AM
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This Morning's Epiphany

I've been commuting about 4 months now. I bike most days of the week when I get up early enough and that day's schedule doesn't require a car. I probably average 3 days a week.

The drive for my commute is about 11.5 miles, mostly interstate and takes about 16 minutes. My bike commute is about the same distance and is a mix of bike path, residential and medium volume streets that include descents and climbs (up hill both ways for the old timers). It takes 40-50 minutes. I use a road bike and carry a backpack for dress clothes during my work day. I don't pack till morning to reduce wrinkling. As with most I assume, it's a lot of extra work for me commute by bike. Also, when I bike, I come in much earlier to avoid morning rush hour traffic. It's usually very dark.

The ride home isn't much better. Heavier traffic. Higher temps. I'm soaking with sweat and stink when I get home, so it's a quick "Hi" to the fam then into the shower.

So, raise your hand if you're wondering what the point is? (you actually raised your hand, didn't you?)

The point is this - this morning I drove in and hated it. That was a first since I started. All the traffic. I was the stereotype of caught in a rut. Though just for the drive. Just me and 1000's of other cars off to do the same thing they do everyday. No exciting stories from the ride in. Nothing. I was completely bored for 16 minutes. Even the radio wasn't interesting.

On my ride, I can pick out a story every time I'm out. Dodging squirrels or cars. The geriatric that refuses to walk on the correct side of the path. The occasional hot jogger. There is always something. I also like to do a little road warrior on the weekends, so I use my commute for training bricks. My commute has several Strava segments, so I'm constantly working for that next position up the list. Maybe one day I'll own a KOM.

My bike commute is 3x the time, 3x the effort and 3x the risk. But you know what, it's also 3x the fun, 3x times more interesting and 3x the excitement. Probably 10x the excitement.

The point is - this morning I believe I crossed over from someone who bike commutes to someone who is a cycling commuter.

Raise your hand if you know what I'm talking about. (you actually raised your hand, didn't you)

Thanks for your time.
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Old 08-28-14, 06:42 AM
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You say epiphany, I say Amen!

Nicely written!
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Old 08-28-14, 06:51 AM
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Very nice. Good for you!

Luckily, my work place is casual. I leave shoes and a couple pairs of pants (jeans) at the office and just swap them out every so often. Then I only have to pack a shirt and such. For lunch I leave supplies there too. Basically it doesn't take me any longer to get ready than it would to drive. The actual commute time would be faster if I drove, maybe 30 mins instead of 45, but it would be in traffic and all too. I ride the 12 miles one way pretty much every day.
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Old 08-28-14, 07:21 AM
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That's about how long it took for me also, to suddenly realize "hey, I actually like this." It only gets better from there.
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Old 08-28-14, 07:24 AM
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Very cool. I've seen the same thing in my life. I've been commuting for over 10 years now though. Since I own my own business, I installed a shower stall.

Sorry, I didn't raise my hand except in a figurative way!
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Old 08-28-14, 07:44 AM
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Glad to hear you have crossed over to "cycling commuter." I have been at it for over a decade and I am a year rounder. On the very rare occasion when I am forced to drive, I hate it because as you have discovered driving typically is uneventful where cycling is a daily adventure
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Old 08-28-14, 07:55 AM
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My experience precisely. I started bike commuting 7-1/2 years ago thinking that I would ride 1-2 days a week, and it quickly turned into whenever possible. I really enjoy commuting on my bike, but I hate getting stuck in a car in heavy traffic (except during foul weather). Another big advantage is that bike commuting actually saves me time, even though it takes longer than driving. That's because I used to work out after I got home from work, which would take1-2 hours -- causing continual friction with my wife, who wants to eat soon after getting home.
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Old 08-28-14, 08:04 AM
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Same here , but in my case its even worse; I'm caught in a rat race to fetch my 3 kids after the 16km return home; so I still need to use my car (SUV) to transport the bike while I get the kids and do the remaining 15km by car. Fetching the kids by bike after 31km would be too much; I choose my battles

I guess I'm masochistic. I get fit though and its pretty much the only time when I can feel like I'm doing something for myself (ie: besides work, kids & sleep)
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Old 08-28-14, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by jrickards
You say epiphany, I say Amen!

Nicely written!
+2*

Anyway it will be a long time before I'm both strong enough, and healthy enough to ride more then one day. So maybe I'll never cross over...

But yesterday, at just before dawn, I hear "Hey" and followed by several "HI's" from 2 20's-ish guys voices off in a bush. Followed by "DUDE! You look like a UFO!"... I guess I crossed paths with 2 stealth campers. The UFO comment made my month... I'm slowly building up my lighting with "Close Encounters" light show as the inspiration...

I should have stopped, instead of worry about being late...
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Old 08-28-14, 08:12 AM
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Bike commuting certainly takes extra effort and time, but so does exercising. Why not do both at the same time, avoid the stress of traffic and spending money on gas? You'll live longer and have a better life.
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Old 08-28-14, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by alan s
Bike commuting certainly takes extra effort and time, but so does exercising. Why not do both at the same time, avoid the stress of traffic and spending money on gas? You'll live longer and have a better life.
+1
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Old 08-28-14, 08:37 AM
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I guess I should consider my switch to commuting much more adventageous as it took me 30 - 45 minutes, more due too accidents/construction, to drive the 5 miles to/from work. On the bike it was a consistent 20 minutes with only 4 flats over about 10 years.

I remember my epiphany was on the way home one day in the pouring rain looking at the caged people stuck in traffic while I cruised home in my rain suit really enjoying the ride.
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Old 08-28-14, 08:46 AM
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I crossed the line when I stopped being a fair weather commuter. Decent lights and a set of fenders is all it took. I've yet to commute through a winter but where I live winter doesn't mean much.

Ironically, now the only time I use my car is to drive to out of town group rides.
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Old 08-28-14, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by alan s
Bike commuting certainly takes extra effort and time, but so does exercising. Why not do both at the same time, avoid the stress of traffic and spending money on gas? You'll live longer and have a better life.
+2

This. Before I commuted by bike (or got back into it anyways), I got insufficient exercise and killed myself by sitting in a car. It can be hard to explain to others the psychological and emotional benefits, but they're real.
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Old 08-28-14, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by WarrenR
I remember my epiphany was on the way home one day in the pouring rain looking at the caged people stuck in traffic while I cruised home in my rain suit really enjoying the ride.
My office building is on the campus of Laurentian University. The only way to get to LU is to take Ramsey Lake Rd, ~2km, and when classes start next week, the annual bottle neck on the commute in and out for workers and students will start and I will be flying by them on the bike lane. Next week won't be as bad as the following week when the classes are fully underway.

LU campus is at the right end of the route, the red arrows shows the only access to the rest of the city.

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Old 08-28-14, 09:52 AM
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+1
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Old 08-28-14, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by metz1295

So, raise your hand if you're wondering what the point is? (you actually raised your hand, didn't you?)
Yep.


Originally Posted by metz1295
Raise your hand if you know what I'm talking about. (you actually raised your hand, didn't you)
I was just wondering... is it okay to take my hands down now?
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Old 08-28-14, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by scroca
I was just wondering... is it okay to take my hands down now?
only if you're riding. safety first.
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Old 08-28-14, 10:32 AM
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a lot of great bike stories out there. none possible from inside a car.
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Old 08-28-14, 10:34 AM
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My route takes me on a MUP bridge that goes over one of the most congested streets in town - I always get a kick out of seeing the poor schlubs stopped up for as far as I can see.
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Old 08-28-14, 11:25 AM
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I raised my hand.

I love the consistency, fun, wind, air, passing cars, noticing thing, working out, fun, riding bikes, and fun of cycle commuting.

That is a nice story and definite epiphany. I cannot recall when I had mine. I think that I knew driving to work in a city is the pits and I never looked forward to it. It is so much nicer on two wheels.
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Old 08-28-14, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by metz1295
The occasional hot jogger.
Always my favorite part of my bike commute. (middle part is 7 miles on an MUP)
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Old 08-28-14, 05:36 PM
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My conversion to a cycling commuter was a lot less romantic. I lost my job, then totaled my car in an accident. I got on a bike because I was flat broke and had nothing else.

But it worked out for the best. That bad patch was well over a decade ago, and now I don't have a car because I don't want one. I enjoy a good workout, and I enjoy riding everywhere.
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Old 08-28-14, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s
Bike commuting certainly takes extra effort and time, but so does exercising. Why not do both at the same time, avoid the stress of traffic and spending money on gas? You'll live longer and have a better life.
Unless you get hit by that dude in that Suv trying to get to work and that hates his job and his life and lives a hum drum existence and is pissed at the world .
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Old 08-28-14, 06:24 PM
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Bike commuting is just too much fun. For me, my commute by bike is hardly longer than by car. Parking is atrocious with a car. By bike, I can take advantage of a secure bike rack with video surveillance or I can take my bike to my office if it is raining. For me, cycling is a no-brainer. Sure commuting by bike may have some inherent risks, but so does commuting by car and so does being a pedestrian in a cross walk with the "walk signal". Cars come close to hitting me fairly frequently when I am in the cross walk (just walking) when I have the signal. It is absurd. It should also be added that being sedentary poses health risks, as well.
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