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Bike only commute change to Bus and Bike

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Bike only commute change to Bus and Bike

Old 10-02-21, 08:00 PM
  #1  
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Bike only commute change to Bus and Bike

I will have the opportunity to move and my commute will change from a bike-only commute to a commute with a bus and a bike. Itís a nice move, so Iím fine giving up the bike-only commute. I still hate cars, and plan to commute without one. The plus is that there will be more near where I live, so items like groceries will be far easier to get by bike.

I have a bike that will work well for the bus, but is there anything I need to know before commuting by bus and bike? Any tricks or things I should pay attention to? The bus portion will be about 30 minutes. Anyone made this type of move before?
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Old 10-02-21, 08:20 PM
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I did a bike/bus commute (and sometimes a bike only commute if weather and time allowed) for the past 5.5 years, except as interrupted by Covid. Things I needed to know about bus commute: 1) In our city there have been some fairly rare cases of bikes being stolen from the bike rack on the front of the bus. I did some reversible things to kind of trash up my bike's appearance (like run it with ugly fenders) to make it less attractive to thieves. I think this was a minimal risk, really. 2) check your different ticket pricing options. In our town buying a bus pass it generally more expensive than buying a book of tickets, unless you bus every day of the week. 3) In our city you are supposed to let the driver know "I'm pulling my bike" as you get off and go in front of the bus to unload. 4) Be sure to turn all lights on bike off before getting on bus. 5) I typically just loaded the bike on the bus rack with its bag in place (holding my work laptop inside of it). You can decide on that one . . . . 6) The regional buses I rode had both a front rack and below luggage bays. When front rack filled drivers loaded bikes in below luggage bays.
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Old 10-02-21, 08:31 PM
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only if you dont have to wait for the next bus because the rack is full. I can do the 9 miles faster on my e bike then I can on the bus by a fair amount.
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Old 10-02-21, 09:34 PM
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Do most of you live in cities where bike racks are installed on every bus? Here (Winnipeg) I think it's something by like every 3rd or 4th bus, making bike/bus commuting a crapshoot at best.

Maybe a folding bike really is the best bet.

*I stay as far away from Transit as I can these days, so maybe that's changed recently.
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Old 10-03-21, 12:10 AM
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I did a bike/bus commute for a summer in the Boston area 15 years ago, when my job relocated from Cambridge (2 mile commute) to Billerica (15 miles). More recently I've done occasional bike/bus commutes to get across the bay in the San Francisco area. A couple of questions worth considering:
- Can you bike the whole way if something goes wrong with the bus? I don't have that option crossing the bridges across the bay, and being completely at the mercy of the bus can be tough.
- Is the bus schedule reliable? Can you get real-time arrival predictions? If the bus is delayed or doesn't come, is there somewhere to wait? Can you pick up a coffee or pastry there?
- Do the bike racks on the bus you need usually have space? How frequently does the bus run, if the racks are full? Some drivers will let cyclists take a bike onto the bus if the racks are full but the bus is empty; does your transit system have a policy on this?
- Weather. A ride in the rain might not be bad. A ride in the rain, followed by sitting on the bus soaking wet for half an hour and then a bit more riding, is a lot less pleasant.

While I've occasionally missed a bus (sometimes my fault, and sometimes the bus got cancelled) and had to wait an hour, those have been infrequent, and in general I've found that a bike+bus commute worked pretty well for me so long as I made sure to be at the bus stop on time. I've only rarely had issues with all the bike racks being full, and I've never had a bike stolen from on of the racks (although in general there's been little opportunity as I've taken the bus over a bridge or a on a highway, boarding just before that road section and exiting just after).
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Old 10-03-21, 02:41 PM
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Instead of bike to bus. Just get an ebike.
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Old 10-03-21, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by alloo View Post
Instead of bike to bus. Just get an ebike.
I have an ebike and have considered this, but the commute is going from 3 miles to 18 miles (one way). My ebike can easily handle this, but the bus can save some time and allow me to zone out. I also have a folding bike I can use. Iíd hate to use the folding bike for 18 miles, but could use the ebike for that distance if I needed to. But the folding bike fits on the bus easier.
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Old 10-03-21, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Alligator View Post
I have an ebike and have considered this, but the commute is going from 3 miles to 18 miles (one way). My ebike can easily handle this, but the bus can save some time and allow me to zone out. I also have a folding bike I can use. Iíd hate to use the folding bike for 18 miles, but could use the ebike for that distance if I needed to. But the folding bike fits on the bus easier.
18 miles a pretty far even on an ebike. I used to commute on my ebike 12 miles one way. When I moved to ABQ 18 miles was just too much time on the bike.
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Old 10-03-21, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by alloo View Post
18 miles a pretty far even on an ebike.
Agreed. Iíve done 10 miles (one way) for a commute before, and Iíve done ~20 miles twice. I did not enjoy the 20 mile commute very much compared with the 10 mile commute. And my 3 mile current commute is exceptionally easy. With a bus, Iíd probably have about 3 miles to do by bike plus a 30 minute bike ride, which is fine. However, if I had the ebike, then Iíd have an easy alternative if something went wrong (i.e., the bus breaks down).
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Old 10-03-21, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by alloo View Post
18 miles a pretty far even on an ebike. I used to commute on my ebike 12 miles one way. When I moved to ABQ 18 miles was just too much time on the bike.
I do about 20 on my commute then hop on the the e tandem and do another 10 to 20 Ido around 220 miles a week ride every day. so its doable and you can work as much as you want. but it is time. but I am faster then the bus it takes at least 50 minutes I can rid in about 35 or a bit less the 8 to 9 miles each way.
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Old 10-04-21, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by fooferdoggie View Post
I do about 20 on my commute then hop on the the e tandem and do another 10 to 20 Ido around 220 miles a week ride every day. so its doable and you can work as much as you want. but it is time. but I am faster then the bus it takes at least 50 minutes I can rid in about 35 or a bit less the 8 to 9 miles each way.
Times over 1 hour 5 days a week are over the top. It's double but then you have to worry about breaking down and flat tires and component wear more. I like belt driven/hub shifting bikes for the task of commuting. If I was commuting I would get the Gazelle 380+, Priority Current or now the DOST Drop CVT. Hydralic brakes. Now I limit my bicycle trips to 5 miles around the house. If I work downtown I will start riding and buy a new bicycle that I mentioned before. My goal on commuting was to beat public transportation. It's cheaper too. Unfortunately, bicycle shops don't have consistent service times for major service. Bicycle shops are built for the leisure bicycle market.
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Old 10-04-21, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by alloo View Post
Times over 1 hour 5 days a week are over the top. It's double but then you have to worry about breaking down and flat tires and component wear more. I like belt driven/hub shifting bikes for the task of commuting. If I was commuting I would get the Gazelle 380+, Priority Current or now the DOST Drop CVT. Hydralic brakes. Now I limit my bicycle trips to 5 miles around the house. If I work downtown I will start riding and buy a new bicycle that I mentioned before. My goal on commuting was to beat public transportation. It's cheaper too. Unfortunately, bicycle shops don't have consistent service times for major service. Bicycle shops are built for the leisure bicycle market.
yes I just worked out the cost. it costs about 260.00 for every 2000 miles of riding between the two bikes. tires on the tandem go fast too. so maybe 1000 or so in normal wear and tear. a belt would be nice but the cost is pretty high. especially if you go with a bosch or such. I have almost 12,000 miles only commuter I bought in nov 2019.
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Old 10-04-21, 04:04 PM
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If you have a front rack with dynamo lighting, especially one with lights mounted between the rack and the tire/fender, you might want to find a place where your buses lay-over and try it out to make sure the front hook for the bus-mounted rack still works with your rack and light setup.
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Old 10-05-21, 10:27 PM
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Personally I would consider using a beater and locking it at or near the bus stop. I find it quite inconvenient and tiresome to lug my folded bike anywhere, including onto a bus. Or do you have to bike at both ends of the trip?
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Old 10-07-21, 08:19 PM
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I will have to bike on both ends of the trip. And I have a place to lock or store it at each end.
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Old 10-10-21, 11:20 AM
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My own experience has been that lugging a folding bike on and off a bus is tiresome, and much less feasible than I expected. I have a bike Friday and it zips into a carrying bag with a shoulder strap, and it is bulky and unwieldy. Also I try not to sweat on my commute to work, but it is impossible to avoid with folding and carrying the bike even for short distances, so I would have to add a shower to my timeline. Also the bus and subway are packed at rush hour and I might have to stand, making the clumsy bike even more of an inconvenience. It would be easier to load a standard bike on the bus bike carrier, but sometimes they are full, so that might affect my travel time.

How long are the segments at each end - is either walkable? Or how about a scooter?
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