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  1. #1
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    First Bike Commute In Over 8 Months!

    In August I transferred to Tampa, FL after being stationed in Germany for the past 4 years. After getting here, I didnít ride my bike at all for about 6 months. A couple of months ago I finally started back riding my bike on the weekends. My weekend rides usually end up being in the 25 to 40 mile range. Recently I decided that I was going to start riding to/from work a couple of times a week. I live 27 miles from where I work, so I donít think that Iíll be commuting by bike everyday like I was doing when I was in Germany when I only lived 6 miles from work. Today was my first time riding into work since Iíve been in FL, although Iíve ridden the route a few weekends ago. Today it took me about 1 hour and 45 minutes to get to work (it usually takes me right at an hour to drive). The total distance from door to door was 27.25 miles. My average speed was 17.2mph. It was a great ride.
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  2. #2
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    Nice! That is not a bad differential from the driving time, especially since you are multitasking by getting the exercise.

  3. #3
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    Way to go! I really respect those of you who have longer commutes and still find a way to make it happen by bike - even if it's not every day. My commute is only 10 miles round trip, so i can do it daily. I'm not sure I'd find the enthusiasm/time if it was over 20.

    Keep it up!

  4. #4
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    Happy to hear you`re back at it. Did the traffic conditons improve over the past few months, or you just gritted your teeth and went for it?

  5. #5
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    This morning wasn't too bad. I missed most of the real traffic because I was on the road earlier than most drivers. By the time that traffic caught up with me, I was pretty close to base. The trip home is going to be an interesting ride. I think that most of it will be okay, but there are a couple of stretches that will probably make me rethink the whole idea of riding to and from work. I'll let you know how it went once I make it home.
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  6. #6
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    I made it home safely. Both the ride to work and the ride home were nice. Throughout the whole day only 2 cars got kind of close to me and even those 2 weren't too bad. Not that I think that anyone deserves to be in an accident, but I honestly think that a good percentage of people that are involved in bicycles accidents in this area help contribute to the accidents by not following traffic rules. I don't know how many times I've seen people riding on the wrong side of the road against the flow of traffic, even when there are no shoulders. I've also seen people riding against the flow of traffic in very dark situations with no lights or reflective gear.

    Getting back on topic... I just uploaded my ride from this morning and excluding stop lights and stop signs I rode for 1h 34m. My ride home was a lot slower because there was a lot more stopping and going because of there being more traffic. I also ran into some minor wind on the way home which slowed me down some. However, I still think I made decent time on my way home. I think that I'm going to try bike commuting to work twice a week. I'm active duty, but I'm also going to school full time which equates to 5 hours a night in school for 2 nights a week. Therefore, I definitely won't be riding on the nights that I have classes.
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  7. #7
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    For anyone is interested in seeing my route or the time/speed info:
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  8. #8
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    Not many hills I guess...nice job though! That is a solid commuting distance.

  9. #9
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    Man, kudos to you. I lived in Tampa for 4 years and riding my bike on the road there scared the hell out of me. That place is downright unfriendly to cyclists.
    I used to live near MacDill AFB, so I know your route well.
    That's a helluva ride!

  10. #10
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    So what is it like commuting in ths states after having beena commuter over here in Germany?

    We get so spoiled over here, I couldn't imagine commuting in the states where they don't have all the cycling accomodations they do here... must be a bit of reverse culture shock!

  11. #11
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    When I was in Germany, I would just go out and ride any and everywhere that I wanted to. I could look at a map and plan a route from point a to point b without having to worry about whether the roads were cycle friendly. Here you pretty much have to be familiar with the route before you decide to ride it. There are a lot of times that you have to ride a few miles out of the way because the direct route is more dangerous.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maximus_XXIV
    Not many hills I guess...nice job though! That is a solid commuting distance.
    There aren't very many hills here but the wind adds a new dynamic about a quarter of the time. I remember how much I used to hate hills when I first started riding. Then after a while I hated them a little less. Then I just accepted them as a part of riding. I guess that I'm going to have to do the same thing with the wind.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon76
    I remember how much I used to hate hills when I first started riding. Then after a while I hated them a little less. Then I just accepted them as a part of riding. I guess that I'm going to have to do the same thing with the wind.
    If you say so. But that might make you the first bicyclist in the history of the world to learn not to hate wind.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    If you say so. But that might make you the first bicyclist in the history of the world to learn not to hate wind.
    I have to agree with this.... hills, you'll get your investment back at some point... simple laws of physics and graivty; the whole up-down thing...

    But wind... man you can have a head wind both ways of your commute depending on the weather... Can't say I see much of an upside to head winds.

  15. #15
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    Jonesy-
    The problem with commuting in the States is that people are way too addicted to being in a cage, and they aren't very good at paying attention to cyclists. My commute right now to work is only 1.7 miles (one way), and I can't tell you how many times I almost get hit or run off the road.
    Americans can learn a lot from Europeans, that's for sure.

  16. #16
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    Yeah, drivers here are so much more accustomed to bikes. In about two years of steady commuting of about 2500 to 4000 km per year, I've had two memorable instances where I had an anger inducing issue with a motorist. Both were very close passes at about 30 to 40 kph, with less than a foot between metal and me. Of these two, one was American!

    Sometimes cars pulling out of side streets or parking lots will stop across the bike lane waiting for their chance to go. When they see a cyclist coming down the bike lane they're blocking they usually look very apologetic and try to back up if possible... Just as an example of how well we have it as cyclists in Europe.

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