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  1. #51
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    I'll echo what many others have said. One thing was it was a good way for me to get an hour workout each day (my commute was about 8 miles each way, it's now 3 since I moved last year). Easing into it, and starting in the spring or fall when the weather is nice is the easy way to do it. You can ease into things like the weather getting colder and rain easier that way.

    Like others have said, having you stuff set out the night before makes the commute easier. I have my coffee, and oatmeal in their containers and stuffed in my backpack the night before, along with my clothes (and shoes if necessary) for the next day. I typically will leave my jeans and a pair of shoes at the office so I don't have to carry them back and forth all the time. From experience, keeping a spare shirt and pair of underwear at the office doesn't hurt in case you forget to pack either one. The thing that takes the longest amount of time for me is moving my headlight/taillight from one bike to another when I decide to take a different one into the office.

  2. #52
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    Not so tough at all. Even though I hadn't been on a bike in 15 years, you never really forget how. The only thing that made it tough is that I have so many hills to climb, but I'm getting back in shape pretty quick. And I live so close to work that it's almost silly to drive anyway.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010

  3. #53
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    I started commuting to work in the summer. I loved it because when i got to work i had a lot more energy than i normally do. The exercise woke me up whereas i normally wake up and drive 10 minutes 1/2 asleep and i'm still 1/2 asleep until 9 or 10. It made me feel good about myself too.

    But I live in Edmonton. I've stopped commuting. I can't get myself motivated at -11. It's been a mild november so i guess i'm being a baby. But i have 2 questions for cold climate commuters:

    1) how do you get yourself motivated to ride your bike in very cold temperatures?

    2) What sort of gear do you use to bike in the cold?

    I have leg warmers and those are great for fall riding but worthless at -20. My bike shoes are mesh on the top. I only own 1 jacket and it's a huge burton snowboard jacket. Plus i'm thinking i'll need lights because in the winter it's still dark at 7:30 and the sun is going down when i leave at 4.

  4. #54
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    I've been planning on commuting to work for a couple of months but always found a reason to procrastinate. Weather, being out of shape, too dark to cycle safely with crappy Australian drivers etc.

    Then I did a test run yesterday (sunday) to figure out the best route to work without the hectic traffic and I loved it. I live in Sydney and this was the first time I got to cycle over the beautiful Sydney Harbour Bridge (with a dedicated cyclepath). Its 12k each direction with a fair few hills.

    Traffic is the most frightening thing but I guess you get used to it. Feeling pretty stiff and sore today but small price to pay. I even got to test out my tube changing skills when I got a flat. Hadn't tried the CO2 refill system before so was a bit dubious but it worked a treat. I had just put some slicks on the day before so had had some practice at getting the tires on and off the rims and in the end i was back on the road in 5 minutes.

    Just getting my brakes fixed up at the shop today and will start the commute this week. Really excited and even mapped it out on Bikely.com if anyone is interested:

    http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path...-to-Darlington

  5. #55
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    Lately I find the more time I spend commuting the less I have to ***** about those over the top obnoxious navy ads the admins have allowed to pollute this forum.

  6. #56
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    Get Motivated- at ALL Costs

    Quote Originally Posted by Atomic300
    I can not motivate myself to bike into work. I want to do it so that I can save money on my train fare $115 a month. I would have to bike about 15miles round trip. I guess I go to bed to late to get up and get going in the morning. So what has made others to finally get up and get organized and motivated. I think once I get use to it I will be fine hopefully? Maybe not?
    I know how you feel. I was riding a clunky, heavy bike 9 miles(one way), and I dreaded the trip, every single day. However, I was entirely dependent on my commute- since I had a suspended driver's license, and no vehicle. I rolled the dice one day, with my last tax return and got a super-light, XC race bike. Now, I cannot WAIT to ride the thing! The huge performance rush of this bike MAKES ME want to ride it every day. Suddenly, I no longer dread my daily commute. In fact.....nine miles per trip, is NOT enough! This bike just absolutely FLIES on pavement, climbs like a billy goat on crack, and has me racking over 100 road and trail miles/week on it now! As a result- I got ALL my money back, and lost 70lbs- since I got this bike. That is better than the finest gym membership, money can buy.

    By commuting ONE YEAR- I saved so much money, I was able to pay off all my court fines, restore my license and get a used truck......to haul my bike on trail rides. And this all began as a simple work commuter......
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  7. #57
    In the rear with the beer
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    Ultimately you just need to bite the bullet and do it. I have a 50 mile round trip that I try to do twice a week. Just started a month or so ago, I've skipped out on the second time each week for various made up reasons, but I realize they are really just me being too lazy/tired to get up and do it. I just need to get more disciplined, which, no matter how many tricks you try, just comes down to doing it. This frankly applies to a lot of things in my life (discipline) so maybe once I get consistent with twice a week, it'll be easier to be more disciplined in other things....there's some motivation right there!
    Salvation Outdoor
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  8. #58
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    not very, 18 years ago I was fresh out of college and the TV station that just hired me didn't pay enough for me to repair my car, so I started riding.

  9. #59
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    Interesting comments posted here. I'm thinking of starting commuting, but I have to wear starched shirt, tie, and dress shoes to my job. There isn't a shower either. How do you all account for these obstacles?
    DO RIGHT AND FEAR NO MAN

  10. #60
    In the rear with the beer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asbury
    Interesting comments posted here. I'm thinking of starting commuting, but I have to wear starched shirt, tie, and dress shoes to my job. There isn't a shower either. How do you all account for these obstacles?

    I ride to work 2 days a week. On the days I drive I shuttle in clothes and supplies and hand them on the back of my office door. Costco supply of baby wipes too. I bring in all my food for the week on Monday also so its here and I dont' have to worry about it the rest of the week.
    Salvation Outdoor
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  11. #61
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    How far is will your?commute be?
    Go to the discounte store and buy a weeks worth of shirts and a couple of ties. have them laundered and leave them hanging at work. Then buy a box of baby wipes, some deoderant ect, keep them with the shirts and whatever else you may need.
    When a shirt is soiled, return it to the laundery.

  12. #62
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asbury
    Interesting comments posted here. I'm thinking of starting commuting, but I have to wear starched shirt, tie, and dress shoes to my job. There isn't a shower either. How do you all account for these obstacles?
    In your case- you have to drive. Unless you are willing to use a portable steamer on your shirt and take a baby wipe "shower."
    "The ONLY person who needs to race.....is the entrant"

  13. #63
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    I have to wear a dress shirt, slacks and tie when I teach. I carry mine with me in one of the fold-over garment pannier bags for dress clothes. I have a washrag and towel and take a bird-bath if I need it when I get dressed for work in the restroom. Obviously, dont wear your nice clothes to bike- find some way to get them to the office as mentioned above, of pack them with you.
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  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobonli
    4) It clears the head. I used to get all ramped up during the car ride to work, anticipating all the crappy things that might happen. It's too much effort to get out the door at 6 am and pedal my arse off for 39 minutes so there's no time to ruminate about the day. The trip home clears the head. I used to spend hours talking about work. Now I come home, shower and just relax.
    Couldn't agree more with you. Although the other benefits are there (fitness, money savings, etc) I find that my mental health is a lot better after riding to and from work.

  15. #65
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    Where there is a will, there is a way

    Quote Originally Posted by Asbury
    Interesting comments posted here. I'm thinking of starting commuting, but I have to wear starched shirt, tie, and dress shoes to my job. There isn't a shower either. How do you all account for these obstacles?
    1. I have a file drawer with dress shoes, belts, deodorant, etc.

    2. Ties roll up to avoid wrinkles and take very little drawer space.

    3. Look for a dry cleaners that picks up and delivers your laundry to/from your work place and store them in a small garment cover.

    4. The garment panniers work great... a co-worker has one, and he swears by it.

    5. PTA baths in the Mens room are the norm...sometimes have to wait in line.

    Starched shirts are you biggest obstacle...Dress pants roll up very nicely, but starched shirts are not as forgiving.

  16. #66
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    Reading this makes me super stoked for the warm weather. I'm in High School, and It's only 11 miles to school from my house. I am defiantly going to ride that when it gets warmer. I cant wait! Taking something I do on the weekends for fun, and doing it everyday! YES!

  17. #67
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    I put on some bad weight since I moved to Germany from the US. I had a commute by bike to the north end of the city, which was supposed to be my daily exercise, until I had two injuries back to back. Then came the weather, but overall, I got 50% of my riding in.

    Now I have to go to a different part of the city, further away, and more difficult to get to. The motivation there is that it's a PITA to take the bus from my area and there's little to no parking, so I might as well just ride my bike, including the long uphill at the end.

    The incentive to start is to lose the weight, strengthen my weakening legs, and avoid passing out at 11. I'm going all day from the riding. Tradeoff is how friggin' cold it is and all the major roads I have to cross. The payback is strengthening my body and feeling better all day. Plus, I save on transportation costs.

  18. #68
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    Reading this has made me start to prepare to ride into work. The main thing that has held me back at this time is the lack of roads with bike lanes, or sidewalks, or even just a wide enough road to ride next to a car. I finally figured it out, and I think I have also found a cheap road bike to use also.
    I am very excited, and I think it will be a very nice ride, thank you all for the encougragment. I will post up when everything falls into place. I think the biggest hold back right now will be the weather but hey, I have to start somewhere.

  19. #69
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    Not that hard. I got my commuter from a Home Depot type store for 88€.

    The rear shifter literally exploded one day, so now it's a single, stuck in the smallest gear in back. I only switch the front ring between the big and middle. Now I want to build an SS with discs.

  20. #70
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    It wasn't that hard to start when it became you're only way to work.

    I bought a Trek 4300 in 2006 hoping to begin a lifestyle of commuting to work and school.

    I was going to Portland State University and was living about 20miles away from campus. Needless to say I wasn't going to commute that everyday. I decided to take the light rail (MAX) and when I saw how crowded it got in the morning, I decided not to take my bike.

    I snagged a job up at a local supermarket working until odd hours of the morning in a rough neighborhood. I didn't feel comfortable commuting by bike when any given day there was at least one shooting withing a 5 mile radius of where I worked.

    Then on Jan. 18, 2009 a series of unfortunate events happened forcing me to become a bike commuter. My car (which I still owed a great deal of money on) had half of a tree fall on it as a result of a serious wind storm we had. THEN in a matter of hours my neighbor came home drunk and finished off the vehicle. My insurance company decided to total my car. I was upside down on the loan and as luck would have it, my loan was still paid off (I didn't have GAP insurance).

    Needing to find a reliable way to work I tuned up the Trek and began my commute. Work is only 5 miles away (1-Way). I use a couple of different methods to get to work. When it's dark outside (4:00am) I ride to the light rail station and take the MAX to the stop nearest my work and ride the rest of the way in. Then on my way home I suck it up and ride the 5 miles (mostly uphill).

    I never really encountered a period of not wanting to ride my bike. I need money and paying bills was my motivation to commute. Now that I am without a vehicle, I can save over $500 a month towards my future car. I plan on commuting to work until September and then I'll take the money I saved to buy a good used car, 100% cash.

    I have been overweight for about the past 8 years. I'm 5'10" and have been known to hover around 230-240lbs. The first week of riding I lost 10lbs. I haven't weighed myself since, but everyone at work and all of my friends have noticed a difference in my weight.

    So the health, financial, and boosted self esteem benefits of becoming a commuter will keep me motivated to ride.

  21. #71
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    It can sometimes be hard to get motivated in the morning. Like others have said, it helps a bunch to have everything ready to go the night before. That way there is no thinking involved in the morning and you can focus on getting out the door and on the bike. As soon as you start riding you are committed so you quickly become motivated at that point. The thing that motivates me the most is to think about the ride home. I really look forward to riding home after being cooped up all day in an office building.

  22. #72
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    Having a nice bike, is one great motivator....because it BEGS you to ride it more. The rest all falls nicely into place...until somebody steals it. So, invest in good U-locks!
    "The ONLY person who needs to race.....is the entrant"

  23. #73
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    If the money saved doesn't motivate you, think about how great you will feel accomplishing the ride each day. Your coworkers will talk to you about how you do it. My coworkers all think I'm crazy but they've watched me lose 40 lbs in the first 3 months of commuting by bike. You will feel better every day you ride instead of taking the train. Your body will crave good healthy food and you can eat delicious unhealthy food once in a while without worrying about gaining weight. If you are single, women will notice you more often and dating opportunities will arise from being in better shape. If you are married or have a girlfriend, then she will be much happier seeing you getting into better shape and it may even encourage her to start riding as well. Just riding to and from work every day will burn up the energy that keeps to up late at night and you will sleep better waking up earlier feeling energized. It's an all around good feeling to commute by bike. I'm switching from commuting on a Cyclocross bike to a Singlespeed Mountain Bike so I can hit the trails on the way home.

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asbury View Post
    Interesting comments posted here. I'm thinking of starting commuting, but I have to wear starched shirt, tie, and dress shoes to my job. There isn't a shower either. How do you all account for these obstacles?
    • Baby wipe shower.
    • Pedal slower!
    • Dry cleaners near or delivering to your workplace instead of your home.
    • Talk to air hostesses; they have to have their stuff in a suitcase, but they still have to look nice.
    • Microfiber shirts and certain fabrics will not crease. Sure, they're not as high brow, but they'll do the job.
    • Finally, consider a 4-1 commute. 4 bike commutes, 1 car commute. Car in one day a week, bring all your clothes. Bike in the other 4 days. A lot of guys at Microsoft do that.
    • Bonus points: always keep a spare set of attire at work. Trust me on this one, one day you will forget.



    Quote Originally Posted by Atomic300 View Post
    I can not motivate myself to bike into work. I want to do it so that I can save money on my train fare $115 a month. I would have to bike about 15miles round trip. I guess I go to bed to late to get up and get going in the morning. So what has made others to finally get up and get organized and motivated. I think once I get use to it I will be fine hopefully? Maybe not?
    Start off easy, and work your way up. Have a goal in mind for sure. Try and make a routine of it, and remove all blockers that might get in the way. If you find you hate riding in because it takes you so long to get all your clothes together, do it the previous night, for example. Pack your cycling gear so it's easy for you to just jump in to it the next day.

    Find the little things that make you happy too. Someone on the motorcycle group at work said something that rings true for cycling as well: "Do it because you love it, not because it saves you money. Grin factor has no monetary value, but is worth its weight in gold." Some people do save money in cycling, but I'm not one of them. I do feel better, I'm happier and I sleep better though, which makes it all worth it. The way I see it, I'd be drinking 4 cups of coffee a day otherwise, which means I'd be shelling out $1500 a year anyway.

  25. #75
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    One tip to get to bed earlier is to somehow shift your evening routine earlier, so that you still have time to wind down. For example I find if I make a big pot of chili and just have to zap a bowlful, that it saves a lot of time.

  26. #76
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    FORGET COMMUTING if you have to wear a shirt and tie, without a shower. Been there and done that....no thanks.

    Last job that I had to wear a shirt and tie, was when I was a Stockbroker. For me to wear a choker(tie) again....you'll have to pay me six figures.
    "The ONLY person who needs to race.....is the entrant"

  27. #77
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    I just keep the nice clothes at work, and ride in riding clothes. Wipe down upon arrival, change into work clothes. The end. Swap out the nice clothes at work every week or two when you're nearby with a car.


    I think the real question is "how hard is it for you to stop riding when you get to work?" Most days I want to just keep pedaling.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  28. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    I think the real question is "how hard is it for you to stop riding when you get to work?" Most days I want to just keep pedaling.
    Awesome and true.

  29. #79
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    The real question should be, how tough is it to look at yourself in the mirror if you don't commute. It means you are not giving your body what it needs to thrive and you are behaving like a sedentary shlub just like everyone else...

  30. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    FORGET COMMUTING if you have to wear a shirt and tie, without a shower. Been there and done that....no thanks.

    Last job that I had to wear a shirt and tie, was when I was a Stockbroker. For me to wear a choker(tie) again....you'll have to pay me six figures.
    There are ways to get around the possible funk of not having a shower. Granted I don't wear a suit or tie, but I do business casual wear at a lot of different client's sites around the city and I just arrange my schedule so that I arrive early, get wiped down, cool off a bit, then change well before my first meeting of the day.

    Around here I find folk are pretty darn forgiving of what someone looks like when they know he or she commutes by bike.

  31. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by blockphi View Post
    There are ways to get around the possible funk of not having a shower. Granted I don't wear a suit or tie, but I do business casual wear at a lot of different client's sites around the city and I just arrange my schedule so that I arrive early, get wiped down, cool off a bit, then change well before my first meeting of the day.

    Around here I find folk are pretty darn forgiving of what someone looks like when they know he or she commutes by bike.
    If airline hostesses can live out of a suitcase & still look great, I think I can manage to look good with gear packed in a backpack. There are ways to store a suit & tie such that they don't wrinkle (too much) . I generally roll my clothes, and while I don't wear a business suit to work, I do wear dress pants & a collared shirt. Probably a higher standard than most of the people I work with, and I'm the only one of them that bike commutes!

  32. #82
    Keep it Simple Stupid!!!
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    Getting Started is the hardest part. Once your used to it it becomes second nature and you get into the groove of your system. A good pack, Shoes you can walk in (I run egg beaters and Shimano MTB shoes) and the stuff to fix a flat. (I recommend slime). Most Importantly don't be a weight weenie as a commuter, you want a reliable bike that is low maintenance and comfortable for the distance you will be riding.
    Steel Freak
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How tough was it to begin to commute-10042010073.jpg  

    Who cares how much gas you save, ride your bike to work because it's fun!!!!!!!

  33. #83
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    The only thing stopping me to regularly commute is bike parking availability. Even if I manage to find one, I can't get my mind off that someone may be stealing a bike part or saddle or pedal etc.

  34. #84
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    My beginning came out of desperation and was a last resort. My Subie blew a timing belt/head, mech who did the engine replacement is dragging feet (3 months later) and I got a loan for a car that fell through.

    I tried for a scooter, no luck. So I resorted to a bike. I checked around locally (small town, no bike shops) and I didn't have a good way to the LBR's in town. So after hearing about bikesdirect I jumped on there and bought my Motobecane.

    The weekend I got it I was house/dog sitting near work, so I rode quite a bit over the weekend, the first time in a decade at least. Later that week I did my first 10 mile commute home and thought I was going to die by either stroke or car.

    I got info on the morning express bus, so I rice 6 of the 10 miles in the morning but I had the choice of hitching rides and paying out the nose for gas and being on other peoples time, or save the $ and ride. I chose to ride as much as I could. With the purchase of rain gear today I can drop even the bad weather rides to or from work.

    I have been maintaining a pretty steady 13.5 mph average, so 50 min ride home and honestly, even tho it was a hard go at the beginning, I am glad for it.

  35. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gundam168 View Post
    The only thing stopping me to regularly commute is bike parking availability. Even if I manage to find one, I can't get my mind off that someone may be stealing a bike part or saddle or pedal etc.
    It tried to get my employer to get one wall mount rack for $70 and got the excuse of not having the funds and to revisit the issue in a year. So I bring my bike into the call center and lean it against an empty cubicle. Even my sup support me on that and will back me if ever someone complains. None has as of yet.

  36. #86
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    I realized I was spending 80-100 / month on gas, plus I had nothing to do on gorgeous nice days like we've been having here in Washington. So, I went out last weekend, bought a bike from my LBS, and have started commuting by bike. Today I took the day off because I'm getting sick and thought it would rain, which it still might. I need rain gear My motivations are: health/fitness, saving money, and most importantly, FUN!

  37. #87
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    Invest in a good cyclocomputer. Once you see your trip times shrink and average speed increases...it NO LONGER BECOMES A CHORE.
    "The ONLY person who needs to race.....is the entrant"

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