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  1. #10826
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    Good ride this AM. 52F and no rain, though still damp from yesterday. My shoes were still soaked this morning. Not fun.

    So in Anchorage we just finished up the annual summer commuter challenge and it got me thinking about how to get people to move from a car dependent to a car lite mode of transport and viewing transport as just that - a means to an end rather than the end in and of itself. How do we move away from the one car one person paradigm that pervades the daily commute? Anyway, I'm working on a series of articles over at my blog about this. But what are your thoughts? How do we get people to loosen their grip on their cars, just a little bit? How did you all overcome the initial hump when moving from car to bike commuting? What was the driving factor for you?

    Thanks! Have a great day all. You all rock.

  2. #10827
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    A nice ride in, although it was lovely clear at my house and then got foggy and damp for the rest of the ride as I went down to lower elevations. I have been using the cross bike for the commute pretty much exclusively since I got the dog and tried to shorten my day a bit by driving the first hilly 4 miles from my house (itís geared a bit tough for my strength/that hill, but is great for the less steep stuff). But today the canoe was still on top of the car and blocking the hatch, so I just rode from home. A more challenging ride home is forecast. Hereís a beautiful loon from our paddle on Sunday (my friendís pic):

    How was your commute today?-loon-8-18-13.jpg

    blockphi, I think most people will need a crisis to get them out of the car initially. Like no gas available due to some disaster, big price increases, loss of a car, or road/transit congestion that makes the alternatives to biking more undesirable. bad habits are ingrained and tough to break!

  3. #10828
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    Quote Originally Posted by blockphi View Post
    How do we get people to loosen their grip on their cars, just a little bit?
    By the end of the year my wife's office will probably move - right now she's 20mi out of town on a really nasty highway, but her new office will be in town and maybe about 7mi away.

    Do I think that she'll ever ride to the new office? Not really. She doesn't ride much, so this would be a pretty long distance to start off with. The hypothetical route would have a lot of twists and turns through crappy industrial areas. Probably the biggest problem is that there likely won't be showers, or lockers, or a changeroom. I'll still probably mention it to her, and I know I could plan a good route for her, but I don't think it's likely to happen.

  4. #10829
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    Quote Originally Posted by blockphi View Post
    Good ride this AM. 52F and no rain, though still damp from yesterday. My shoes were still soaked this morning. Not fun.

    So in Anchorage we just finished up the annual summer commuter challenge and it got me thinking about how to get people to move from a car dependent to a car lite mode of transport and viewing transport as just that - a means to an end rather than the end in and of itself. How do we move away from the one car one person paradigm that pervades the daily commute? Anyway, I'm working on a series of articles over at my blog about this. But what are your thoughts? How do we get people to loosen their grip on their cars, just a little bit? How did you all overcome the initial hump when moving from car to bike commuting? What was the driving factor for you?

    Thanks! Have a great day all. You all rock.
    I think this is worthy of it's own thread.

    I think the main reasons are:

    -Lack of shower facilities
    -Most people are scared to ride on roads, especially during rush hour (why my wife would never ride to work)
    -Laziness. Why do any work when you can get in a comfy climate controlled SUV and have the 300HP engine do all the work for you?
    -Lack of publicity (most people don't even consider it)
    -Distance too great from work. When I tell most people I ride 15 miles each way they act like I ride halfway across the state everyday.

  5. #10830
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    Quote Originally Posted by blockphi View Post
    How did you all overcome the initial hump when moving from car to bike commuting? What was the driving factor for you?
    I loved riding bikes before I had a job to ride to. The opportunity to turn a hobby into a lifestyle was a no-brainer. For most people, it's like trying to force a new hobby on them AND asking them to break an engrained habit.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  6. #10831
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    All - thank you for your input! Gives me a lot to think about and write about. The idea behind all this is to find ways, first of all, to get more of my coworkers to ride on a regular basis and then, who knows? Maybe partner with the BCA and share our lessons learned to try and get more people out there.

  7. #10832
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripped1 View Post
    I ride on a bed of glass to and from work everyday, when its not entire bottles on the shoulder.
    .....going at a rate of about two patch kits a month. My tubes are actually dotted at this point. But they are holding air so I haven't replaced them
    I ride on a bed of glass as well. The first flat I got as a commuter was in January. Because I like to ride my bike more than I like fixing flat tires, I decided a little overkill was in order. I bought 5X thorn resistant tubes with Slime and also stuck in some tire liners. Haven't had a flat since. Well over a 1500 miles. I also pick thorns and glass out of my tires every single day when I get home. I feel the additional weight this adds is worth it. Just yesterday, I ran over a broken bottle on the way home cause I wasn't paying attention. I thought surely this would flatten a tire. Nope. Just picked some glass out of the tire when I got home.

    Good ride in today and a sluggish ride home.

  8. #10833
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    Interesting experience on the way to work this morning. Approaching a red light with a line of 4-5 cars, the light turns green. The lady at the back of the line has her blinkers on, so of course I slow down to let her turn first as she's in front of me. As we approach the intersection, she slows down (and so do I). She finally stops, stares at me, and goes "WTF"?? I blink, wave her on, and shake my head.

    +100 points to the lady for seeing a biker coming up BEHIND her.
    -50 points for being annoyed the biker obeyed the traffic laws and let her go first.

    She's still up by 50 points, though!

  9. #10834
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    Evandy, I don`t get it. The blinker lady was in front of you and waiting for you to go around her?

    I`ve had two slow leaks going on for a while now and finally went into action this morning with mixed results. The faster of the two (pump up daily before going to work and it`s "close enough" for the ride home) was easy enough to find, but the slower leak (twice per week pump) I still can`t find. I rotated it so many times through the water that it turned the toilet black (cleaned before my wife busted me ), but no bubbles. I sure wish I had an invisible tire to stuff tubes into so I could bubble-check them at higher pressure.
    Quote Originally Posted by blockphi View Post
    How did you all overcome the initial hump when moving from car to bike commuting? What was the driving factor for you?
    No initial bump, it just sort of happened little by little. I guess nice weather was my main driving factor initially. I feel very fortunate that most of the standard problems don`t apply to me- short enough that no weather becomes unbearable, rural route with no scary traffic, don`t have to maintain any kind of appearance standards, and I change into and out of a leased uniform every day anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    A more challenging ride home is forecast.
    Glad you made it home from downhill day unbroken, hope making it home from work is equally swell.
    Recalculating....

  10. #10835
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    Evandy, I don`t get it. The blinker lady was in front of you and waiting for you to go around her?
    Not just go around her... she was waiting for me to pass her, on the right, so she could make a right-hand turn.

  11. #10836
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post

    Do I think that she'll ever ride to the new office? Not really. She doesn't ride much, so this would be a pretty long distance to start off with. The hypothetical route would have a lot of twists and turns through crappy industrial areas. Probably the biggest problem is that there likely won't be showers, or lockers, or a changeroom. I'll still probably mention it to her, and I know I could plan a good route for her, but I don't think it's likely to happen.
    I have a shower and lockers, and the main reason that I can easily get away with it is because throwing jeans a shirt and a pair of chucks in a backpack is pretty easy. If I had to do business casual with the office rats on the other end of the building it would be more of an issue (or my cube would look like a store display) for a woman, that is even more of a challenge, depending on office dress and the amount of warpaint your wife wears.

    My roomate is a a woman that works in an office that is WAY more restrictive dresscode wise than mine, she has a hard time even riding a motorcycle to work, much less riding a bicycle.

    Ironically, she has cleated shoes for spin classes at the gym, and I still haven't gotten off my ass and found a set of cleats or pedals for my bike commuting 70+ miles a week



    Quote Originally Posted by vegascruiser View Post
    I ride on a bed of glass as well. The first flat I got as a commuter was in January. Because I like to ride my bike more than I like fixing flat tires, I decided a little overkill was in order. I bought 5X thorn resistant tubes with Slime and also stuck in some tire liners. Haven't had a flat since. Well over a 1500 miles. I also pick thorns and glass out of my tires every single day when I get home. I feel the additional weight this adds is worth it. Just yesterday, I ran over a broken bottle on the way home cause I wasn't paying attention. I thought surely this would flatten a tire. Nope. Just picked some glass out of the tire when I got home.

    Good ride in today and a sluggish ride home.
    Yeah, I DON'T miss goatheads at a all, those damn things were enough to flatten motorcycle tires (I used to live in New Mexico) fortunately I'm safe from those here.


    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    No initial bump, it just sort of happened little by little. I guess nice weather was my main driving factor initially. I feel very fortunate that most of the standard problems don`t apply to me- short enough that no weather becomes unbearable, rural route with no scary traffic, don`t have to maintain any kind of appearance standards, and I change into and out of a leased uniform every day anyway.
    I had a different issue, my license got suspended, so it was either take the bus....which is kind of hard when you go to work at 11:30pm most of the year.....or get to pedaling.

  12. #10837
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    I started because I got heavy and fat at a desk job all day. Realizing your belly jiggles walking up and down stairs is not a good feeling!

    Initially I started by throwing my bike on the bus rack and riding home twice a week for about a month. Later I got a different job and my commute went from 9 miles to 4 miles and there wasn't a good public transportation option despite living in San Francisco for that commute. Seriously, taking the bus is just as slow as walking my commute.

    So I thought 4 miles - totally do-able. The hills kicked my butt for a month. I dropped about 25 pounds in about a month or two.

  13. #10838
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    So I thought 4 miles - totally do-able. The hills kicked my butt for a month. I dropped about 25 pounds in about a month or two.
    Yeah, I have 5.7 miles door to door, I went from 220 to 195(ish) in two months flat.

  14. #10839
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    Quote Originally Posted by evandy View Post
    Not just go around her... she was waiting for me to pass her, on the right, so she could make a right-hand turn.
    Ah, now I get it. Yeah that`s a tough one. I sometimes catch myself on the shoulder and wishing I had just taken the lane, but by the time that becomes obvious, I`m already stuck. Sounds like what you got caught up in.
    Recalculating....

  15. #10840
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    I have been riding to and from (I used to bus home.) So I have been doing 20 miles round trip. But I've been enjoying it more since I bought road tires. I'm going faster, and real enjoying it. And since it's not as hot in the afternoon, I don't feel like I'm going to die. There is a chill today. BUT after a mile or two I will be hot and sweaty, so it's all good. (I start with a big down hill so it makes the chill even worse.)

  16. #10841
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    Quote Originally Posted by blockphi View Post
    How did you all overcome the initial hump when moving from car to bike commuting? What was the driving factor for you?
    Necessity got me over the hump. My wife and I still have one car. Initially, if I wasn't riding, I wasn't going to work. Now my wife is staying home with our baby, and I'm not even tempted to take the car. I actually kind of forgot it was an option.

  17. #10842
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    Thunderstorms in the forecast...I'm out of the habit of checking the weather, so I took a look last night at about 10:00... Oh shoot, 80% Chance of T-Storms. So I go downstairs to install the fenders. I knew going in that I had one broken fender from last year, but I figured I could find a way to make it work...

    By the time I came back upstairs I had two broken fenders, my front brakes weren't working, and I can't shift the front derailleur. And it's past my bedtime! Ever have one of those nights?

    Got things rigged up for now, but it's shopping time.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  18. #10843
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    A bit of a wet one this morning again. 51F and rain. I think I am over rain. At this point I say gimme snow...

    This Friday is my last one off until December so I think I'm going to use it to hit some serious trail riding. There will be mud, oh yes, there will be mud. Might head down to Jim Creek and ride the ATV trails out as far as I can. Or maybe just hang at the Crevasse Moraine trail system and finally ride Moose Poop Loop. Another option is to head out to King River and push up into the mountains on the ATV trails there or ride the Moose Range ATV trails. So many choices. Only one allows me to bike to and from the trail, though, so that's probably the one I'll go with. Just need to get out there, though.

    Thanks again for all your responses to my question from yesterday. I think I will post a new topic to see if I can get any other responses as well.

  19. #10844
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    Heavy commuter traffic this morning.

    How was your commute today?-picture1.jpg
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  20. #10845
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    little humid this morning, made it a bit hard to breathe, but a good ride in over all. stress free

  21. #10846
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    By the time I came back upstairs I had two broken fenders, my front brakes weren't working, and I can't shift the front derailleur. And it's past my bedtime! Ever have one of those nights?
    That's why I tell people that you need to have at least 2 bikes. "It's midnight and I've irreparably broken something? Meh - guess I'm riding the other bike tomorrow."

  22. #10847
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    ^^ I have 4. But I was looking at 80% chance of thunderstorms and zero bikes with fenders
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  23. #10848
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    But I was looking at 80% chance of thunderstorms and zero bikes with fenders
    They came south. Got drenched on my way to work just an hour ago- first time riding in genuine wet with fenders on this bike, and happy to have them. By some miracle, I arrived without any lightning strikes to my shorts, melting BVDs into my butt. How `bout you? Did you get a Sham-wow? If not, quit your belly-aching!

    PS: That`s a nice traffic jam
    Recalculating....

  24. #10849
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    Okay, I'll add some two cents on what brought me to commuting. Used to avidly mountain bike in the mid to late nineties. My buddies and I used to tear up the trails in Cottonwood Valley and Blue Diamond. And we should've--in early twenties back then. Next thing you know life happens. Wife and three kids. Last August, one of these buddies says we should get back into mountain biking for fitness and "good for the soul" reasons. So we do. First trip out there we're both nearly puking on the gradual hills we used to sail up as kids. Heart pounding, huffing and puffing. Basically, ready to die. Then guys start riding past us carrying on conversations while mashing the peddles down hard and moving up the hill quickly. I was certainly disgusted with myself for letting 15 years destroy my fitness.

    Anyway, figured I'd need more than a once-a-week mountain bike ride to get back in shape and get back to a fitness level where the mountain bike rides could be enjoyable again. So I started commuting. Both my buddies have again stopped mountain biking but I've stayed with it. Nothing like watching the sun come up on the Spring Mountains just west of Vegas. Every Saturday morning I start peddling just as the sun starts breaking and take in the show. Last Saturday, just as I started peddling, two rabbits, a coyote, and a burrow ran across the path. Kind of startling when it's basically dark still.

    Ride in this morning pretty good. Took some time today while at work to cut some trees back off my new route. These trees were hanging right in the bike lane. Part of my job is inspecting drop-inlets and putting in orders for the Vactor truck to clean them. I'm also tasked with keeping our right-of-ways clear. So it's good to be one of the guys tasked with keeping the bike lanes free of obstruction. Ride home a hot and muggy 108F.

  25. #10850
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    Re: How was your commute today?

    Ride my 'new' lemond to work the other day. Was missing the rack on my main commuter but hot damn does that thing feel fast - even faster than my cross bike when I had two chainrings on it. Should be able to fly once I get used to friction shifting and climbing with the taller gearing. Also found I can carry a large hoagie in a water bottle cage just fine.
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

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