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  1. #1
    Braaaapp!
    Reputation: adam728's Avatar
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    What makes one a "commuter"?

    Do you need to use a bicycle for commuting to work?
    Or is someone that just runs errands that would normally be done with a car count?

    I can't use my bike for getting to work, but do use it to get around some evenings and a lot on weekends. If I need to run to a local meeting, or over to a buddy's place, or something like that, I'll often take the bike (sometimes 10 miles on-way). But because I don't bike to work, I don't feel I am a commuter, just a guy that sometimes does errands by bicycle.


    As for why I can't get to work by bike, I am all over the place. In a typical day I do 170-200 miles, and have pushed 450 miles before. I think that's a decent excuse for not using the bike! Luckily this is just "temporary", and I may be in a more normal position within a year or so. I long for the days of living <1 mile from work like I used to!

    Not looking to justify myself as a commuter or not, just seeing what the opinions are on this. My friend thinks even is you run errands 5 times a week by bike you don't fit the commuter status. But if you rode to work once a month, then you'd be a part time commuter.

  2. #2
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    If you check a dictionary, you`ll probably find that a commuter is anybody who works in a different location from where he lives and has to travel from one to another. That sounds like you.

  3. #3
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    Sorry, maybe I should have written "bicycle commuter". Thought that was a given though!

  4. #4
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    Keep riding those errands and have fun. Don't get caught up in definitions.
    There are times when I have lived close enough to bike to the office daily and other
    times when biking wasn't possible due to distance. I've always considered myself a bke commuter.

    On occasion, my wife drops me off at my office with my bike and I commute 25 miles home. Cheers
    "I don't suffer from insanity!I rather enjoy it."

  5. #5
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelbender6
    Keep riding those errands and have fun. Don't get caught up in definitions.
    There are times when I have lived close enough to bike to the office daily and other
    times when biking wasn't possible due to distance. I've always considered myself a bke commuter.

    On occasion, my wife drops me off at my office with my bike and I commute 25 miles home. Cheers
    I like this answer better than mine. I didn`t mean to be a smart 4ss, but it came out that way.

  6. #6
    Braaaapp!
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    I like this answer better than mine. I didn`t mean to be a smart 4ss, but it came out that way.
    That's alright, I learned long ago that on the internet sarcasm is often mistaken as being a arse.

  7. #7
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    I never cared for the tag....

    "commuter" as it applies to cyclists. It's just a tag used for lack of anything better to call us I guess. That and it defines and catagorizes cyclists that use their bikes as primary transportation. Most people in the U.S. and many other industrialized countries around the world "commute". Whether by car, public transportation, walking, cycling, horse cart, etc. They live in one place and travel a distance to their place of work. It's a very general term that applies to anyone that lives seperately from their place of buisness or employment whether it's two blocks or however many miles away.

    Like wheelbender said, don't get hung up on definitions. Just ride! I suppose that by the strictest definition of the word you are not a commuter as applied to cycling. But there are lots of cyclists out there like you. Those that can't ride to work due to distance or other considerations. A friend of mine is in a very similar situation. He only lives 5 miles from work, but he only stops in at his physical place of empoyment about once a week. The rest of the time he's on the road, leaves from home in the company provided vehicle and doesn't get back till he's done for the day or possibly a couple of days. But any other time, for errands etc., he's on his bike.

    Anyway, don't sweat it, just ride. You're doing your part, and that's all you can do. In a broad sense I'd classify you as a commuter.

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  8. #8
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    The definition that the Merriam-Webster, online dictionary gives for "commute" is "to travel back and forth regularly (as between a suburb and a city)". Going back and forth to work is probably the most obvious way in which most of us "travel back and forth regularly". Younger people might also commute to and from school.

    I agree about not getting too hung up on the definition. You can probably argue that any trip that you do back and forth on a routine basis is a commute. For example, I commute to church each week. In common practice though, most use the term to refer to work- or school-related travel.

    I'm like you. I don't ride my bike to work. But I commonly run errands with it, and I often ride it to church each week.

  9. #9
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    In my book, a bicycle commuter is anyone that uses a bike for transportation and not just leisure activity -- for physically getting from point A to point B instead of using a car or something of that nature.

    You will know if you are a commuter or not. Its not so much about the actual definition, but about the mindset you have.
    -Jeremy
    08 Redline D440
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  10. #10
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    It's not important whether you actually ride to work or not. What is important is that you're not getting in your car and driving ONE BLOCK to the store! Keep up the good work!
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  11. #11
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    Im pretty new to commuting. I started last july and racked up 1000 miles in 2008. This years goal is 2000 miles. My commute is 11 miles each way. Figuring 3 days a week should get me at my goal.

  12. #12
    LCI #1853
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    I teach the League of American Bicyclists' Bike Commuter course from time to time, and I don't worry about the particular definition. What we teach is how to use your bike instead of your car to get wherever you need to go, how to carry stuff (cargo) along with you, how to deal with such things as dealing with riding clothes vs. work clothes, picking safe routes to ride, and so forth.

    I ride my bike back and forth to work, to make local errands such as down to the library, the coffee shop, the grocery store, post office, bank, over to a friend's house, to church, etc. I guess you can call it commuting, but "utility riding" is probably a better term if you absulutely have to pigeon-hole it somewheres.

    Dont worry about labels. Just ride.
    Ride a mountain bike... you will not regret it if you live.
    [SIZE="1"](with apologies to Mark Twain & The Taming of the Bicycle)[/SIZE]

  13. #13
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Yeah, "utility cycling" is probably a more accurate term, but it sounds a little funny. Not nearly as bad as "United Statesian", but...

    Hey, Dave S- keep it up! Have fun riding and show us your bike.

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