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  1. #1
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    What is your motivation to commute?

    Lose weight? Save money on gas? Help the environment? Stay in shape?

    I have a 4.5 mile commute each way, fairly easy along the Bay in Northern Ca. Mostly bike paths, easy. I still have a hard time sticking to it, and find I only do it a couple days a week. When I do commute though I feel so much better afterwards, it's the getting up earlier and gearing up that is hard!

    How do you motivate yourself or stay disciplined?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
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    The relay to my cooling fan went out in my vehicle. No problem, 30 minutes of my time and it's fixed right? Well, I had been looking for a way to motivate myself to ride to work more often and figured this was my chance. I didn't fix the car for 3 months and rode the 17 miles each way everyday. I became so used to the routine of riding that it is now easy. Take away the option of driving and it is amazing what you can do. I know this is kind of extreme, but it worked for me. Good Luck.

    Matt
    I'm here for the OT

  3. #3
    I got nothin'
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    Once you start commuting on a regular basis it becomes part of your routine, just like driving your car. My commute is short so I ride almost everyday to save the car, gas, environment, and keeps me in shape for MTB'g.
    I ride at ludicrous speed

  4. #4
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    Its just easier for me, and faster I might add. I'm 6/10 of a mile from work. I have'nt driven to work in almost 8 years. CHEERS!
    Oldest daughter doesn't ride, she fights MMA.

  5. #5
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    I don't use cars.

  6. #6
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    for me it started as a way to save money on gas when it hit 4 dollars per gallon here in the midwest. I had also just put almost a grand into repairing the royal queen family truckster and realized that if that thing took the pipe, I've got no way to buy another car...gotta make this one last...
    Spring time here is glorious. a nice quiet ride 8 1/2 miles each way...also it's a great way to decompress before I get home from work...It only takes about 20 minutes longer to ride the bike than drive the car...PLUS...Hey! I'm getting a workout in 2 times per day!
    Now it's starting to pay off...I'm losing inches if not pounds, and summer is really a great time of year here...
    Now I'm 4 belt loops smaller, fall is great...the colors are slowly changing to...Winter...
    cold and dark on the way, and people keep asking how long I'm going to ride...I just tell them I'm riding tomorrow...
    I'm 43 and in better shape than any time in my mid 20's and 30's...I love my bikes and the time spent on them. It all starts one day at a time and becomes a habit that you don't want to break...Just keep going...

  7. #7
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    I started commuting basically as a way to get regular exercise in my extremely busy schedule. I figured if I were exercising on the way to do something else it would enable me to do it more often and I was correct. Before this I would have to plan out bike rides on the weekends or run in the evenings after work.

    Its almost a game to me now.. I just like to see how long I can go and do it- just to sort of prove to people around me that they dont NEED cars to get around, and they dont HAVE to pay out the nose for gas if they have a little motivation. People know me now as a bike commuter and almost expect me to show up to work or wherever on my bike.

    I also ride competitively in the summer and see commuting as a way of doing some freestyle training. I am certainly not a slow and steady relaxed commuter. I am usually out there runnin' and gunnin' doing sprints on the way to work or whatever.

    Lastly it is an insanely fun way to get to and from different places. It feels good to know that I powered my own journey, and actually I am becoming more and more hesitant to drive at all because driving a car or "cage" as some people call them is just SO annoying. My blood pressure goes up instantly when driving with people cutting you off, going slow in front of you, not using turn signals, waiting to the last second to turn, etc. When I am on my bike I dont have to deal with any of that. It definitely lowers the bloodpressure to ride instead of drive.

  8. #8
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shwaa
    Lose weight? Save money on gas? Help the environment? Stay in shape?
    All of the above and then some! Until a couple of years ago, I never owned a car so I simply walked everywhere. Public transit down here on the Peninsula is rubbish. It's unreliable and a waste of money IMHO, so when I started working so close to home I stopped taking the bus and walked exclusively. Even after I bought a car I still walked most days of the week. Earlier this year though, I started having a lot of health problems like a bad cold that just wouldn't go away and didn't feel up to walking so I drove. Turns out I have Type-I diabetes. I started treating it, problem solved (well not really, but at least the cold went away). Then I started having problems with my feet and legs. Turns out I had planar fasciitis. Started treating it, problem solved but now I haven't been exercising or working out for months. I've been wanting to start biking to work anyway, especially when gas prices were sky rocketing. There was also the added benefit of reducing my carbon footprint and not putting so many miles on the car, plus the exercise does a lot to help with my medical condition. Money is tight too, but I was able to pick up a cheap bike from a friend at the beginning of October and I've been commuting to work on it everyday since. I feel great and look forward to getting up every morning so that I can ride. My only regret is that my commute is not longer!

    How do you motivate yourself or stay disciplined?
    It's easy. I have to get to work somehow, and it's so close that it's almost asinine to drive anyway. Also, I'm just now getting back into cycling after being away from it for 15 years so the desire to get back into shape fast is very strong with me. I have a lot of catching up to do!
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  9. #9
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    Parking is a PITA at school and the permit itself costs $150/semester. I probably save about twenty five minutes by riding vs. driving. So I save money on the parking permit and gas and overhead car expenses if we want to get into the details.

    Riding has just become instinctive at this point and I just reach for the bike when I go anywhere unless it's far away, then the car must come out of it's cave. Just force yourself to do it for a few weeks and maybe it'll become second nature to you too. OR sit down and calculate exactly how much money you'll save by commuting for a year or X amount of time.

    Plus, it's fun as hell.

  10. #10
    bicycle dreamer
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    All of the above.

    Staying in shape, coming to work with that post-workout endorphin high, coming home with that post-workout endorphin workout high. You get to see a city on 2 wheels, and you become part of the environment, instead of just an obstruction in it. Employer benefits are always a plus, but I would be doing this regardless. It just makes too much sense.
    Moving the soul with two wheels.
    I have a slight cycling addiction.

    Now living in Nagoya City, Japan!

  11. #11
    I'm SUCH a square....
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    There's a lotta answer for me to that question!

    Y2K, I took a new position with my employer, involving bikes (cheapos); the old high-school pre-car passion began to flare up again. I started to ride again for commuting. The joy kept growing!
    '04, my car went t!ts up, and a replacement wasn't in the budget, so I called the junkyard, sold the junk, and threw a leg over the bike every day since. I was already commuting every day possible anyway.... The only time I don't is when the snow/ice makes the surface conditions too hazardous.
    In '01, I read the 40th anniv. issue of Bicycling, and saw a piece that changed my life. A man in Ohio was still riding his bike 35-45 miles 3-4x/week...at AGE 95!!!!! I want to be that guy!!!!
    The joy is still there; the fitness gain is amazing, I feel 10 years younger than I am, the freedom from a car is like carrying sunlight...It's a toy, transportation, green, and the passion of my life, the only drug that's both addictive AND good for you, all wrapped up in one package.
    There's an article on this website titled 'Why Bicycles Are Better Than Women' -- being twice-divorced, I can really relate to this one...!
    A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....

  12. #12
    dirtbag
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    I also live in the bay area and commute by bike everyday. The weather is mild all year long and my commute is short - a little over a mile each way - that I'd be a fool not to. I don't even get to work up a sweat so I just wear street clothes but put on bike shoes, helmet and gloves. My motivation is knowing I'm saving hundreds on gas.
    Amolan

  13. #13
    Squeaky Wheel
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    18.5 miles each way, and a lotta hills. I do it for fitness.

  14. #14
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    I found that when I started commuting 4 outa 5 days a week I was totally hooked. My round trip commute is 27 miles and its been quite a way to learn my limits especially in the summer when I wanna do recreational rides on the weekends. At this point I dread using the car one day a week but theres a fine line between eating, the immune system, overexertion and fatigue that needs to be respected. Of course athletes consider my 15mph daily rides as junk miles but its almost effortless if I don't hammer a road bike and ruin it by riding fast. I also notice that when I'm spending lots of time with a girlfriend the amount of riding definitely gets cut back appropriately which comes loaded with lots of other baggage etc. .
    This winter it looks like I'm gonna be unattached for the first time in a few years so my weight will stay under 135 while I usually balloon up to 145 when partnered up. My resting HR is below 50, my age is above it. I don't ride for exercise, not even an issue.

    As far as the money goes, I'm storing a '94 car that runs like new as it hibernates most of the time. The only negative is the stupid ass liability insurance premium which always assumes you to be an average this or that so us cyclists get to pay for folks who play bumper car while they're texting. . .

    If you're starting out I would suggest relocation to an area where its mild and living less than 5-10 miles from where you need to get to each day. When I moved to Oregon from the bay area I was already a die hard commuter otherwise the weather might have discouraged me, not that its really bad here. You guys who commute in the midwest and all have my respect.

    When its pouring and 42 degrees I still get to ride a paved bike path all the way to work which we have to ourselves and laugh at sheople in cars as they cheer for bush monkey and his war pigs with their actions. Enough motivation for me!

  15. #15
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    It's only 2.5 miles way. I save fuel and get a bit of exercise. Plus working at an auto parts store make is even better! I do have 2 cars, just figure riding the bike will keep some miles off!
    2002 Schwinn Aluminum Comp. Beater.
    2009 Gary Fisher Utopia - Commuter.
    2009 Trek 1.2.

  16. #16
    local trails rider
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    A variety of reasons:
    - one car in the family is enough and my wife often needs it at work
    - bus routes make that option more time consuming
    - it is only 5 miles or so
    - I have pretty nice route for riding to work
    - it puts me in a better mood in the morning than driving or taking the bus
    - it has become a habit

    This morning my wife asked if I want to take the car. My answer? "I'd really prefer to ride." So I rode on the dry and grippy snow of the paths, and got myself some fresh air.

  17. #17
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    Commuting by bike has so many benefits that is almost undeniable to pass up.

    I started commuting to school this fall semester and so far, I lost my gut, 13 lbs lower, feel great, saved 165 dollars on school parking, breathing fresh clean air. I don't even think about the gas i saved because I ride because its fun. How great is it to just ride to get to where you want to go without the stress in traffic? I get bummed when I reach my destination cuz my ride is over.

    I really get bummed when I walk out of class and realize I drove because I had to dress up for presentation =(.

    I am addicted for life...Stay safe and keep riding.

  18. #18
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    I love to ride plain and simple. If it didn't I wouldn't do it. The rest of it is simply a side benefit. I've discovered that there are a pethora of reasons to start. But if you don't like it you won't stick with it. That's why I don't look at it as a "work out" or "a way to loose weight", or any of the other reasons you can think of. I love riding my bike! I can't think of any other motivator that would keep me putting up with idiot drivers, close calls, flat tires in the middle of a rain storm, snowy icey roads, sub-freezing temperatures, etc.

    Don't get me wrong, the other reasons for riding the bike to work are certainly valid and the benefits are real. But when it boils right down to it, don't you love the ride?

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

  19. #19
    ol'guy who says hi &waves
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    60-70 miles round trip, once or twice a week, year round, for the last 10 years for...

    D. all the above
    .

    I may not have the best of everything, but I have the best everything that matters.

  20. #20
    Mantis, Paramount, Campy
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    Training

    Its the only time I have to ride.

    I did it every once and a while for years but now that my schedule is more hectic it is the only chance I have to log miles.
    *** --- *** --- ***

  21. #21
    nothing relevant to say
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    I make a reward for my family if I commute at least 3 days. We save cash if I ride, so we'll go out for a nice dinner those weeks, come Friday. The wife works at Olive Garden, so we already eat there for nearly free.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
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    I stay motivated through pure, unadulterated self-righteousness. Riding to work is the right thing to do any way you look at it. Anyone can drive a car.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shwaa
    Lose weight? Save money on gas? Help the environment? Stay in shape?

    I have a 4.5 mile commute each way, fairly easy along the Bay in Northern Ca. Mostly bike paths, easy. I still have a hard time sticking to it, and find I only do it a couple days a week. When I do commute though I feel so much better afterwards, it's the getting up earlier and gearing up that is hard!

    How do you motivate yourself or stay disciplined?
    Maybe yr bic is not that enjoyable to ride.. When I first I bought my commuting bic, the gear, wheel acceleration is not that good. I have a hard time climbing slope and poor acceleration makes me demoralise. Soon I have a massive upgrade on the bic. Changing the drivetrain, upgrade the wheel. I feel so happy everytime sitting on the saddle.

    It was a joy to ride it for commuting! I pick up speed easily. Going faster than motorist during jam. Always reach my workplace on time.

  24. #24
    Which way? Uphill.
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    It gives me an excuse to own another bike and do more tinkering.

    I also like that for only a 35 minute net time hit I get 2 hours of exercise, it makes it easier to keep up with both running and riding.
    Blog

    Just keep spinning. Just keep running. Just keep paddling.
    Just keep moving forward.

  25. #25
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    I started 'cause I just didn't want to get another car (and insure/maintain/etc... it). The car alone would cost a lot more than a bike (just for a baseline crappy ride of indeterminate reliability) and then there's all the care and feeding it would require.

    I continue 'cause I like it.

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