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  1. #1
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    Why did you start commuting?

    Like the thread title says, why did you start?

    For me, it was financial, theological, and moral. In that order.

    So, what about you?
    Bourbon: Because no good story ever started with "So, there we were eating salads".

  2. #2
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    Re: Why did you start commuting?

    It was a way for me to get two hours of riding in a day without taking up two hours of time I could be spending with my family.

    My commute via driving takes about 30 minutes each way so now I get two hours of riding while only adding 1 hour to my commute.

    Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk 2

  3. #3
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    Originally it was due to blowing the engine in the vehicle I had at the time and being to frugal to take the bus when I had a bike already. Now its become a backup option and/or if I feel like doing it

  4. #4
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    Started when a judge told me not to drive or a certain amount of time. Now I do it because I love it, feels great in the am and is a good way to get some stress out after work.
    I also feel a little guilty that my Suv is huge gas guzzler, I feel if I commute and run most errands on my bike, when the time comes, I can floor it all over town and not feel guilty.
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  5. #5
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    This is exactly why I starting to commute to work, I have a 15 mile commute into work and the weather has cooled off enough to actually enjoy the ride now. Not to mention the gas money and wear and tear on my vehicle.

  6. #6
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    Best way to get saddle time in busy life
    ...turned into self-imposed challenge to make it through winter
    ...turned into best way to get some sanity time
    ...turned into necessary decompression time
    ...turned into the new normal.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  7. #7
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    I started riding to work because I like riding. Sometimes it's a good way to get miles when time is tight. It saves on gas and wear&tear on the car. It has been a big part of my cancer recovery. 9 mo of steroids caused me to pack on the pounds and turning the pedals helped me work them off.

  8. #8
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    I started when I moved from South Dakota to Anchorage Alaska and sold our second car. I needed to get to and from work while my wife needed a car to run the kids to their various activities and such. It was a self-imposed attempt to simplify my life in some small way. By the time the first winter was about half way done I was hooked. Honestly, when we moved here I fully expected that I'd get a cheap car and would end up driving to work, but I found that the ride made me feel better about myself, gave me time to get away from work at the end of the day, and gave me a decent workout on a daily basis.

    I'd say money had something to do with it, but it doesn't feel that way when it seems like I am always buying parts for the bike to keep it running.

  9. #9
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    I started regularly when I was between cars for a couple months, starting in November in VT. The need to get to work, a certain amount of stubbornness, and no car, were my gateway drug. Now seriously addicted.

  10. #10
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    Why did you start commuting?

    I started after I decided to sell my truck to catch up on some bills and to become more self reliant. The idea of relying on others to do for me when I can do for myself doesn't sit well, and I got sick of it.

    It's since become an obsession.
    Bourbon: Because no good story ever started with "So, there we were eating salads".

  11. #11
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    For me it was the joy of pedaling and the fresh air. Then I realized how much gas I could save with one car and a wife and three kids at home. Now it has just become a prt of my daily routine. I'm looking to do my first full winter with out missing a day. We will see.
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  12. #12
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    I had some extra cash I needed to blow, thought that new gloves, lights, a string of different tires, and a few racks/bags would be a good way to lighten my load.

    Just kidding. Sorta. Actually I think it was nice days that made me want to bike commute- it`s been a long time and my memory is foggy.
    Recalculating....

  13. #13
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    When gas went up last year I had enough of paying the oil companys and said enough is enough. I was spending $40 a week on fuel, now down to $40 or less a month and some months $0.00 on fuel, not to mention less wear and tear on my car. This also includes my motorcycles, I hardly ride them (3) anymore. I still drive when I really need to but not to often. I commute 25 miles round trip and sometimes twice a day, and have been averaging between 150 - 200 miles a week on my bicycles.

  14. #14
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    Had a half hour walk to work for a couple of years. Switched jobs, and wasn't about to go back to driving.

  15. #15
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    I loved riding bike. So I got a classic 10 speed (2 x 5 this is long before 10 cog clusters) new in 1972. Rode it to distant classes and off-campus as an undergrad. I suspect I was addicted to the endorphins or the grin I got. I would do a lap of the ring road to justify using it to go to a closer class. Fun riding in a 25 mph zone with the cars.

  16. #16
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    I changed jobs, love riding and driving 5 miles makes me angry, stupid and lazy.

  17. #17
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    My total commute distance is 50 miles. Quite a stretch! The first 30 miles are o.k. by car (finest German autobahn) but for the remainder 20 miles I would have to cross town. And this is pure horror by car. Therefore, I have my bike in the trunk and ride those 20 miles. For the most part on vey good dedicated bike lanes.

    This allows me to live in one of the nicest spots of the world but to work in the big city and still get my daily routine of cycling.

    I don't have any moral sentiments regarding bike commuting. Just can't stand driving car in a city or spending to much time in car. And I can't really see how I save lots of money. quite to the contrary. My bike commuting is a constant drain for money. In order to do it year round it takes some investments.

  18. #18
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    I'm an injured runner looking to get my exercise fix.
    I'm leasing my car and only have a certain number of miles on it.
    I'm always looking for a way to increase my time outside.

    And then the obvious saves money, saves gas, better for the environment, less wear and tear on my car, etc, etc.

  19. #19
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    Originally, because I didn't want to be dependant on the bus. I was fourteen, so I couldn't drive at the time.

    At different times, it's been about convenience, speed and sneaking some riding into my day. I think it has occasionally saved me money, though most recently I had a bus pass whether I wanted it or not. Now, I drive a really long way to work. Oh well, nothing is forever.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by WiTrailRunner View Post
    I'm an injured runner looking to get my exercise fix.
    I forgot about that (since I haven't run in 5+ years now), but it's true for me too. Loved running, but hated running on the treadmill to save my knees. Love riding, but haaaaaaate stationary bikes.

  21. #21
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    yeep, same story with running. Used to be an ardent mountain runner, twisted my ankle many years ago, still feeling pain after running. Now I'm a bike commuter. Well ....

    For sentimental reasons, this used to be my hometrail for running. It starts just behind my house:

    Why did you start commuting?-dsc_0184.jpg

    and this is typical for my bike commute ... well, well, well ...

    Why did you start commuting?-img_0240_1_2_tunnel_bearbeitet-1.jpg

  22. #22
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    It allows me to ride without spending as much time riding. Instead of spending an hour commuting in my car everyday, I can spend 2 hours commuting on my bike. I get 2 hours of riding time with only 1 hour of extra time taken out of my day. On days when I'm really busy, I can take a shorter route and instead of 1 hour, it's 1.5 hours, only an extra 30 minutes spent.

    It's partially the "green" in me, though I'm certainly no environmental saint, my Jeep gets 17mpg!

    Last but not least, it's because I enjoy it. I love riding, I'd rather be on my bike than sitting in my car in traffic.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    I forgot about that (since I haven't run in 5+ years now), but it's true for me too. Loved running, but hated running on the treadmill to save my knees. Love riding, but haaaaaaate stationary bikes.
    I tried a trainer last winter for my bike. Horrible contraption. I have no idea how people can do that. I went insane after 20 minutes. I need to be outside.

  24. #24
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    In my younger years I was riding road/cyclocross at national elite level. Our coach was a former East-German national coach. In winter he made us ride indoor facing a blank white wall. He called it "character building". "Learn to deal with pain"

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by WiTrailRunner View Post
    I tried a trainer last winter for my bike. Horrible contraption. I have no idea how people can do that. I went insane after 20 minutes. I need to be outside.
    I still have the trainer I bought when I was going through recovery. It was vital for my fitness/sanity. My balance was garbage and I wasn't allowed to let my HR get over 150bpm. I rode with a HRM in the house in front of the TV. It was boring, but outside wasn't an option. When I was finally allowed to go outside and my balance was good enough to stay upright, commuting was my gateway to mtb fitness. I still wasn't allowed on mtb trails yet. I actually enjoyed bike commuting so I still do it. It's not a daily thing for me now, though. Mostly because of my work situation ATM.

    Financial differences are pretty tough to list out comprehensively and come up with which is cheaper in the long run. You don't buy gas, but by riding everywhere you wind up eating more. You don't spend as much on auto maintenance, but you gain bike maintenance tasks. You add clothing and gear suitable for the weather you ride in (hot, cold, rain, snow). If you keep the car, you don't really lose monthly payments from the loan or insurance. You have to ditch a car for that. Thankfully, my car is paid off, so I'm only paying insurance/registration on it. Riding makes you healthier which results in fewer health problems in the long run.

    For a 6mi RT commute onto a college campus where I could park in my office, biking almost daily definitely was cheaper for me when I started. Now, with a 44mi RT commute, not so much.

  26. #26
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    My car broke down. Couldnt afford to get it fixed so I had to get to work somehow. lol Now i do it cause its peaceful and its "me" time away from everyone.

  27. #27
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    A few things had to occur before I had my epiphany about commuting by bike. I got a job much closer to home that put me within reasonable riding distance. I was wanting to ride more and traveling from 30 to 50 miles from home to find a decent place to mountain bike. Finally, I decided it was really silly for me to be driving somewhere just to ride my bike.
    Now I find it ironic how much people complain about gas prices yet burn so much gasoline just for recreational purposes or doing things like driving to the gym to run on a treadmill.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by nemhed View Post
    Now I find it ironic how much people complain about gas prices yet burn so much gasoline just for recreational purposes or doing things like driving to the gym to run on a treadmill.
    Yesterday there was some big run going on in the park that I ride around on the way home, and traffic was backed up for a good 4km. Silly runners.

  29. #29
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    Last fall as the daylight hours outside of work were dwindling to the point I could no longer go riding after work I got the commuting bug.

    It's an awesome way to get some miles in when the trails are no good or there's not enough light. I've also found that I'm more alert and functional at work when I ride and I have a much more positive outlook on life in general. Riding daily also burns enough calories that I don't need to go to gym (which I loathe) or worry about what I eat so much.

    It's also given me an excuse to buy all manner of new bike parts I'm sure I haven't saved any money given that I'm always buying something bike related but it's a good time and satisfying nonetheless.

  30. #30
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    I started commuting (if you want to call it that) back in 2004. I was medically retired out of the US Army, I spent 5 years in the Special Forces, one year as an infantryman. In early 2003 my Team and I had a bad day down range in the Ghan. We lost three Good Operators, I lost two two, one finger, 11 feet of intestines, broke left knew, jacked up the right knee, jacked my neck up, broke my sternum and broke both hands.

    It was a bad day and one hell of a long year to recovery. I went from 300 pound of mean rip your head off power to 180 pounds in a 46 day coma, which it has taken me since then just to get back up to 270 pounds.

    Almost one year to date whilst still doing therapy I was pushing my self harder than I ever had with only one goal, to get back on a Team. However I found out I had a brain tumor and the Army said I could have it treated and maybe die like some punk on a cutting board or recover but never get back on a Team or that I could medically retire and then get it treated.

    Well I joined the Army under the 18X Program, that means all I wanted to do was be SF like my brother before me, my father and my two uncles.... Hands down no other options. So I took the retirement.

    I spent about six weeks back home on our South Texas Farm, one week we had the entire family there and we started talking. Naturally I was still pissed off, my brothers said I could try to get on a private Team but I was not feeling that.

    My mother & father who knows me best said just leave. They knew I would never seek treatment for my brain tumor and only had 3-4 years to live, they said just name the tumor and leave, get back in the bush riding, climbing, swiming, hunting, fishing.... Anything just stay in the bush doing what I love to do and not care about anything else.

    So since 2004 I have been in Europe living on my Army retirement check just riding my bike around. I do not have a house, I just ride. I looked up some old friends who where in NATO country Special Forces here in Europe because I knew many of them where riders. Now we have 33 members we ride with, most former SF from Britain, France, Germany, Czech, Norway and Russia. We do not always ride together most of the year but for 4 months out of winter we meet up and head to Italy for the winter and set up camp like a bunch of Gypsies. Generally speaking year round I am riding with 6 other riders because we all enjoy riding the same countries, regions, trails at the same time of year.

    So I started commuting to die happy in the bush. I have I guess overstayed my welcome in life according to the BS projected date US doctors gave me but every quarter I go to a doctor in Europe that is contracted my the VA and they have told me that it is because of my lifestyle that I am still going, not just going but improving my health. Personally I just can not think of another way to live & die than in the bush, beit the bush of an area of conflict, austere environments or just the country side. The bush is my home and I get to camp in the bush, mountains, beach or even paid camp sites that have hot showers and internet. I get $3,820 bucks a month from the Army and only spend about an average of 400 bucks a month to live on and feel like I live like a KING. So when that day comes and I rot in the bush I can at least leave something behind, as I am sure it will cost my family a small fortune to transport a rotting Clyde back to the US for a funeral (if they find me, LOL).

    No other way to live....
    De oppresso liber

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by nemhed View Post
    Now I find it ironic how much people complain about gas prices yet burn so much gasoline just for recreational purposes or doing things like driving to the gym to run on a treadmill.
    I love when I see people driving around the gym parking lot looking for the closest spot, which usually happen to be the people who get on the treadmill and walk for 45 minutes while texting the whole time.

  32. #32
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    Damn, dude, helluva story you've got. My docs attribute my recovery to the strength I obtained from fitness and good eating before I got sick, and after treatment. It makes a huge difference, that's for sure.

    Major downer on the docs who gave you a timeline to die, though. Bad form. My own docs outright refused to give anyone survival odds or anything approximating them to my family. Pissed some people off, but odds and survival projections don't mean $hit when you're stronger/healthier than the "average" people those numbers are based on.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    but odds and survival projections don't mean $hit when you're stronger/healthier than the "average" people those numbers are based on.
    Dude I never once thought of it that way, it makes total sense and a very cool way to see it. I named my tumor, I figured it was mine to keep so instead of an abortion I would just name it. Works for me, I call it Lumpy. Just being optimistic I guess but your optimism is more fact than anything else.

    I hope your recovery goes well.


    Kind Regards
    De oppresso liber

  34. #34
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    Why did you start commuting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Texan-n-Fla View Post
    Like the thread title says, why did you start?

    For me, it was financial, theological, and moral. In that order.

    So, what about you?
    I have to get from home to work and back. Can not work at home and can not live at work.

    Please note that to OP and the board title make no mention of the mode of travel.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan67 View Post
    Dude I never once thought of it that way, it makes total sense and a very cool way to see it. I named my tumor, I figured it was mine to keep so instead of an abortion I would just name it. Works for me, I call it Lumpy. Just being optimistic I guess but your optimism is more fact than anything else.

    I hope your recovery goes well.


    Kind Regards
    Hope you do well, too. Funny how we have both named our brain lesions. Mine wasn't a tumor, but a swollen area that showed up on MRI's for a couple years and made me nervous because we didn't know exactly what it was. My wife and I named it Harold. I always say that Harold was like a bad houseguest who opens up your medicine cabinet and rearranges everything so you can't find it. I did finally kick Harold out, but it took a lot of time.

    Basically living off your bike in Europe is a pretty incredible way to live. Riding with friends, riding everywhere, great stuff. Nothing defines "Get Busy Living" better than that.

  36. #36
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    When I ride I feel like I am among the more sane people I find using the road. I may be biased or maybe it is the heavy metal poisoning? Better to function well with a Harold or a Lumpy or a bunch of toxins than not function too well as a cager with an anger issue. Separating loving your fellow man while hating what they are doing is tough love.

  37. #37
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    We found out my wife was pregnant with our second child, 4 months after that I had major repairs to do in my vehicle. Decided to sell it and pick up a bike.

    Now the wife is not working so our income came down to half and we only have one vehicle which she uses to pick up our older daughter from school.

    Started by need but its been 7 months and I don't feel the need to buy another car.

  38. #38
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    It was something I always wanted to do. I finally moved to a job close enough to home to be able to do it. Great way to get extra miles without sacrificing too much family time. It is good therapy for me.

  39. #39
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    Why did you start commuting?

    Good for you, Flacko! Sounds like your story is close to ours.
    Bourbon: Because no good story ever started with "So, there we were eating salads".

  40. #40
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    1 car, 2 jobs across town, 2 people trying to scrape together a living. I chose to commute by bike so my wife could take our car. It became a relief valve from work and I basically became addicted. It's my time, my buffer to keep a bit of sanity between work life and home life and it works surprisingly well.

    Now I do it for the chicks...

  41. #41
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    When gas hit $4.00 a gallon about 5 years ago, it started to cut into my coffee and beer budget, eegads. So I started biking the 18 miles( one way) to work, 2-6 trips per week. Averaging about 2,000 bike commuter miles per year. Great for my mt biking habit and my waistline too.

  42. #42
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    My car got repo'd.

    I started looking through the bikes on craigslist when a coworker noticed and asked me about it. I told him I needed a bike to get around on in the $200 range. He said he had a bike he was looking to sell for $200. I asked him what kind and he says, "Cannondale". I didn't know it then, but that turned out to be the best day of my life.

    A year and a half later, I still haven't gotten a car. Don't want to. That's money I could be spending on bike parts.
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  43. #43
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    I started because I enjoy riding and I have a nice 6 mile commute to one of the offices I visit. I've been riding to work 2 or 3 days a week for the past 3 years and love it!

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgiantsfan View Post
    Started when a judge told me not to drive or a certain amount of time. Now I do it because I love it, feels great in the am and is a good way to get some stress out after work.
    I also feel a little guilty that my Suv is huge gas guzzler, I feel if I commute and run most errands on my bike, when the time comes, I can floor it all over town and not feel guilty.
    Pretty much the same for me. I initially started bike commuting this June because I couldn't stand taking mass transit. Kept telling myself and everyone else that I would be back to driving as soon as I was able to. Didn't happen; got my license back in mid-August and am still using the bike to commute to work. I enjoy riding too much to give it up and am now in better physical shape then I ever have been. Tried out mountain biking this summer, loved it, and bought my first hardtail 29'er.

    My morning commute is now in the mid-30's and the evening one in the 50's, and it's dark both ways. I thought I would stop when the temps dropped and I had to start riding in the dark, but I love the brisk mornings. The only thing that stops me is the rain; I just can't stand to ride in it and opt for the truck instead.

    Now my truck sits in the garage all week and only comes out for weekend outings, camping trips, and rain commutes. My year old car has sat in the garage since May and has officially become a spendy garage queen.

  45. #45
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  46. #46
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    I have been riding for over 40 years, I have been a dedicated roadie doing long rides on the weekend and trying to get out sometimes after work mid week, or sneaking out to go for a ride.

    I rode to work once in a while but it was never a thing and always felt a bit "odd". Then bike to work week hit and there was a challenge in our firm, country wide, so I thought why not? It poured all week and I had a great time. Loved it.

    Been riding since. I have to take the car sometimes because of other stuff going on either after work or during the day, but for the most part I'm riding.

    Hardly ever buy gas any more, realized the other day that I hadn't driven a car in two weeks.

    I ride from home to my gym, then from the gym to work and then a long ride home after work.

    It was -1* this morning when I left the house! pitch black! and it was fabulous.

  47. #47
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    I blew up the engine in my 90 integra back in may. I have like 90% of the engine, but I need to save up money and time for that last 10%. Round trip commute is 30 miles through phoenix during the night to work, and early morning going home.

    The light rail is 60 a month if I take that, which I do when its hot, and zero during the cool season since I can EASILY outrun the train time wise. Im saving about $50+ a week in gas. My girlfirneds mad I bought a 260 dollar bike instead of a cheap one to replace my crap commuter but she doesnt realize its already paid for itself! !

  48. #48
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    I wanted to move closer to work but couldn't justify the increased cost of an apartment in town without a decrease somewhere else. I live in a nice college town and apartments here are more expensive than neighboring towns. The cheaper places in neighboring towns are offset by the need to drive to work and the increased spending in gas and time in car (30min). By commuting by bike I can afford to live in a nicer place, closer to work. I feel more connected because I will cruise around on the bike and explore rather than drive straight home from work and staying there.
    Last edited by Dantheramblingman; 10-16-2013 at 01:32 AM. Reason: grammer

  49. #49
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    I switched jobs at work/got promoted. I had to start working earlier. They made my start time still late enough that I can take the bus if needed. But I figured I would buy a bike and start biking to work. 10 miles one way (I was busing home at the start), and for the first few months my knees hurt, my legs were on fire at times, and my but was sore. Now I like it. I have lost weight, damn near a pant size, which is just an added bonus to me. At first I kinda dreaded it. Now I love it. I haven't bused home since September 21. (Other then Concerts that I go to,) I haven't been on the bus. And I don't plan on busing in this winter.

    I bought a Trek Crossrip (I had a Wal mart bike before, still do in fact.) And really when I'm on the bike I'm truly happy. I don't think about anything, just the ride. I don't pay any mind to anything else. Just the ride. And even in the rain, I enjoy the ride. It's my quite time, it's like my solitude, and it calms me down from work, and wakes me up on my way in (all the coffee helps to I'm sure.)

  50. #50
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    [QUOTE=My girlfirneds mad I bought a 260 dollar bike instead of a cheap one to replace my crap commuter but she doesnt realize its already paid for itself! ![/QUOTE]

    My wife used to get mad about bike costs too.I sat her down one day and explained that we spend in excess of $8000/year on cars alone so, I was henceforth going to spend about a grand/per year on bikes. Kind of hard to argue with as I am the one making the money that I'm spending. Additionally, the significant health benefits are great for an old fart like me! I still have to remind her occasionally...I've been bike commuting 2500+miles/year since 1999.

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