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  1. #1
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    Military Bicycle Commuting

    I am currently in the DEP for the USAF and leave in January. I am 18 and once I get stationed, I do not plan on buying a car. I am an avid mountain biker and in great shape. I was just wondering if anyone had any ideas for commuting once I am stationed. Unfortunately, I do not know where it will be yet. What kind of bag do you use or your setup? Mountain bike?, hybrid?, single speed?. Any ideas? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Cross that bridge when you get to it. You have a lot of stepping stones in your life/carreer before you can make an informed decision on how you are going to commute.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjbrand20 View Post
    Unfortunately, I do not know where it will be yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    Cross that bridge when you get to it. .
    I would wait until you get stationed at your first base. I know at Beale some housing is quite a distance from the airstrip. If you plan on living in housing off the base, then you may want to consider the distance to where your shop will be when reporting for work.

    I would wait until you get stationed at your first base and as Silentfoe stated "Cross that birdge when you get to it."

    Best of luck and thank you for your service!

  4. #4
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    $20 says if you get a bonus you're buying a car.... either way, i would suggest buying a car, even if it's a cheap clunker from the lemon lot ... girls( or guys, it is the new military! "not that there is anything wrong with that - Seinfeld) don't want to ride on the handle bars or pegs of your bicycle, they want to do dirty things in the back seat of a car ...
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  5. #5
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    Thank you guys. I mostly started the thread to see if there were any current service members already riding around bases. I haven't seen too many discussions about riding on bases. Just curious. Thank you for the input and I will 'cross the bridge when I come to it'! I'm proud and ready to be a member of the USAF!

  6. #6
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    i see a few people riding around on base out here. but when you want to/have to leave base(med appointments, movies, mall, dates, lunch, ect...) you'll have to ask for a ride. you're young, i'm old. 11yrs. in. my 1st huge advice, SAVE YOUR MONEY! that way if you decide to get out in 4-6 years you'll have some cash to support yourself. if you stay in, either buy yourself a nice reenlistment gift or, SAVE YOUR MONEY! one thing is for sure that you might not be able to fully understand as i and others i work with, time will fly by quicker then you know it and when the day comes after spending a but load of money you'll realize "$h*t! i wish i saved some money!" don't know what your job is but TDY's and Deployments will get you hard earned green but as fast as it gets into your bank account it'll be gone on stupid stuff... but as suggested, buy a car, used from the lemon lot, certified used or new, which ever route you go drive it into the ground before finding a replacement. to put things in prospective, the amount of $$$ i've spent on my 550+rwhp'ed '95 firehawk i could have had a brand new Z06 nearly paid for in cash, a hefty down payment on a ZR1 or a nice down payment on a house when ever it is i get out..... and now, after 11 years, i'm living paycheck to paycheck trying to get bills paid off and out of debt.
    words of advise:
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  7. #7
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    The Commuting sub-forum has some subscribers who don't always read this forum.

    I think I have some idea of where you're coming from. I'm finishing my Master's and getting married in March and April respectively, and at this point, I don't know what happens after that... but I've still worked out the coming season's training plan.

    As far as specifics of your bike commute - I agree with the others. Wait until you're stationed. There are a few reasons. You don't know how far from base you will be, you don't know what kind of route you'll commute on, and it's a pain in the butt to travel with a bike. I guess you get some awesome deal on shipping, but even so - probably not worth it with your first station coming up so soon.

    For myself, I've commuted on a singlespeed and currently commute on a multispeed road bike. Singlespeeds are nice because they're cheaper to build up and maintain, but I live in a hilly city now and prefer to have gears. I've also commuted on a mountain bike - that was when I was in college and had access to trails right around where I was commuting. So your existing mountain bike, or an old beater you have around, is another option. Hybrids suck. If you're already an athletic rider, you'll just be fighting it trying to get it set up for you. So either a proper road bike, geared or not, or a proper mountain bike, geared or not.

    As far as the bag - I prefer messenger bags on road bikes and backpacks on mountain bikes. I find that backpacks always move to the side on a road bike, and I also ride in a lower position; backpacks end up too high on my back and put extra weight over my hands. Lame. I adjust my messenger bag to sit lower, nearer to my hips. But on mountain bikes, I sit a little more upright and feel more of the weight hanging from my shoulders, so it balances better with a backpack, and if I'm also mountain biking, I want something more secure. While a proper messenger bag won't fall in front of me - that's the purpose of the stabilizer strap - when I have them sitting lower, they can still end up someplace weird if I'm moving around enough.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  8. #8
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    Used motorcycles are cheap reliable transportation. I just bought a 92' BMW K75 for $2500 to ride to work. Get the bike and a motorcycle.
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  9. #9
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    Motorcycles don't tend to be the favored forms of transportation in arctic conditions.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  10. #10
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    ^ hey! I've been to Minot! it's only winter 9months out of the year!
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  11. #11
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    You're going to need a vehicle dude.

    I'm a SSgt in the AF myself, on active duty right now.

    It gets really old when other people have to drive you around base, to appointments, classes, and mandatory functions.

    Living in the dorms, you'll be just fine to ride into your building on base daily. But I wouldn't expect to rely on others for transportation every day, especially when it gets cold.

    Buy a beater with a heater, and do yourself the favor.

    Good luck, and save your money.
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  12. #12
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    block heater FTW!!
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  13. #13
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    You will most likely be living in the dorms. I was USAF SSgt and now civil service AF. Set aside around $5k for a small pick up like a ford ranger or equiventent. Cheap on gas, insurance and you can still haul a mtn bike nicely. There is usually a small click of people that mtn bike on the base. Who knows you may be overseas. I was at Luke AFB....but didnt take advantage of the mtn biking while there. Then went to Spangdahlem, Germany. That was some of the best biking there. I got pics of riding trails all around the Zugzspitz in garmisch, germany. There is lift access riding there too.

    Many times the traffic outside the base is not really safe to ride a bike.
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  14. #14
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    I spent 20 years in the Air Force (now retired) and not having a car is all well and fine in certain areas I was stationed. However, there are those times that a bike and the weather of a certain local do not mix. California during deluges, not a good time. Okinawa during a typhoon evac, not a good time. Korea during a snow storm(ice storm), not a good combination. Anytime it's raining biking is not a safe option if there are cars around. And wearing blues, if ever required, no biking.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jollybeggar View Post
    Used motorcycles are cheap reliable transportation. I just bought a 92' BMW K75 for $2500 to ride to work. Get the bike and a motorcycle.
    -1. I have a two wheeled addiction. I have my '11 ST3 and that does me no good if there's a trail that's just a little farther away than I want to ride (some people rig it up, but let's be realistic, here) The bike won't keep you warm when its cold or cool when it's hot. The ride form the dorms to work (depending on what shop you're in) wont be bad, but like Ol' boy up there said, people get tired of giving you rides ALL THE TIME wen it's icy, or there's something off base. And your fellow Airmen won't appreciate you not being to pull up and help out with chow runs if they do them. Get some crappy lemon lot junker that will carry your bike and spend your spare time riding it. Don't be that guy that gets a brand new challenger sitting out there in the dorm parking lot.
    "Faster, Faster until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death." - Hunter S. Thompson

  16. #16
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    I'm 20+ years military, currently active. I spent 16 in the Air Force and now stationed at Ft Carson, CO. My commute is 25 miles one way, and when I was only 5 years in, my commute was...well...about the same. I spent close to 14 years in Arizona and I'll tell you, I wouldn't want to be caught without a car during summer...and girls I dated have a bias toward guys with cars.

    Keep riding, but get a car. Like someone already mentioned, even if it's a clunker.

  17. #17
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    I was in the Army. I had a mountain bike before I had a car. I used it to get around the base, and town a little, and of course, mountain bike. We were lucky that there were some trails on base and not far off. This worked out fine for me for nearly 2 years. I don't remember having to get "rides" anywhere. Our barracks were about a third of a mile from our motorpool, and our headquarters was another third of a mile or so in the other direction, the post stores were not far when riding the bicycle, and going off-base to someplace we usually carpooled or took a cab anyway. It worked out fine for me. It seemed like the entire post was designed so you didn't have to go very far for anything and that you didn't need a car to survive. Maybe they design other posts differently, idk...
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  18. #18
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    from the official website of the USAF:

    Commentary - Ride like you're invisible

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