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  1. #1
    Contagious Xian
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    Idea! Commuting to Work

    I rode the Coiler to work in the snow today in my jeans with flat pedals and can't believe how I've been missing out on riding to work. Got a 30 minute ride in and felt great out in the nice weather.

    I'll have to make this a habit...

  2. #2
    King of the Barneys
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    Well, besides a permanent 10lb weight loss, commuting is a great wake up in the morning, good private time, and no matter what happens later in the day, at least you got a ride in.

    Welcome to the traffic dodging club.

    CDB
    May your trails be narrow, crooked, lonesome and dangerous, leading to the most outrageous adventures. Paladin

  3. #3
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    Me too...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bombin4X
    I rode the Coiler to work in the snow today in my jeans with flat pedals and can't believe how I've been missing out on riding to work. Got a 30 minute ride in and felt great out in the nice weather.

    I'll have to make this a habit...
    Commute to work takes 7 minutes on a roadie SS (mostly downhill)... I haven't had to fill up my truck in 2 weeks... Just gotta find me some fenders.

  4. #4
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    bike commuting

    I also bike to work when my work schedule permits. My own temperature threshold is 20 degrees and I won't go if it is icy. I used to be able to get in 2-3 days per week. Now I am lucky to get one day in per week, but I am hoping to get back into the routine with warmer weather. My co-workers think I am crazy.

    I have often debated with myself during the half hour ride the pros and cons of commuting:

    Pros - 2, 35 minute road rides per day, good alone time, great exercise, sense of feeling like I'm not adding to the pollution problem

    Cons - health risks of inhaling tailpipe fumes for 70 minutes, health risks of several tons of steel passing me at close range...

    matt

  5. #5
    Back of the pack fat guy
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    Quote Originally Posted by boisematt
    I also bike to work when my work schedule permits. My own temperature threshold is 20 degrees and I won't go if it is icy. I used to be able to get in 2-3 days per week. Now I am lucky to get one day in per week, but I am hoping to get back into the routine with warmer weather. My co-workers think I am crazy.

    I have often debated with myself during the half hour ride the pros and cons of commuting:

    Pros - 2, 35 minute road rides per day, good alone time, great exercise, sense of feeling like I'm not adding to the pollution problem

    Cons - health risks of inhaling tailpipe fumes for 70 minutes, health risks of several tons of steel passing me at close range...

    matt
    My thoughts exactly, but I only bike commute when there's enough daylight in the AM, so I'm an April - August bike commuter. 40 - 45 minutes each direction and I hear ya on the close range, high speed steel. Seems like I get at least one yahoo every couple of weeks who thinks its funny to come real close and honk as they drive by. At least my route maximizes greenbelt and lower-traffic roads with nice wiiiiide bike lanes.

  6. #6
    King of the Barneys
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    I appreciate what both of you are saying. Luckily for me, I only have 6 miles to ride, most of it on Victory Rd that has been expanded with a bike lane on most of it, I can leave after 830 when the traffic dies down, so its light out and not so busy.

    I also have (and recommend) 2 very bright obnoxious flashing LED lights on the back (not to mention high fashion attire).

    CDB
    May your trails be narrow, crooked, lonesome and dangerous, leading to the most outrageous adventures. Paladin

  7. #7
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    Just be extra careful. Here's a story of a friend of mine that got hit recently in Boise:

    [SIZE=2]For the past 9 years, I have been a bike commuter. This has become a habit that has definitely peaked in the last 6 months. I ride in all weather conditions, aiming for a goal of 4-5 days per week on the 2-wheeler. Last Thursday, March 2, after leaving work at about 4:45, I climbed on my bike. I was a little late and in a hurry, since I was supposed to meet my family and go out for a birthday dinner. To add to the trouble, I had a slow leak in the front tire and had to stop twice and pump up the tube. This added more time to my trip. At 5:15, I opted for a shortcut that I've used about six times in the last 2 months. (It saves about 5 minutes on my commute.) It takes me onto a busier street for about 2 blocks, until there is a safe crossing point. I was in the bike lane, but traveling against traffic for this 2-block stretch. A car was waiting to turn left at a side road that I had to pass (coming up on my left). With a gap in the main road's traffic, the car gunned it. I had focused on this driver, slowed, and established eye contact. However, when that car started to go, I resumed pedaling, knowing that I would be through the intersection by the time the next car in line moved up to the stop sign.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=2][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=2]Much to my surprise, the second vehicle in line at the stop sign decided to go at the same time as the first car. It squeezed into the gap between the first car (turning left) and the curb. The driver of this second vehicle (actually a pickup) accelerated all the way through the stop sign and onto the main road without ever turning his head to the right, causing unfortunate consequences for me. The truck T-boned me from the left. The bumper struck the tib/fib area of my left leg. Slightly later, the hood hit my hip. The bumper also simultaneously hit the front fork and rear down tube of my bike. Since the arrival of this second vehicle was such a surprise, I did not swerve or even stop pedaling. I was launched from my bike (still traveling in the bike lane) across the first lane. I landed on the pavement in the second lane of the main road. I can still vividly remember the feel, sound, and sensation. As I sailed through the air, seemingly in slow motion, I was thinking "What other cars will I need to dodge when I land?" Time sped back up when I hit the ground, and I bounced up quickly, fueled by adrenaline. Trying to get back over to the curb, I realized I couldn't put any weight on my left leg. It was fortunate that the same gap that both drivers were capitalizing on meant that the cars approaching in my lanes had time to stop before getting to me. Needless to say, I've had plenty of time to think how lucky I am, and how much worse the consequences could have been.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=2]My bike ended up beneath the guy's truck. (It took him a second to realize what had happened before he came to a stop.) It took the efforts of six emergency professionals and the driver approximately 30 minutes to get the bike out from under his vehicle. Ultimately, they had to jack the truck up to remove the bike. The alternative of being pinned under the vehicle doesn't sound much better than that of being hit by other vehicles. The attached picture of the bike might help communicate the situation.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=2]I had my helmet and gloves on and was focused on my situation (the first driver and traffic on the main road). However, I was not aware enough of other drivers on the side road. My fault was riding in the bike lane against traffic (instead of with it). The driver's fault was (1) not stopping at the stop sign and (2) not clearing the intersection before proceeding, according to the police officer.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=2]I have learned:[/SIZE]
    1. [SIZE=2][/SIZE][SIZE=2]
    2. Not to feel overly confident riding on roads or in traffic. Confidence cannot overcome physics.
    3. Time saved does not make up for injury or life lost.
    4. Never trust drivers or assume that they will follow driving laws. It only takes one casual slip by a driver (which all of us, in some small way, are guilty of each time we drive) to significantly affect a bicycler or pedestrian.
    5. Riding with the direction of traffic is the law for bikers riding on shoulders or in bike lanes.
    6. Always avoid roads, and especially main roads, if you can opt for trails or bicycle paths instead.
    7. Always wear a helmet and gloves.
    8. Bikes vs. cars? Cars win every time.
    9. [SIZE=2]As an automobile driver, it is important to be aware of all 3 modes of transportation that share roads: cars, bikes, and pedestrians.[/SIZE][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=2]I am fortunate that my injuries are limited to walking on crutches and dealing with some pain. However, nothing will prevent me from continuing to commute to work via bicycle, wiser from the lessons Ive learned. My family has successfully converted to a one-vehicle family, and I feel better about reducing my impact on air quality by riding. More important, biking to work has proven its effectiveness at keeping me sane and reducing stress--even factoring in the awareness of cars. Biking is also the most effective way for me to get regular exercise, a good challenge (to stay with it), and fun! I hope my experience will help everyone else stay focused and aware when they climb onto the seat of a bike.[/SIZE]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    I stopped driving my bike into my garage - I'm now protected with Roof Rack Ranger app for my iPhone.

  8. #8
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    holy crap!

    I'm glad to hear that your friend is recovering nicely and that the accident has not turned him off commuting. I think I'll start wearing my helmet during my 1 mile commute...
    But of course, being the bike geek that I am, after seeing that picture, I think, "Dang, that carbon seatpost sure is strong!"...
    G

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by flipnidaho
    I'm glad to hear that your friend is recovering nicely and that the accident has not turned him off commuting. I think I'll start wearing my helmet during my 1 mile commute...
    But of course, being the bike geek that I am, after seeing that picture, I think, "Dang, that carbon seatpost sure is strong!"...
    G
    Yeah, and the wreck turned his Fox Float fork into a Lefty!
    I stopped driving my bike into my garage - I'm now protected with Roof Rack Ranger app for my iPhone.

  10. #10
    the new Gilbert Grape
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    Yeah, the key to that story is "I was in the bike lane, but traveling against traffic." It's unfortunate that your buddy had that accident, but sometimes it's the biker's fault. And in this case, the bike was 100% at fault. It's a bit like driving your car the wrong way down a one way street and crashing - surprise, surprise.

    Bikes share the road. If you want to not be hit, you need to ride your bike like you drive your car. Don't go the wrong way in the bike lane, don't ride on sidewalks, etc. Car drivers look for higher speed traffic (i.e. bikes) where they expect that traffic to be. If you start making up your own rules, drivers will likely not see you.

    Drivers don't expect cars to be going the wrong way on streets. They don't expect to be halfway through a turn and have a car drop off a sidewalk in front of them. If you want to ride in traffic, ride where cars expect you - slower vehicles drive/ride on the right-side of the right lane. "Being seen" is the obligation of the rider

    Idaho has very progressive bike commuting laws. Bikes are not required to stop at stop signs (although they must slow to a speed to ensure that it's safe to proceed), bikes can go through red lights after stoping, and the bicycle laws are published in the driver's handbook. All of these things are not normally done/allowed in the US. We've got it great here, and bikers need to take advantage of it.

    Bike commuting in Boise is safer than just about anywhere that you'll ever find, it's convenient (most of Boise is pretty flat), and many more drivers are aware of bicycles than in most of the US.

    When Boise was named one of the best places in the US for bikes, it was correct. If you don't want to drive in this city you don't have to. Bike commuting is super easy in Boise, and trails are accessible by riding from your house.


    Pros of commuting in a car: none

    Cons of commuting in a car:
    - zero exercise
    - create pollution
    - create traffic
    - create sprawl

    So stick a "One Less Car" sticker on your bike, and hit the roads!!
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  11. #11
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    I have had numerous close calls with cars and trucks. I find the most dangerous time is not when it is totally dark but when the sun is coming up. I commute down Emerald going west. The drivers coming east in the morning this time of year look right into the rising sun as it comes up over the foothills. Several times, just before the 184 overpass, cars have turned right in front of me - they were not able to see me at all due to the sun.

    I've also had run-ins with very angry drivers who don't seem to want to share the road. A few years back on Emerald, I was in the bike lane, past REI, trying to turn into the left hand turn lane to head up Maple Grove. I signaled to make a left, and a woman in a car slowed down to let me cross in front of her (very nice of her). The light ahead of me was red. A guy in a minivan behind the nice woman who let me cross into the turn lane sped up, jerked into the turn lane to pass her, and in the process nearly hit me - so I flipped him off as he passed. He saw that, slammed on the brakes, and then jerked his door open just as I was passing him (I was now in the left hand turn lane and he was in the middle/straight lane). When we got to the red light, he rolled his window down, berated me for riding my bike, threatened to beat the dog-f*ck out of me (whatever that is) and got generally all red in the face. I admit I did a bit of yelling myself. I now don't flip people in cars off. Too risky. I know a guy who used to carry his gun when he road his bike to work as he had been threatened in similar situations.

    I have also been stopped by the Boise Police for going through a red light after coming to a complete stop and proceeding when the intersection is clear. I contested the $30 ticket he gave me, mainly because I wanted clarification on what I still think is a poorly worded traffic law. But do note that BPD does enforce the stop light law. I found out the hard way...

  12. #12
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    bikers must stop at red lights and proceed on green

    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux
    bikes can go through red lights after stoping,
    Not true. See my previous post. I contested a ticket I got for doing just that. The main reason I contested was to get a judge's interpretation on what I think is an ambiguous rule. It is very poorly written. The judge didn't seem to think so. As I said in that other post, the BPD does enforce this (well most of the time).

    matt

  13. #13
    Hi!!!
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    I too thought that bicyclists had to stop at a red light.

    Didn't Kouba or Z write up an article on the problems on Hill Road with bicyclists v motorists several years ago?

    When I lived on Parkcenter I would ride my bike a couple of times to work (downtown office, Downtown Y, West Y, Crane Creek C.C.) during the summer each week. Also applied to when I was going to BSU. That was fun. Thankfully it was mostly all Greenbelt. Wasn't that big of a fan riding on Chinden to get to/from the West Y.

    When I began working for REI a number of years ago I toyed with the idea of commuting, but Emerald can be a death trap sometimes .



    And now I live in Canyon County .

  14. #14
    the new Gilbert Grape
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    Hmmm... you were ticketed for it? The law seems pretty straightforward (assuming you yielded to traffic that had the green light). Read here:

    http://itd.idaho.gov/bike_ped/ID_Vec...r_Bikes_05.pdf

    Section: 49-720 (2)
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  15. #15
    KMRIA
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    I have been a bike commuter my entire life so when I moved to the area in November I fully intended to continue that w/some public transit thrown in. This was perhaps a bit naive considering the weather and my potential routes.

    I flew out w/only my bike & clothes and rented a car for a few days to get myself set up w/the essentials in my rental and to drive some potential routes to/from work/home.

    When I arrived a large storm hit and upon driving around I found that there was no decent route to get from my place in Nampa (off of Franklin north of 84) to my place of work in Meridian (north of 84 very close to the Meridian interchange).

    I bought a car a week later.

    However, the commute in the car is driving me crazy so I'm taking another look at my routes and I've lowered my standards in terms of what is an acceptable commute route. Instead of a wide enough (paved) shoulder to to accomodate a bike I'm looking to see if the dirt portion of the road is rideable. I'll probably start riding down Cherry or Franklin the next few weeks unless anyone on this forum has any suggestions on a superior route.

    Ideal world: the rail corridor is used not just for freight but instead as a multi-modal corridor including passenger rail service and a bike path.

    Echoing the earlier comments in this thread my years of bike commuting have forced me to adopt the following policies:
    - the rule of gross tonnage applies in biking, he/she who weighs the most always has the right of way
    - assume every driver is out to run you over, one of these lurk around every blind corner so you conduct your riding and route planning as such, no matter the affect on commute time/aesthetics/etc.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux
    Hmmm... you were ticketed for it? The law seems pretty straightforward (assuming you yielded to traffic that had the green light). Read here:

    http://itd.idaho.gov/bike_ped/ID_Vec...r_Bikes_05.pdf

    Section: 49-720 (2)
    Well, that is interesting as that is not how the law was written when I was ticketed (it has been three years). They have obviously changed it. Good news! Thanks for pointing that out. It is still wise to be very careful at intersections, though...

    matt

  17. #17
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    I have been hit twice...

    Once by a jetta and the other time by an expedition. The second time got me a new bike and a free trip throught the mri machine. One incident was on the greenbelt and the other on the federal way bike path. I tend to bounce amazingly well..although I care not to repeat.

    I will post some pictures from the expedition squishing my road bike under the passenger tire.

    Chris
    Live to ride!

    Cannondale Jekyll Carbon 1
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux
    Yeah, the key to that story is "I was in the bike lane, but traveling against traffic." It's unfortunate that your buddy had that accident, but sometimes it's the biker's fault. And in this case, the bike was 100% at fault.
    Actually, you'll see that he admits this fault, but a car not stopping at a stop sign is also against the law. The point of the story is not to trust what you think a driver is going to do. Don't assume anything. Going 2 blocks against traffic in a bike lane is something that many of us would do if we were in a hurry (kinda like J-walking or riding our bikes on the sidewalk). Just be aware and don't assume anything.
    I stopped driving my bike into my garage - I'm now protected with Roof Rack Ranger app for my iPhone.

  19. #19
    Back of the pack fat guy
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerx40
    Just be extra careful. Here's a story of a friend of mine that got hit recently in Boise:
    Yeah, I know that guy - we've ridden together a few times. He's a good buddy of another poster on here, cinnoman monkey. Lucky he didn't suffer more serious damage to himself...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux
    Hmmm... you were ticketed for it? The law seems pretty straightforward (assuming you yielded to traffic that had the green light). Read here:

    http://itd.idaho.gov/bike_ped/ID_Vec...r_Bikes_05.pdf

    Section: 49-720 (2)
    Here's my understanding - Idaho State Code allows bikes to go through a red after stopping, but Boise City Code specifies that bikes must follow the same rules of the roads as cars (hence, illegal to go through a red after stopping.) See Boise City Code 10-14-02(A).

    http://www.cityofboise.org/city_clerk/citycode/1014.pdf

    Hey Zebdi, you can't ride your seatless trials bike on the roads either. See 10-14-04(A).

  21. #21
    the new Gilbert Grape
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    Quote Originally Posted by Earthpig
    Here's my understanding - Idaho State Code allows bikes to go through a red after stopping, but Boise City Code specifies that bikes must follow the same rules of the roads as cars (hence, illegal to go through a red after stopping.) See Boise City Code 10-14-02(A).

    http://www.cityofboise.org/city_clerk/citycode/1014.pdf.

    Wow! Talk about legalese.

    Every person, regardless of age, who operates a bicycle upon a roadway, public parking lot, sidewalk, bike path, bike lane or other public vehicular right-of-way in the City of Boise shall be granted the same rights and shall be subject to the same responsibilities applicable to a motor vehicle operator by the laws of the State of Idaho, and the provisions of Title 10 of the Boise City Code not in conflict with and as authorized under Title 49, Idaho Code; except where provisions of those laws and ordinances by their very nature can have no application to bicycles, or where portions of this Ordinance direct otherwise.


    Title 10 is the Boise City ordinance (i.e it's referencing itself).
    Title 49 is the ID State codes that states that bikes can go through red lights after stopping.

    I have no idea if the paragraph says that Title 10 trumps Title 49, or vice versa.

    We need a lawyer.
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  22. #22
    Barneys Unite!
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    I know the answer to this one!

    Every person, regardless of age, who operates a bicycle upon a roadway, public parking lot, sidewalk, bike path, bike lane or other public vehicular right-of-way in the City of Boise shall be granted the same rights and shall be subject to the same responsibilities applicable to a motor vehicle operator by the laws of the State of Idaho, and the provisions of Title 10 of the Boise City Code not in conflict with and as authorized under Title 49, Idaho Code; except where provisions of those laws and ordinances by their very nature can have no application to bicycles, or where portions of this Ordinance direct otherwise.



    Answer: Cop in good mood = no ticket.
    Cop in bad mood = ticket.

  23. #23
    Contagious Xian
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    2 Things to add

    Quote Originally Posted by CBro
    I also have (and recommend) 2 very bright obnoxious flashing LED lights on the back (not to mention high fashion attire).CDB
    1.Wait til you get the ghetto homebrew light setup on that bike - you're going to get a ticket for driving around with high-beams on.

    2.You just gave away the secret to your fashion success - your reign as Top Fashion Queen is now officially over.

  24. #24
    King of the Barneys
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerx40
    Just be extra careful. Here's a story of a friend of mine that got hit recently in Boise:imes New Roman] [/FONT][*]Always avoid roads, and especially main roads, if you can opt for trails or bicycle paths instead. climb onto the seat of a bike.[/SIZE][/FONT][/FONT]
    [SIZE="4"][/SIZE] This sounds like the bad wreck on Fariview, near the Winco. If so, I was there shortly thereafter, and call me a religious nut if you want, but when I saw what happened, it really affected me, I stopped and prayed for the guy who got hit. In between that and wanting to get my gun and go after the idiots that hit him. Kinda like the mercy and the wrath of God. But that's for another thread.

    But seriously, you really do have to take full responsibility for your safety, and assume nobody can see you, idiots will always do something stupid and dangerous, and never presume that others will yield or even notice you.

    CDB
    May your trails be narrow, crooked, lonesome and dangerous, leading to the most outrageous adventures. Paladin

  25. #25
    Contagious Xian
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    Quote Originally Posted by CBro
    But seriously, you really do have to take full responsibility for your safety, and assume nobody can see you, idiots will always do something stupid and dangerous, and never presume that others will yield or even notice you. CDB
    And you want me to buy a road bike???!!!!

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