How commuter-friendly is your city?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    How commuter-friendly is your city?

    I gotta say, commuting by bike is right up there with favourite types of cycling for me. So, I was just wondering where people lived, and how safe you felt on the roads. Do you feel safe? Does your city support commuting?

    Here in Calgary, AB, Canada (pop. 1 million), personally I think we have it pretty good for a few reasons:

    - I don't experience vehicle/rider conflict on the roads too often; they are pretty good with moving over when they pass (even in an Industrial/Commercial area, where I work)
    - I think we have the largest network of bike pathways in Canada, although I could be wrong
    - every company I've worked for downtown has provided bike storage of some sort
    - dry climate and not too much snow means it's possible to commute all year round (although it can get pretty damn cold in the winter)
    - there are some bike racks on our city buses, but I think only on a couple routes.

    I'm curious about other towns or cities. Is it safe and easy to commute for you?

    cheers

  2. #2
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    also living in Calgary and I've got to agree with everything you've said.

    - as you mention, we have an excellent MUT system meaning most commuters to downtown are kept away from the major roads (bonus for both the riders and the drivers)
    - when it snows, the MUT is typically plowed by 9AM the next day
    - mostly respectable drivers. I've only had a few close calls in the time I've been commuting (sleepy drivers turning without checking for my flourescent yellow arse is the usual close call case)

  3. #3
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    Calgary isn't bad, but isn't great.

    They plow the major paths really good, but forget to do the major river crossing bridges.

    They have lots of paths, but regularly forget to get them installed in new neighbourhoods, or allow really dumb blockages to occur.

    They are absolutly ridiculous with some of the closures for "safety" read *****y homeowner.

    They continue to believe that putting all mut users together when there are options is a good thing.

    They believe a fence and a sign is better than allievating the problem.

  4. #4
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    Fairly friendly. The city is not too large. Biggest issue is that all the corporate stores are on the rich end up town so if you have to go shopping that area is not bike friendly. Otherwise everything is okay. Sometimes a motorist will occasionally yell at me to "get the #*(@ off the road!" But that's not too bad. Most cars do a full lane change pass around me. They're building up the trail network and most of the highways have a tunnel along them so it is easy to plan safer routes anywhere. But it's in Wisconsin, so it can get to -20 to -30 for a few weeks in the winter and then as it thaws the roads turn into potholes.

  5. #5
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    i don't live in a city, my commute is entirely rural with decent enough shoulders. however, i've travelled alot, and the two best cities i've seen for riding/commuting would be anchorage, ak followed by san diego, ca. anchorage has alot of paved bike paths running all throughout the city and along the highways. the roads can get treacherous in the winter, but it's still better than philly or nyc(lived in both). san diego has a really large network of bike lanes, paths and routes. i only rode through the city, but was really impressed with the bike infrastructure. this was back in 2004.

  6. #6

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    We don't have anything where I live. Not even sidewalks...

  7. #7
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    Sacramento is great. For my commute I've got 19 miles of car free bike trail and one mile in downtown with sketchy traffic. It's not horrible though, and the weather is pretty good. Especially right now.

  8. #8
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    Pittsburgh seems pretty good to me

    I dont know if it just that there are enough bikes where I live people are used to keeping there eyes open or what but so far its been great commuting or just cruising around, I live about 10 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh in the Strip and can get pretty much anywhere I need to on a bike safely (and I am a new commuter, I know you experienced types can zip down most any road)

    We have miles and miles of easy trails that are nice to just cruise when I want few hours of silence or a chat with my girl friend when she rides with me, its great being able to peddle an easy 20 miles (the trails are flat running along the river) and not having to pay attention like I do in traffic. I am rehabbing a broken knee and it is just fantastic to have the trails

    I can roll over to Frick and ride around on some nice single track (still trying to find the best places, I worry about plowing over a spandex clad speed walker/attorney that cant here me calling because he/she has there iPod blaring away to the latest........oops I am rambling

    I lived in both Souther California and the gulf coast of Florida and never would have thought Pittsburgh is where my biking addiction would be reborn.


  9. #9
    NormalNorm
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    I live in Hamilton, ON.....and its not too good. We have a "mountain"(really a large hill) in our city. Not one bike lane goes up the so-called "mountain". There are only a couple of streets that have bike lanes. For a city that hosted the Worlds in 2003...they have no idea about cyclist and commuting.

  10. #10
    Red Rider
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    So, I was just wondering where people lived, and how safe you felt on the roads.
    I live in Atlanta, Georgia and I feel pretty safe commuting on the city streets. My work commute is good too. The roads are a lot rougher on my work commute because it's mostly backstreets that aren't maintained very well and the other part is in an area heavily traveled by tractor-trailers.

    Do you feel safe?

    Yeah, I feel pretty safe. Most of that comes from doing it so much that it's a habit or past trial-and-error situations that you learn from.

    Does your city support commuting?

    I think it does. I have seen a few developments in the last 3 years. A few are:

    - Bike racks on all the city buses. You can also take your bike on the train.
    - On some of the newer streets and neighborhoods, they are painting bike lanes.
    - Georgia got a cycling license plate last year that uses part of the fee for bike related
    developments and improvements.
    - Bike racks in a few key areas. (Could use a few more.)
    - The city's mayor and a few other local politicians are involved in a bike rally that promotes
    cycling in the city which was established about 3 years ago. They actually ride bikes
    through the city with the group of cyclists.
    RIDE OR DIE...

  11. #11
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    I live in a city of 3500-4000 my commute is very good on the way to work , but somwhat sketchy on the way home because I have to cross the main hwy through this area during rush min. traffic. the city council has no plans for bike travel .

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by redrider_stx
    So, I was just wondering where people lived, and how safe you felt on the roads.
    I live in Atlanta, Georgia and I feel pretty safe commuting on the city streets. My work commute is good too. .
    I was in Georgia last fall and Atlanta sure looks like a nice city for cycling. Not too much traffic (compared to some cities I have seen), and plenty of people on bikes and bikes locked up everywhere.

    I was staying out in the 'burbs, tho (Kennesaw) and the traffic and bike/pedestrian infastructure was far inferior. THousands and thousands of cars everywhere; sidewalks, but no-one using them; I think I saw one bus the whole time I was there.

    Georgians are nice people though.
    "Newfoundland dogs are good to save children from drowning, but you must have a pond of water handy" - Josh Billings

  13. #13
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    I live in a town of about 5000 people in Ontario, Canada. THe town itself is good for cycling because there are wide streets, and a 40km/hr (~24mph) speed limit that most people obey, as well as many bicycle/pedestrian paths through the undeveloped wooded areas, and a small xc ski/bike trail system on the edge of town.

    Most of the people here work at the plant in the next town - about a 15km drive away on a busy highway with no shoulder or bike lane. However, there is a service road closed to vehicular traffic that cuts through the woods and follows an old pioneer route directly to the plant, and employees are allowed to bike or walk or run on that road to work.Since it is a secure site, nobody even locks their bikes - they are all just leaned up against trees, and it's like they are on vacation

    In the winter there is a trail though the woods by which people can XC ski to and from the plant. The trail is not groomed and is quite hilly and demanding. Also, the plant is at a few hundred meters higher elevetion than the town, so the ski and bike to work is generally more demanding than the ski and bike home. In fact, most skiers gert a drive in to work and only ski home - its like eating desert without finishing your veggies

    I lived in Ottawa for six years before I came here and it is quite a good city for cycling. There are bike paths and lanes going across the city in most directions, and people are generally polite to cyclists.

    Before Ottawa I livd in Toronto briefly and it is also a good city for cycling. Traffic is quite heavy downtown and cars are often moving slower than bikes. I didn't ride much outside of the downton, though - its nasty out there.
    "Newfoundland dogs are good to save children from drowning, but you must have a pond of water handy" - Josh Billings

  14. #14

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    I live in Birmingham England and to be honest its rubbish. The roads are to narrow and to busy, theres a high number of buses and lorrys that are in to much of a rush, the standard of car drivers is poor to say the least. what cycle lanes there are are either full of parked cars, dont go where you want to go, take you up the steepest hills, strangely vanish for no reason when you get to a part of the road when you really need them.

    on the plus side however we do have quite a good network of cannals, parks and other non road ways to go and if your lucky enough to be able to string them together in a route to take you wher you want to go then its a really fast way to get around the city and even to the outlying towns around the west mids if you have the legs and and strong wheels.

  15. #15
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    I live in downtown sacramento, commuting from the suburbs to here is good thanks to the jebediah smith memorial trail (i think). Biking downtown is alright depending on the street, there are a ton of oblivious drivers though. A bike path along the railroad that bisects the city would be awesome though...

  16. #16
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    I live in Baltimore City. When it comes to safety, traffic is the least of your worries.

  17. #17
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    Minneapolis/St. Paul here. Pretty bike-friendly metro area. I rent a bike locker on the university campus, keeping my bike out of sight and out of the elements - the latter being more of a concern when they plow the snow over the bike racks. A lot of bike lanes or wide shoulders around the U of M campus, in downtown Mpls., around several parks and lakes, etc. Several rails-to-trails leading out of the city. A lot of public transit is bike-friendly as well, with racks on most buses and the light rail. Most drivers are pretty courteous, though I've had my share of those who are not. As far as that goes, I hear suburbs can be a little scarier, but I don't venture out there very often. Added plus: great local mtb group (morcmtb.org) has a number of trails within a stone's throw of the city.

  18. #18
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    Athens, Ohio here and the highways are death traps because too many people try and force you into the guard rails and well if you live in town it's not good either because almost all the streets are brick, uneven, and full of holes, not to mention narrow. No bike lanes exist either. The sidewalks are also death traps due to broken beer bottles, trash, and tree roots (it is a college town afterall).

    It makes me sad because I only live 2 miles outside of town on a major highway, but the few times I've attempted to commute they were white knuckle adventures.

  19. #19
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    Seattle, WA. I like it. Nice wide streets, a couple pretty useful rail trails, fairly laid back traffic. Bike racks on the buses, lots of bike shops around. It's pretty hilly, which is a bit of a pain for the commute.

    I used to ride in Boston, MA. Aggressive drivers, narrow roads, snow and ice... Seattle is a lot better. Though Boston did have and adrenaline factor.
    We all get it in the end.

  20. #20
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    Chicago suburbs here... I have it made for most of the year, as I live right down the street from the IPP (crushed gravel trail in the rails-to-trails style). I can hop on that and get almost all the way to work without having to ride on the road. However, in the winter and early spring, the gravel trails are a sloppy mess, so I'm forced onto the roads. I see others commuting on the streets around me, but I can only handle so much of it. Some areas are nice, with wide shoulders, but the streets are usually busy with little to no shoulder. And I don't want to even start on the quality of drivers around me...

    Did I mention that I got hit by a car back in August? And that he turned left in front of me, while being directed to stop by a police officer? Thankfully he was turning into a parking lot and we both managed to slow down a LOT. I walked away with bruises and a bent front wheel, but I left some nice marks on his hood!

  21. #21

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    Boulder, CO

    We own the streets; cars beware.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by TobyNobody
    I lived in Ottawa for six years before I came here and it is quite a good city for cycling. There are bike paths and lanes going across the city in most directions, and people are generally polite to cyclists.
    Yeah, Ottawa is awesome. I went to Carleton for a couple years and lived at Prince of Wales and Hog's Back. It was a great commute by bike, albeit pretty short.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott
    Calgary isn't bad, but isn't great.

    They plow the major paths really good, but forget to do the major river crossing bridges.

    They have lots of paths, but regularly forget to get them installed in new neighbourhoods, or allow really dumb blockages to occur.

    They are absolutly ridiculous with some of the closures for "safety" read *****y homeowner.

    They continue to believe that putting all mut users together when there are options is a good thing.

    They believe a fence and a sign is better than allievating the problem.
    Yeah, I agree with pretty much all this. I don't like the winter closings on the north underpasses of the bow pathway downtown (mainly the centre street one). Instead, on my way to Inglewood and further I have to take the south bow pathway and have to dodge all the mindless zombies walking, talking, etc all over the place! haha those folks are creepy.

    I'm the only bike commuter at work and a couple fellow workers have told me they would bike to work if it wasn't so inconvenient because of the pathways from the suburbs. Some are downright dangerous or not usable.

    Anyways, it seems to be a trend in cities nowadays - the inner city for the most part has good infrastructure for cycling or at least has growing support, and in the newly developed burbs alternative transportation is a total afterthought.

  24. #24
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    Sydney Australia here.

    Not the most cycling friendly city here but I enjoy it nonetheless. Different local councils (who are in charge of building cycling facilities) have different philosophies on cycle commuting and it really depends where you live to how good the commuting experience can be.

    For me personally, I take varying ways to commute to work ranging from motorways to the CBD streets to dedicated cycleways/lanes and the experience is very different with each way having their own set of highlights and hazards.

    Of course there is always going to be the idiot that will try and run you off the road or yell at you to get off the road but they are few and far between. I think Sydney motorists are slowly getting used to the increase in cycle traffic here (esp. with the higher fuel prices here these days) and as a result are a bit more patient but it will take a lot more time to educate the public. Events like the National Ride to Work Day helps get the message out there though.

    The great thing about commuting in Sydney is that it can be done year around. Temperatures generally don't get below freezing in winter but can get pretty hot during the summer, especially in the afternoon.

    I have also commuted in Canberra (Australia's capital) and as far as cycling goes it is deadset one of the best and easiest places to ride in...
    My LBS | Riding this and this

  25. #25
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    Missoula.
    Commuter friendly, mostly.

  26. #26
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    San Antonio, Texas, where if you are on a bike you must be homeless.
    Not very damn friendly at all, but there are glimmers of hope now and again.
    If the city buses would stop buzzing cyclist my stress level would decrease by 80%.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve_N
    Sydney Australia here.
    ...

    I have also commuted in Canberra (Australia's capital) and as far as cycling goes it is deadset one of the best and easiest places to ride in...
    I do the outer eastern Melbourne suburbs to Melbourne a couple of days a week, and the way I'm able to go is reasonable safe.
    However, there's areas to live in which would just be a nightmare and might even have me saying "forget that".
    Of course, the distance I'm commuting is probably what, about 3/5ths of what Gordo was doing daily (my round trip is probably his one way) - so I dare not think what commuter unfriendly situations he's had to put up with with a what, 80km ride each way?
    Quote Originally Posted by tom2304
    Yep farkin.net is mostly immature kids asking how to put dual crown forks on hardtails and such.

  28. #28
    I'm SUCH a square....
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    Quote Originally Posted by elvez
    San Antonio, Texas, where if you are on a bike you must be homeless.
    Not very damn friendly at all, but there are glimmers of hope now and again.
    If the city buses would stop buzzing cyclist my stress level would decrease by 80%.
    may be a dumb Q, but have you called the city bus main office to complain? raise enough hell and someone will listen, eventually.

    now,...

    NE Indiana, city pop. 200K --
    1) NO bike lanes
    2) approx. 23 miles of MUP, expanding
    3) depends on what area of town as to how safe it is to ride on the road; i live "in the ghetto", where stereo-thumpers think they own the road, and will buzz you in a second while hollering, "get on the sidewalk!" even had a cop tell me to get on the sidewalk a couple years back, at a time when the sidewalks were piled 3' high w/ plowed snow. the last half of last year wasn't bad, after a newspaper article woke some people up; now, though, with the new year, i've been buzzed four times in a month.
    4) cell-phone-using drivers are the biggest threat, of course; then there's the usual red-light runners, speeders, corner-cutters on turns, and general riff-raff
    5) last year's ride of silence couldn't have filled a stretch limo -- disappointing
    6) most of the cyclists here are stuck-up roadies or commuters on W-M bikes
    7) don't care if it's "too 90's" -- we need a good critical mass! just not enough riders to pull it off....
    A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....

  29. #29
    jrm
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    My cities great (Alameda, Ca)..

    bike lanes, courteous drivers. But the city i traverse (Oakland) to get to work? pretty much sucks. But thats NOT going to stop me..nope..

  30. #30

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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve_N
    Sydney Australia here.

    <snip>
    Of course there is always going to be the idiot that will try and run you off the road or yell at you to get off the road but they are few and far between. I think Sydney motorists are slowly getting used to the increase in cycle traffic here (esp. with the higher fuel prices here these days) and as a result are a bit more patient but it will take a lot more time to educate the public. Events like the National Ride to Work Day helps get the message out there though.
    <snip>
    I find the pedestrians worse than the drivers. Especially along Victoria Rd where the "cycleway" is a shared footpath... I avoid as much of it as I can but have to come back to cross bridges

    But I still much prefer cycling to any other form of transport getting to work.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by TobyNobody
    I was in Georgia last fall and Atlanta sure looks like a nice city for cycling. Not too much traffic (compared to some cities I have seen), and plenty of people on bikes and bikes locked up everywhere.

    I was staying out in the 'burbs, tho (Kennesaw) and the traffic and bike/pedestrian infastructure was far inferior. THousands and thousands of cars everywhere; sidewalks, but no-one using them; I think I saw one bus the whole time I was there.

    Georgians are nice people though.
    I live in the N GA suburbs and if I take my bike out of the garage 7 SUVs will pull into my driveway to hit me.

  32. #32
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    I live in a smaller town with another small town across the river. There is one bike lane that I know of and it is on the HWY 41 bridge that crosses the river from Wisconsin to Michigan. You have to be brain dead or have a death wish to use that bike lane....

    I ride on the streets often but do not like it. Too many folks think they own the road. Many more are just plain dangerous drivers. Some don't look for you, some don't care and some are just too stupid to know better and a fair amount of them have no problem swearing at a bike rider for just being a bike rider....

    This is why I pick out of the way routes and occasionally ride on sidewalks and am very aware of approaching traffic and traffic approaching from behind.

    I even had a few people pull right out in front of me from a side street and scream and yell at me (with a liberal assortment of profanity) for not "staying out of their way" or for not "buying a car like an adult should" One person came up from behind me, turned right in front of me and I almost nailed them! This is the same exact way one of my buddies was wiped out!

    Speaking of that, I have had 3 friends hit by cars and their bike wrecked. All 3 were legally in the right, tell that to a 1000 pound car when it mangles your bike....fortunately all 3 sustained only minor injuries. It is one thing for bike riders to know the rules of the road, but a bike plowing into a car at normal cruising speeds doesn't kill the car driver...too bad the reverse is not true when someone mows down a cyclist.....

    The local bike shop and a few others are talking about an "awareness" campaign....that would be nice, especially if the DMV would really pound on that while giving a driver their drivers license. Back that up with steep penalties and maybe you have a plan.

    I dunno...unless cities become more bike friendly, I don't see how an awareness campaign will help. Maybe stiffer fines and the like for mowing down a cyclist, when the driver doing the mowing is at fault will get some attention.....

    I guess I am spoiled having lived in Milwaukee most of my life. There are miles and miles of paved bike paths in the parks along Lake Michigan to spoil a guy....
    Remember when we were kids and our Mom's said we could not play in the mud? I'm making up for it now!!

  33. #33
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    Saarbrücken, Germany

    pretty commuter friendly..... cars usually respect the 1-meter-away rule...and there are bike paths all over----

  34. #34
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    Silicon Valley, CA. Specifically the area around Mountain View, Sunnyvale, San Jose, etc.

    Not only is the climate benign and pleasant, and the urban terrain pretty flat, most of the cities around here have some form of bike-friendly policies. There are still streets where I don't like to ride, with no room at all between the right lane and the curb. But those are the exception rather than the rule.

    There are lots of bike commuters here. There's really no good reason not to bike to work.

  35. #35
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    Quincy IL- pop 40K
    - No bike paths, only sidewalks designated as bike paths full of potholes, broken glass, an uneven areas that appear to be damaged by earthquakes.
    - Sidewalks are awful, as said before, so I have to ride on the road
    - Drivers are complete jackoffs, "Get off the road!" people.
    - Side streets are the only safe place to ride, just have to watch for broken beer bottles and drivers that are angry because a cyclist using 1 foot of the road is inflicting their rights.
    - I can count the number of bike racks on my 2 hands
    - Being innovative with where you lock your bike can get you a ticket (after all, the closest bike rack may be 4 blocks away). Police will wait by your bike until you come out or the donut shop is about to close, whichever comes first.

    A simple story can sum up bike commuting in this town. My friend was riding on a main road when a car passed him and swung the passenger side door open, striking him down. He managed to jump off his bike into the grass, but his bike smashed into the back of a large SUV, leaving a dent. He got the license plate number of the car that knocked him down and called the police. When the police arrived, they looked at the damage on the parked SUV and made him pay, before he could even list off the number of the car that hit him. No legal action happened to the hit-and-run driver, but let's just say his windshield didn't smash itself ...

  36. #36
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    Newport, RI

    You would think a city that is geared around tourism might have provisions for bikers, but

    that is certainly not the case. There are "share the road" signs posted here and there, but

    for the most part they are ignored. I recently gave up commuting because I have

    been "buzzed" too many times. The drivers here are completely obnoxious. I suppose

    spending a few hundred dollars on a trainer will be worth it compared to a stressful

    commute...

  37. #37
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    Portland, ME

    Pretty decent really. Bike lanes are here and there, but like any other east coast city, raods are tight, twisty often just "weird". Pot holes can be a problem due to sweeping temperatures.

    There was a new bill passed last spring that was quite proactive, now motorists just need to actually pay attention to it .

    read about it here, and see my ugly mug on the side...

    http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/story.php?id=106531

  38. #38
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    I'm in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: pop: ~850,000, metro ~1.02 million.

    Edmonton is generally really good in terms of infrastructure for bike commuting. If memory serves, it has the most urban greenspace / parks of any city in north america...and most of that has paved trails, MUT's (gravel surfaced, multi-use trails) and singletrack. There is also a good amount of bike routes and, occasionally, bike lanes too. With a river valley going right through town, there are plenty of trails to keep you out of the traffic and get you most places fairly easily.

    Main issue here is with the drivers if you have to be on the road. Some are good, most suck and others are outright dangerous / aggressive towards cyclists.
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  39. #39
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    Tucson, AZ

    Decently bike friendly. I ride from downtown to the east side of town via really nice path. The rest of my commute is on adequate shoulder, which is marked as a bike line for most of it. There is nowhere in town you can't get to by bike by way of at least marked bike lane which is nice.
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    I live and work in West Sacramento. I bike commute 6 miles each way, atleast 3 days a week. West Sac is a very industrial town. Lots of truck traffic.
    The town is very poorly managed. The streets have bike lanes, but there is almost no street sweeping service in this town. The bike lanes are COVERED with loose gravel, broken glass, road kill, and truck parts (lots of brake springs). I had three flat tires on one trip into work once.
    There is a tech school (WyoTech) near my work. The students drive like maniacs. They are my biggest concern.

  41. #41
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    Las Vegas, NV

    There's almost no room for it to be much worse.Bike lanes get turned into extra driving lanes all the time to accommodate growing traffic, and every road you take is owned by 100 lb women in giant SUV's and homocidal cabbies.Plus, hardly any places have safe bike storage.
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    Gosh when did you come to Anchorage?? I have lived here my entire life and let me tell you it's the worst imaginable commute carnosaurs will run you over even if your in one of the 3 bike lanes the city has. The trails have a speed limit of 15 mph as someone that often reaches 25 mph on my commute I can't use the trails... the trails fell apart because they were neglected. They just started plowing the sidewalks in the winter. Here it seems people will run you over no matter where you are. The bike laws are ridiculous i.e. must ride in traffic in business districts and 600 feet around business district... if you do that you will end up as a hummer ornament or something of the sort! I'll be defecting to either Toronto or Ottawa as I hear they have their act together!

  43. #43
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    Silicon Valley, CA

    I live and work in Mountain View, CA. My commute is a short 4 miles and I have an option of two routes. I can ride alongside traffic on a bike lane or take a scenic multi-use trail from my doorstep all the way to the office park where I work.

    Like chucko58 stated, the Silicon Valley is great for commuting by bike. Bike lanes everywhere, bus/light rail/Caltrain accomodate bicycles and traffic give you leeway. Plus the weather is relatively mild year round.

    Contrast that with the last place I lived, Fayetteville, NC. I tried to commute a short 5 miles to work and got into tussles with drivers every time. The place lacked bike lanes, sidewalks were either crappy or non-existent and drivers were very hostile. On top of that, the heat and humidity of the summers made commuting very "sweaty".
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    Albuquerque, new mexico.
    Great cycling scene. Miles and Miles of paved, non motor vehic. trails through and around the city.A lot of marked bike paths on the shoulder with painted lineson most roads. And the year round weather make it a great place to commute on bike. Come check it out!

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    Good job! Washington DC and Suburbs

    I would have to say that it works pretty well. I commute from the Virginia suburbs. Virginia has a great network of bike paths, and while they can be crowded, often with runners wearing headphones, I haven't had significant problems.

    All of the major bridges across the Potomac River have either a dedicated bicycle/pedestrian causeway or a very broad sidewalk.

    Once I get into the city, the bulk of my commute is along the National Mall, which is like a highway for everything without an engine. It has two parallel streets on either side of it that have a 15mph speed limit that is basically honored and that makes most drivers avoid it.

    The roads are really wide for the most part with lanes wide enough that you can avoid getting scared for the most part. The sidewalks are also really wide, so you can escape auto traffic if need be. The important thing to remember is that when you do this, you change from being the nail to being the hammer and you must slow down if there are pedestrians, this is why I try to stick to the streets unless there is really heavy traffic.

  46. #46
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    Phoenix Here:

    These posts make my Tempe to downtown Phoenix commute seem like heaven. Bike lanes, Empty roads through industrial parks, Tail winds from West to east every day of the year. The only problems are tobacco chewing hicks in gigantic lifted trucks and women drivers putting on makup, talking on the phone and turning left in my path every five minutes.
    Just Ride!

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    I'm a year round commuter in Toronto, I ride 15km each way to and from work. As far as the trail network goes it's pretty good, but we could use some more bike lanes on the road. The city has allocated some funding for additional bike lanes but we are yet to see much progress. As far as drivers go; most are nice enough though once you get downtown it's crowded and there are plenty of crazy cabbies and type A's in SUVs and sports cars who often squeeze you off the road or cut you off. Most of the time it is due to the fact that they are paying more attention to their Blackberries and cell phones than the road.

    And stay off the roads when its snowing, as people loose the ability to drive especially in December and January.

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    It aint for nothin, but I think Chicago rocks as a bike friendly town. You can get to most places in the city without ever having to leave a bike lane. Except during peak hours, you can ride with your bike on city trains, and all the CTA buses have bike racks on the front.

    Then of course, there is the Lake Shore Trail, arguably the most famous and picturesque city trail in the galaxy. Couple that with an extensive network of trails in the myriad parks in and around the greater Chicagoland area, and you have yourself one helluva argument for what might be the most bike friendly town EVER. Oh yeah, and puuuuulease don't even get me started on the annual Bike The Drive event, when Lake Shore Drive is shut down to all motor traffic for a while so that cyclists can ride upon it unhindered. There you have it.....Chicago wins!
    Last edited by cuevano5; 04-24-2008 at 11:53 AM.

  49. #49
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    Jumping the gun a little bit, I’ll be moving into the city in May and plan to ride 15 miles round trip when its not raining in the morning. Major change for the 2+ hours I spend stuck in a coffin to get into/out of st.pete every day.

    Dedicated bike lanes on some streets, lots of one way streets and back alleys. Part of my commute is on the Pinellas trail which is a paved trail and takes you over most major roads. Most people who bike are road weenies so I guess most drivers are used to dealing with them but I’ll soon find out how bad/rude they are. Though out Pinellas county there are bike paths that run parallel to the major roads and most buses have bike racks. Weather is like clock work, its gonna rain every day from May until October in the early afternoon. On top of the bay (north east) its around 2-3pm, I’ll have to adjust my commute to leave before or after the storms. Late fall and winter is our dry season.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lacedaemon
    I would have to say that it works pretty well. I commute from the Virginia suburbs. Virginia has a great network of bike paths, and while they can be crowded, often with runners wearing headphones, I haven't had significant problems.

    All of the major bridges across the Potomac River have either a dedicated bicycle/pedestrian causeway or a very broad sidewalk.

    Once I get into the city, the bulk of my commute is along the National Mall, which is like a highway for everything without an engine. It has two parallel streets on either side of it that have a 15mph speed limit that is basically honored and that makes most drivers avoid it.

    The roads are really wide for the most part with lanes wide enough that you can avoid getting scared for the most part. The sidewalks are also really wide, so you can escape auto traffic if need be. The important thing to remember is that when you do this, you change from being the nail to being the hammer and you must slow down if there are pedestrians, this is why I try to stick to the streets unless there is really heavy traffic.
    Have to agree, DC is a pretty good city to commute in. I've been doing it for almost five years.

  51. #51
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    Portland, Oregon

    My commute is fairly good. I live in the SW Hills of Portland, so I am one of a few that rides daily because of the hills and fewer bike lanes. Once you travel into downtown or anywhere east of the Willamette River, it's commuter heaven. Theres bike paths, bike boulevards, bike boxes in some areas. You can get just about anywhere in Portland by bike and if you get tired just get on the light rail or a bus with your bike.

    We even have bike traffic jams due to so many commuters . We have a whole bike culture complete with hipsters, hippies, spandex clad racers, blogs dedicated to the bike culture, you name it. This election year we even have a pro bike Mayoral candidate as well as three pro bike city council candidates.
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  52. #52
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    apparently philadelphia was one of the friendliest in US, maybe number 6, they have alot of bike lanes on the bigger streets, but there is alot of bike i guess its like any other city and people just weave in and out of traffic

    http://www.virgin-vacations.com/site...dly-cities.asp

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    they say its 10 in america

    portland and boulder look like they have the best
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  53. #53
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    I think Austin is commuter friendly road/terrain wise, the people, not so much. Luckily we have quite a few options to keep out of the busiest area and you can reach most parts of the city w/o having to traverse the busiest thoroughfares. Some are riding the tollways now, I rode them last night. It's kind of neat, the biggest baddest roads in Austin are the least used.
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  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by redrider_stx
    So, I was just wondering where people lived, and how safe you felt on the roads.
    I live in Atlanta, Georgia and I feel pretty safe commuting on the city streets. My work commute is good too. The roads are a lot rougher on my work commute because it's mostly backstreets that aren't maintained very well and the other part is in an area heavily traveled by tractor-trailers.

    Do you feel safe?

    Yeah, I feel pretty safe. Most of that comes from doing it so much that it's a habit or past trial-and-error situations that you learn from.

    Does your city support commuting?

    I think it does. I have seen a few developments in the last 3 years. A few are:

    - Bike racks on all the city buses. You can also take your bike on the train.
    - On some of the newer streets and neighborhoods, they are painting bike lanes.
    - Georgia got a cycling license plate last year that uses part of the fee for bike related
    developments and improvements.
    - Bike racks in a few key areas. (Could use a few more.)
    - The city's mayor and a few other local politicians are involved in a bike rally that promotes
    cycling in the city which was established about 3 years ago. They actually ride bikes
    through the city with the group of cyclists.
    once you get north of atlanta proper, it's terribly unsafe. where there are bike lanes, they rarely lead anywhere useful. my neighborhood ('burbs) doesn't even have sidewalks. i live about 3 miles from a grocery store i can't bike to for safety reasons. heck, it's dangerous driving to it!

  55. #55
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    I'm in Calgary, and I'll throw in my $0.02 on commuting here.

    It's windy. Always.

    I avoid the MUP system like the plague. It's generally no more than 10' wide with bi-directional traffic, mostly unlit, and has a marked speed limit of 20 km/h. All the cyclists and most of the inline skaters can easily exceed that, which makes it dicey when the path isn't split into ped/non-ped sections. Some of the MUP goes through really dicey areas that I wouldn't go through at night by myself. There are essentially no on-road designated bike lanes in Calgary. There are many designated bike routes that follow side roads and are pretty quiet, although many of those could be reassessed for safety.

    I prefer to ride on the roads to get to work every day. Most drivers are courteous, so I rarely have any issues. That said, I live close to downtown, and instead of the minivans and Excursions of the 'burbs, I get Audis, Porsches, BMWs and the occasional F350. The vehicles are more expensive, and they give me a wide berth - a crumpled bike frame can really scratch your paint if you drive over it, and chunks of bone and helmet in your grille are rather unsightly.

    Winter is actually pretty easy to deal with. The roads get plowed on all the hills I ride, and the flats are easy to navigate with studded tires. I get a REALLY wide berth in the winter, as anyone who rides a bike past -10C must be insane and is to be avoided.

    I will say something for Calgary bike commuters: they are competitive yet show a great deal of solidarity. This morning a guy in an Audi [black S4 Avant - very nice] cut me off. I tapped his window as I went by and he jumped out of his car. We had words, but continued on our respective ways. There was another rider up ahead waiting at the intersection who didn't see the initial near-miss, but saw the shouting match. He instantly sided with me and yelled at the driver too. Good times.

    Other than the pathway system, I like biking in Calgary. There's some good and some bad, but generally folks are friendly.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm
    But the city i traverse (Oakland) to get to work? pretty much sucks. But thats NOT going to stop me..nope..
    Do you ride with a kevlar vest? My cousin's kid served in Iraq in the army. When he returned home on furlough he was carjacked and wounded by the car thief in Oakland. The thief didn't get the car as it would not start (which put him into that situation to begin with) but the kid ended up in the hospital for a few weeks.

    Representing San Francisco, California, here.
    San Francisco is trying to be green by adding 35 more miles of bike lanes to the 44 miles that are already there. The problem is that if you are coming into The City from the south there is no nice bike route that you can take downtown. Cutting through town will take you through some not so nice neighborhoods. The route that I want to take will take me around the perimeter of The City, adding a few miles to the route and quite a bit of climbing.

    The problem with riding a bike downtown isn't the lack of cycling lanes but the idiot drivers who think that cyclists should stay on the sidewalks. My nephew had an idiot taxi driver honk at him and try to run him off the road near downtown.

  57. #57
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    I'm in San Jose, and my commute is pretty good. Withe the route I take its about 7 miles to work, and 8.5 home (if I feel like some extra climbing. There is only 2-3 places I get nervous while on the road, and most drivers have been pretty nice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCC
    Do you ride with a kevlar vest? My cousin's kid served in Iraq in the army. When he returned home on furlough he was carjacked and wounded by the car thief in Oakland. The thief didn't get the car as it would not start (which put him into that situation to begin with) but the kid ended up in the hospital for a few weeks.

    Representing San Francisco, California, here.
    San Francisco is trying to be green by adding 35 more miles of bike lanes to the 44 miles that are already there. The problem is that if you are coming into The City from the south there is no nice bike route that you can take downtown. Cutting through town will take you through some not so nice neighborhoods. The route that I want to take will take me around the perimeter of The City, adding a few miles to the route and quite a bit of climbing.

    The problem with riding a bike downtown isn't the lack of cycling lanes but the idiot drivers who think that cyclists should stay on the sidewalks. My nephew had an idiot taxi driver honk at him and try to run him off the road near downtown.
    Sorry, as a long time Oakland resident I have to defend the city. Many parts of the city are excellent, however they do lack bike lanes for the most part. If you are in those areas they drivers are used to seeing cyclist and joggers everywhere so for the most part they share the road. For over three years I commuted from Rockridge to downtown with no issues.

    As for the City you've gotta be insane to commute there, crazed cabbies, bus drivers who have road rage, and double parked cars blocking the few bike lanes there are. The good news is most of Muni is bike friendly and once you get out of downtown it is pleasant.

    In any case I now live down in Sunnyvale and commute to Santa Clara, a little under 5 miles each way, and for the most part the ride is nice. There are bike lanes for 4 of those miles each way and the last mile is on a road which doesn't get much traffic. People give me plenty of room all the time and I've had no rude comments yet.

  59. #59
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    Fairfield County, CT

    Not so great. Roads are always crowded with cars and SUVs in too much of a hurry to pay attention to anything but themselves. Cars routinely running red lights, etc. I've just decided to start commuting by bike (since I HATE HATE HATE driving a car at all) but the biggest problem is that there is nowhere to park my bike at work and it would surely get stolen if locked up outside. That said, I'm going to hide it in a spare office, or closet or hallway where management never goes.

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    Tucson, AZ = not bicycle friendly.

    Regardless what the city tells you, Tucson is not biker friendly. Yeah, they are trying to get some type of 'platinum' bike status, but I don;t know who they're paying off to get it.

    The roads are craptastic, potholes and cracks. Bike lanes travel for 4 or 5 miles, then just END.

    You can't swing a cat by the tail without hitting some type of major road construction.

    Car drivers here hate you with a passion.

    Not to mention in the summer time, it hits 108F degrees. There is only 2 seasons in Tucson. Hot and Hotter.

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    Fort Smith, AR = Not bike Friendly. The city "planners" have bike routes thru-out the city with signs that lead nowhere useful. And they always go down busy and narrow 2 lane roads where people try to pass by forcing you off the road rather than wait for a opening to go around.

    The local college doesn't even allow biking to campus. Years ago when I was still in school I lived like 5 minutes away by car maybe double that on bike. Campus police ran me off and told me not to ride back.

    I'm scared of riding on public roads around here unless its in my neighborhood which has no thru roads only one way in and out.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psycho Mike
    I'm in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: pop: ~850,000, metro ~1.02 million.

    Edmonton is generally really good in terms of infrastructure for bike commuting. If memory serves, it has the most urban greenspace / parks of any city in north america...and most of that has paved trails, MUT's (gravel surfaced, multi-use trails) and singletrack. There is also a good amount of bike routes and, occasionally, bike lanes too. With a river valley going right through town, there are plenty of trails to keep you out of the traffic and get you most places fairly easily.

    Main issue here is with the drivers if you have to be on the road. Some are good, most suck and others are outright dangerous / aggressive towards cyclists.

    Edmonton is okay if your route takes you along the river valley. My route sucks. I live in the NE so I wouldn't be too far from the base where I work which is just North of the city. Between my place and the base is a prime example of ugly, sprawling "culdesac hell" subdivisions. Some of the alleged bike routes are just sidewalks that are called "bike route". You can't take side roads because none of them go anywhere so you are stuck on the main roads which are busier every day as the city sprawls it's ugliness over what used to be farmland. The whole area is built cars first, and people second. Drivers aren't too bad but there are enough ass hats to get the blood boiling a couple of times a week.
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  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by TobyNobody
    I lived in Ottawa for six years before I came here and it is quite a good city for cycling. There are bike paths and lanes going across the city in most directions, and people are generally polite to cyclists.

    Before Ottawa I livd in Toronto briefly and it is also a good city for cycling. Traffic is quite heavy downtown and cars are often moving slower than bikes. I didn't ride much outside of the downton, though - its nasty out there.
    Good to hear, I'll be going to University at uOttawa next year and want to bring my bike for sure, I like the sound of actual bike trails because I can say for sure that the smaller town I'm in in Ontario now is not very good, there's one shared path that cuts through the city, but that's the extent of trails, everything else is road riding along with cars. I want to bring my good MTB but I'm afraid it'll get stolen, so for now I'm just planning on bringing my beater...
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    In the DC area

    I am starting to commute from Springfield to Fairfax. Most of my route will be along the Farifax County Parkway trail which is basically a direct route North to South. There are a few spots where you are in traffic. All in all its a pretty good route. Others dont have it so easy here. Traffic is worse and worse by the day and they are unforgiving on cyclists in the road. There are some other routes that allow cyclists to be off the road but for the most part you are in traffic. I agree that Mountain View and Palo Alto area is great for cyclists as I travel there for work. I believe Davis CA was voted best place for cyclists if memory serves.
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  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tukson Rider
    Tucson, AZ = not bicycle friendly.

    Regardless what the city tells you, Tucson is not biker friendly. Yeah, they are trying to get some type of 'platinum' bike status, but I don;t know who they're paying off to get it.

    The roads are craptastic, potholes and cracks. Bike lanes travel for 4 or 5 miles, then just END.

    You can't swing a cat by the tail without hitting some type of major road construction.

    Car drivers here hate you with a passion.

    Not to mention in the summer time, it hits 108F degrees. There is only 2 seasons in Tucson. Hot and Hotter.
    Tukson Rider:

    You got that right. I lived in Tucson until '97 and I commuted to work and school everyday. I got threatened by motorists, chased by dogs, and even physically hit once by a car full of teenagers that thought it was a game. The only good place to ride is around the University, especially in the spring when the ladies are out on the mall .

    The worst was the summer of '96 when I rode home from work in 117 degree heat one day. That summer was a record for more then 100 consectutive days over 100 degrees.

    The new Director of Transportation at the City is a bikey. I know him, he's a good guy. Hopefuly he can make some good changes.
    I ride at ludicrous speed

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    Atlanta ITP (inside the perimeter) = good/not bad
    Atlanta OTP (outside the perimeter) = terrible

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by space
    Sorry, as a long time Oakland resident I have to defend the city. Many parts of the city are excellent, however they do lack bike lanes for the most part. If you are in those areas they drivers are used to seeing cyclist and joggers everywhere so for the most part they share the road. For over three years I commuted from Rockridge to downtown with no issues.

    As for the City you've gotta be insane to commute there, crazed cabbies, bus drivers who have road rage, and double parked cars blocking the few bike lanes there are. The good news is most of Muni is bike friendly and once you get out of downtown it is pleasant.
    I lived in Oakland for quite a few years myself. My family moved there when I was 4 years old and we moved over to San Francisco when I was 15 so we lived there for 11 years. In that time I learned to ride a bike and rode from Oakland's Chinatown to Berkeley, Alameda, San Leandro, and a few other places, all on a BMX bike!

    My situation has changed since my last post. The new job has showers. I used to commute to BART (subway system), take my bike on to the BART train and take that downtown then ride my bike to work because that job required me to start work early and finish my day earlier, before the bicycle blackout period on BART. The new job has more normal hours and the blackout period affects me, now.

    Yeah, we have crazy taxi drivers and oblivious bus drivers but it's not bad as long as you keep your wits about you. My current job allows me to ride my bike all the way to work as they have a much more bike friendly environment than my last job had. The showers mean that I don't have to be concerned about getting all sweaty when I show up for work as a quick shower will allow me to work without the funk. It's only 11 miles to work from my front door so I'll be riding my bike much more often now. In the early morning hours the taxi and bus drivers are still sleeping so that's not an issue. At the end of the day downtown's most gridlocked anyway so I can just quietly buzz right by them as I head south on some bike lane. Not only that but I can take the scenic route and get a 16 mile ride out of it by riding along the coast to get home.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chubbs
    I am starting to commute from Springfield to Fairfax. Most of my route will be along the Farifax County Parkway trail which is basically a direct route North to South. There are a few spots where you are in traffic. All in all its a pretty good route. Others dont have it so easy here. Traffic is worse and worse by the day and they are unforgiving on cyclists in the road. There are some other routes that allow cyclists to be off the road but for the most part you are in traffic. I agree that Mountain View and Palo Alto area is great for cyclists as I travel there for work. I believe Davis CA was voted best place for cyclists if memory serves.
    I agree. The DC area is great unless you're in the suburbs and not on a major trail. Then you have to brave narrow roads with angry drivers who will try to immediately pass you no matter how little space there is. Someone mentioned the sidewalk (or "multiuse trail") method, but that's likely to get you killed by people turning. Fortunately, these days I'm right on the W&OD, so it's not such an issue anymore.

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    Living in a smaller TN city (has grown too much too fast, for the locals taste, but I digress), we have an extreme lack of shoulders to ride on (and sidewalks are somewhat rare). Commuting down here is more of a leap of faith, but, it can be done - luckily my job hours are staggered from the main population, so my ride to work at 5 am and ride home at 1 or 2 pm is rather uneventful, for the most part. Have been bullied off the road into drainage ditches a few times by good ol boys in their pick'em up trucks, but....heII, I commuted by bike to work in Detroit, these fat pasty bassturds down here ain't got nuttin' on me

  70. #70
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    meny years ago I lived in Norwich,England and you needed skills of a jedi knight,it was totally mental but I savived,now I live in Whangarei,New Zealand and once in the city its cruisey but you have to be quik on the outskirts,lotta peeps dont like us but we here to stay,and alot of peeps will soon think of bikes as our petrol has gone up to around $2 litre
    Okay,okay,so how do I put it back together,and where did this spring come from

  71. #71
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    Chicago is quite a bike friendly town.

    Doesn't hurt that Mayor Daley rides too.

    Quote Originally Posted by cuevano5
    It aint for nothin, but I think Chicago rocks as a bike friendly town. You can get to most places in the city without ever having to leave a bike lane. Except during peak hours, you can ride with your bike on city trains, and all the CTA buses have bike racks on the front.

    Then of course, there is the Lake Shore Trail, arguably the most famous and picturesque city trail in the galaxy. Couple that with an extensive network of trails in the myriad parks in and around the greater Chicagoland area, and you have yourself one helluva argument for what might be the most bike friendly town EVER. Oh yeah, and puuuuulease don't even get me started on the annual Bike The Drive event, when Lake Shore Drive is shut down to all motor traffic for a while so that cyclists can ride upon it unhindered. There you have it.....Chicago wins!

  72. #72
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    Medford, MA through Somerville (6 miles north of Boston)

    I love my commutes about 80% of the time, but the other 20% of the rides drive me insane. There are no bike lanes and some of the streets are so narrow that I have to ride pretty close to the yellow line just to avoid getting doored. I wish there were shoulders on the roads in MA, but it must be a town-controlled issue. While I keep up with traffic, drivers (especially in SUVs) seem to be in such a rush due to the short light cycles that they'd rather dart around and run red lights than anything else.

    Morning rides are generally better than late afternoon or in the evening for some reason. Since getting a set of 2 Dinotte headlamps and 1 red tail, cars generally give me a lot more space. I've had drivers give me the thumbs up at stop lights and one said "great lights!" and scared the s*** out of me. Using hand signals at turns seems to help appease drivers. I always smile and wave to those who give a little courtesy to try to offset the fools who run the red lights or ride the wrong way through traffic.

    I've received my share of pissy conduct as well. I've been egged. I had a driver stand on the horn as he approached and slowly passed, pointing something that looked and aweful lot like a gun at my head. There were three kids in the car, mind you. "GET ON THE SIDEWALK!" Right. I will never ride inbound to Medford Square again, just outbound. There was the classic "go buy a car like a normal person" from the not-so-fit woman in the Chevrolet Caprice Classic.

  73. #73

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    That really sux You've made me feel so much better about Sydney drivers I enjoy my commute every day but I'm lucky to have a really good (albeit longer) route that avoids the main roads

  74. #74
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    Dallas, TX- sucks big fat monky butt. But what do you expect from a city run by morons and criminals.
    ... And I Am You,
    And What I See Is Me!

  75. #75
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    Peachtree city, Georgia

    Mostly known for golf carts, but lots of cycling too. Peachtree city is a town of 35,000 or so and has just shy of 90 miles of cart/bike paths.

    We have over 15,000 registered golf carts! Its too bad the equivilant in bikes does not exist.

    I've ridden the paths for 36 years for anything from meeting a girl, to getting to a party, to going to dinner, and of course groceries.

    We have one of the best BMX tracks in the country, some of you may have been here for that.

    January, I was hit by a Pizza hut driver, he was rolling a stop sign. With all the kids driving golf carts, its almost safer to ride the streets than it is to go around a blind turn on a path. Bottom line, you have to be careful.

    http://www.peachtree-city.org/docume...06_map_web.pdf



    M

  76. #76
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    Boise, ID

    Commute is 4.2 miles long. 4 miles of it is on the Greenbelt (pedestrian/bike path), which is located by a river and part of a park system. Since the Greenbelt is part of the park system here, it plowed in the winter, and even lit up in some areas. It is a super mellow commute since the Greenbelt section I ride is located entirely on park land. My employer also provides bike racks, a shower room and lockers.

    The part of Boise I live in is very bike friendly. The western part of Boise....not so much since there is heavy traffic, poor zoning, and no bike lanes in that part of town. Kinda like the descriptions of bad traffic and crazed drivers mentioned in the previous posts

    Slowly, our bike culture is growing. Nothing like Portland, which is just off the hook. However, it is nice to see all ages and types of people using cruisers & commuters to get groceries, go to dinner, and run errands. It is also great that the city has plenty of bike racks, on the street...AND on the buses.
    ...building wherever they'll let me...

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    I don't live in NYC, but I read this today

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/04/ny...ewanted=1&_r=1

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    yeah here in lubbock, they are very friendly.

    honk at you, stare at you and cuss at you. Also try to run you off the road.

    apparently they think if they honk i will go faster, when im already doing 20 mph
    Broadway Bikes: Grease Monkey/Sales/you name it, we do it

    Rubber side down is never bad!

  79. #79

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    I tried commuting into Detroit for about 3 weeks. I had soda and cigarettes thrown at me I was cursed at, I got hit in the arm by a semi I was told by the police that I was an idiot, I had some teens threaten to kill me, ect. The only people I’ve seen who regularly ride bikes in Detroit are crack heads.

    I’m trying to move to D.C. in large part because I want to free myself from my car commute. Funny thing is I am a huge gearhead and love cars but I am sick of driving in traffic.

  80. #80
    Killer of Chains
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaqu
    Funny thing is I am a huge gearhead and love cars but I am sick of driving in traffic.
    I hear ya on that one. Love cars, but would rather ride during the week and race on weekends.

  81. #81
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    Santa Fe, NM. One of the worst. Got to be. Not because there aren't any local advocates.
    Narrow, windy streets built before the automobile, bicycle, or logic were invented. The newer areas chaotic, sprawling, no planning for anything but the Gahdamned automobile.
    Hopefully that will change, with the newest planned communities. Heh....I ain't holdin' my breath.

  82. #82

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    Sl,ut

    Salt Lake City is fairly commuter friendly. Lots of bike lanes in Salt Lake proper and there are plans to expand. but when you get away from the city into more of the suburbs then its ride at your own risk. All the buses have bike racks, light rail holds 4 bikes per car, don't know about our new commuter rail yet (hope so ogden has some good trails). Biggest worry is people on cell phones (including cops ) and old people that shouldn't be driving anyway. They are starting to pull cyclists over for running red lights (first hand experience ) but they won't pull over the cars for running the yellow/red.

  83. #83
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    NYC. Not very bike friendly, but it's getting better. Bike parking is not always available since buildings do not allow you to take the bike into the office. Biker advocacy and rights are always being discussed here with all sides (bikers vs. drivers vs. pedestrians) barking at each other about speeders, right of way, running red lights, blocking bike lanes, jay walking, riding on sidewalks, etc.

  84. #84
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    Sacramento, CA.

    Pretty darn bike friendly I'd say. I don't have issues with motorists yelling or cursing at me. We have a fantastic MUT called the American River Parkway Trail. It's 36-something miles long, very well maintained, closed to motorized traffic, etc. I use it for 17 miles of my commute to work. Sacramento also runs the www.bikecommutemonth.com website and 'drive' to reach 1,000,000 pedaled miles each May. We have cycling friendly people on our city board, etc. Great place to live if you ride.
    :wq

  85. #85
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    Also a Calgary commuter. I agree with some of what you say. If you commute to downtown and can get on to the river valley bike path pretty easily then I think you're absolutely right. I used to commute to downtown.

    Now I commute to Southland and MacLeod. Totally different point of view. I would say we have one bike path in the river valley and little outside of that. Granted it is one long bike path which probably contributes to that stat you put about Calgary having the most bike paths. Nice if you lived up by the airport I suppose. I can't think of a single bike lane in all of Calgary.

    As far as Calgary drivers... I don't have anything good to say about that. I don't find them at all respectful. Maybe that isn't fair. On any given day I pass or get passed by a couple hundred drivers. At least once per commute one of them does something to ruin my commute. The rest of them are fine but it only takes the one to make my angry or fearful.

    Contrast to a place like Victoria or Vancouver? Both are cities that have made cycle commuting a priority. I don't think Calgary deserves good marks.

  86. #86
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    Atlanta sucks A$$. Rated as one of the worst places to bike for a major city. I live only 8 miles from work, and hardly an inch of bike lane exists from here to there.

    When they improve roads or build new ones, they are adding bike lanes, but that just creates this odd patchwork or safe and unsafe places to ride. You can be on a street with a nice new and wide bike lane, and it will literally end after a half mile, and then you are squeezed right into traffic again.

    Traffic is so bad here, that a branch of the DOT will actually pay me through my company $3 a day to bike to work. But the knowledge that I will more than likely get killed one day doing it keeps me from doing it. It would be nice, specially with gas prices. I'd get paid and save money on gas. I have great health insurance, but I don't want to test just how good it is

    I have some friends who are bike messengers in Atlanta and they've all been hit several times because there are just no safe lanes for them to be in. They are crazy riders as it is, but they all say they use whatever bike lanes are there, which isn't much.
    " If you're still in control, then you aren't going fast enough! "

  87. #87

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    Indianapolis gets better all the time...
    Fortunately we have a fairly large, fairly active cycling/mt. biking community.

    Our Hoosier Mt. Bike Assoc. has gotten several parks opened up to trail building this year.

    And we're also supposed to be getting 8 more miles of bike lane in the downtown area.
    Plus (although it's an MUT and to busy to do training rides on) we have the Monon Trail which is great for the commute from downtown to the North side of the city... PLUS, I've recently heard that Hamilton County & the Town of Westfield have managed to get everything in place to continue building the Monon from it's current North Endpoint... Going North up to as far as the Northern Hamilton County line.. and from there up to Kokomo...

  88. #88
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    i've been commuting in downtown chicago for three years, year around and have never missed a day except for the very rare (10 at most) days a year that i actually -need- my car for work.

    its been an overall allot of fun, and relatively incident free. most drivers are pretty respectful and curtious, the city is as bike friendly as a place like this can be, and i REALLY like the excessive quantity of bike racks.

    though riding as much as i do, the odds are you'll have a couple of rough encounters:

    had a young lady step from behind a column under the lake street L tracks. decked her ridding full out on my transition bottle rocket. to my surprise, she was fine and helped me up. rocked my pretty hard.

    had a cab on michigan avenue open a door in front of me. manueled into it and pretty much took it off the hinges, i was fine.


    overall, i'm probably a bane to vehicles and pedestrians alike.
    Tim M Hovey

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  89. #89

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    Denver is pretty good. I have very few problems with the motorist here.

  90. #90
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    Eugene's up there.

    And has been there for a while.

    The begining

    Caz

    I am a Mountain Biker therefore I am late

  91. #91
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    Philly is not bad, lots of bikers here. But lots of crazy drivers. Last summer some 15 year old was shot and killed by some A hole because he was blocking the street the guy was driving on. Not in the ghetto either, but right by pats and genos. Stupid **** like that leads me to carry concealed.

  92. #92

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    Hard to tell I live in Peoria, Illinois. Heres what I have noticed. 24 years ago when I first started riding regularly things were different. Every business, school, or park had a bicycle rack. I remember going to community college in 1988 and riding my touring bike to school. there were enough bike racks there to accomidate hundereds of bikes and on some days you would see hundreds of bikes there. Those have all since been removed. You do not see bicycle racks anywhere now. If you ride your bike to a store there is no where to put it once you get there. Try locking it to a sign or a fence and security or a police officer will tell you no not here. My town is very supportive of bike trails and has spent millions of dollars converting railways into trails; however, I dont think anyone wants you to get off the trails. Stay on the trails and off the streets seems to be the attitude here. Its a medium town 120,000 and metro area is about 250,000. It just seems like the system overall (businesses, schools, etc.) is not supportive of commuting. Its almost like your not a true american here unless your burning an obscene amount of oil.

  93. #93
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    Whangarei,N.Z

    Halfway up my street and at top of my street as I go to work,nice autum weather
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Okay,okay,so how do I put it back together,and where did this spring come from

  94. #94
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    more

    taken my boy to day care,and another pic of the mist mixed with the early mornin smoke from all the chimneys
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Okay,okay,so how do I put it back together,and where did this spring come from

  95. #95

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    Quito, Ecuador

    I live in Quito the capital of Ecuador. I am very reluctant to ride at all, drivers have no respect for pedestrians, cyclists or even other drivers. Even Zebra crossings for pedestrians mean absolutely nothing cars will not stop for someone even if they have started walking across the crossing, they will beep at you to get out the way! Its dog eat dog, no respect for the law or human life, the stupid *+&%% 5·")@ sometimes feel like kicking some sense into them .

    However, every 2nd Sunday the historical center of quito and many other parts of Quito the council closes off some of the main streets to cars and only allow cyclists for the ´ciclopaseo`, it is enforced and patrolled by Police, thousands of Quiteños take the opportunity to ride in comfort and safety. There are performances and music in the main squares. I would say most of the cyclists only ride their bikes twice a month when it is on.

  96. #96

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    Looks beautiful, how I miss clean street!

  97. #97
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    worlds apart but united in rideing

    Quote Originally Posted by Heldur
    Looks beautiful, how I miss clean street!
    here in N.Z its taken awhile to get things bikefriendly but wish we had a day of shutdown streets but bussinesses complain cos customers cant park outside their shops they think no one will go in their shop,its a bullsh*t copout,but looks like you need that sort of incentive to get people bikewise and educated,imagine if the petrol ran out,we the experianced riders would rule and bike repairers/builders would make the money,in the end most will conform to one or the other
    Okay,okay,so how do I put it back together,and where did this spring come from

  98. #98

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    Phoenix, AZ

    All anyone can talk about is 'out of control' fuel prices. This is a decent article our paper today:

    http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepu...mutes0602.html


    I guess the Phoenix metro area is about average for commuting. We have a few canal systems (with paths) that span the city. Those are GREAT if they are along your route. In Scottsdale, there is a 15 mile paved greenbelt that runs north to south.
    Aside from those, there are not a lot of bike lanes on the major streets. Drivers are usually in their own little cell phone world. Most commuters here run lights front and back.

    The good part- the entire metro area is pretty flat. Biggest incline I think most face is the overpass crossing the freeway.
    Worst part? It was 100 degrees at 5PM today. It usually cools down after Labor Day!!

  99. #99

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    I read recently somewhere that my town ( Cary, NC ) is ranked in the top 15 cycle friendly communities in the US. I have not been commuting but plan to here shortly so I'll find out for myself.

  100. #100
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    Of the few places I've lived, Lawrence, Kansas, was the most bike-friendly. College town, so there are bike paths and sidewalks and everyone's used to seeing bikers.

    Detroit and its suburbs by far are the worst. Not only is the sprawl built around the automobile, most streets and subdivisions didn't even bother to put in sidewalks (or paved shoulders in many areas). The drivers are aggressive (and getting worse as the economy gets worse). It's not uncommon to get honked at, buzzed or yelled at if someone has to so much as hit their brakes. I salute the brave people that dare ride commute through some of the worst areas.

    I now live in Grand Rapids, Mich., and it's not entirely bike friendly. I moved about a mile from my office and there are bike shoulders and only one street crossing. Downtown is pretty good about bikes, but the sprawl and suburbs paths don't really connect to anything worth commuting on (go from one subdivision to another).

  101. #101
    I rather be cycling...
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    Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico

    commuter friendly in a 0 to 10 scale i guess its -3

    in fact if your car does not have AC, you may be considered an obstacle in the road..


    so sad, I tried to commute home - office last year and all my co-workers were like:


    ""Whaaaaat, are you crazy?""
    Languages spoken: bicyclish, spanish and a bit of english
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJy_GDpbRvk

  102. #102

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    Asheville North Carolina. A ton of biking in this area, but commuting is just starting to catch on as a way to get around town. Not to much hassle from drivers, especially if you appear to be a serious, regular rider, meaning, ride with authority. Airhead drivers are a threat to everyone, including other drivers, we just risk amplified consequences. The hills collect a lot of the newbies, but I always offer encouragement to everyone I see riding.

  103. #103
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    i live in west palm beach florida. and would love to ride my bike to work but its just way to unsafe. between some of the most ******* horrible drivers prob in the whole country and the coutless never ending traffic flow changes due to never ending pointless road construction, and the fact that i work in Riviera beach which is a pretty unsafe place to be even in your car/truck with the windows up i have been mugged before and had to chase the guy down to get my stuff back. heck this one guy i work with rides his bike to work had someone tried to steal his bike while he was riding it pushed him right off but hes old school and rides with toe clips and had them so tight he stayed with the bike. he now rides with a taser and pepper spray.

  104. #104
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by full_circle
    i live in west palm beach florida. and would love to ride my bike to work but its just way to unsafe. between some of the most ******* horrible drivers prob in the whole country and the coutless never ending traffic flow changes due to never ending pointless road construction, and the fact that i work in Riviera beach which is a pretty unsafe place to be even in your car/truck with the windows up i have been mugged before and had to chase the guy down to get my stuff back. heck this one guy i work with rides his bike to work had someone tried to steal his bike while he was riding it pushed him right off but hes old school and rides with toe clips and had them so tight he stayed with the bike. he now rides with a taser and pepper spray.
    I hear you about Riviera beach. I have spent alot of time in the Palm Beach area and Riviera is no joke....and I am from Philly!

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    I just did my first commute to work this morning. Was 10.3 miles, and I will admit it was difficult to chose the appropriate place to ride safely. I fear pedestrians more than cars, since I choose to ride on the sidewalk at times due to my comfort level on a narrow street.

    This is North Jersey, where I feel alot drivers still feel that bike riding is for the parks only.

  106. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by chwesley
    yeah here in lubbock, they are very friendly.

    honk at you, stare at you and cuss at you. Also try to run you off the road.

    apparently they think if they honk i will go faster, when im already doing 20 mph
    Really? I didn't have those problems when I was there, unless I was out late enough for the frat boys to be drunk.Maybe those were friendlier days.

    I found Lubbock to be pretty commutable if you stayed inside the loop. Since many of the residential streets are wide and go straight through, you can usually pick the least traveled roads and join up with the main outlets later. With driving restrictions on campus, that area is normally not too bad if you can avoid buses and the short rush when afternoon classes get out.

    Trying to get past the loop is a whole 'nother story though.

  107. #107
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    Im not sure if San Jose, Ca is commuter friendly or not, but I see a fair share of dumbshit drivers in the streets on a daily basis. Today I was just test riding an old road bike around the neighborhood and this girl approach the intersecting in a brand new SUV. She didn't bother to fully stop to look to her left (the direction that I came from) before making a right turn and ended up bumping into my bike after I rode across the street right in front of her. For a moment there I thought she did that on purpose and tried to kill me because she kept of driving for almost two seconds as I struggled to keep the bike in control and not get squish under her all-****ing-terrain/sport-goddamn-utility vehicle that she probably just use to get around town. Next week I will be starting my bike commute for the first time, and I am going to take this old road bike to downtown. I am excited about saving gas and getting regular exercise, but man, what happened today discourages me a little bit.

  108. #108
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    Colorado Springs...Fantastic "Urban Trail System"

    Here is the Urban Trails Master Plan...showing current and proposed "trails".
    GoatRidesBikes.com
    Goat Rides Bikes @ YouTube
    "I may be old and fat, but at least I'm slow." - Me

  109. #109
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    I live in the resort town of Palm Springs, CA......and about 90% is beautiful, lush, paved walking/jogging/bike/golf paths with breathtaking desert views. The only thing I hate here is that in the summer months, the temp gets towards the boiling temperature of water. Man, I miss the SF Bay Area- it rarely ever went above 90 there....

  110. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by McDowell_Matt
    Indianapolis gets better all the time...
    Fortunately we have a fairly large, fairly active cycling/mt. biking community.

    Our Hoosier Mt. Bike Assoc. has gotten several parks opened up to trail building this year.

    And we're also supposed to be getting 8 more miles of bike lane in the downtown area.
    Plus (although it's an MUT and to busy to do training rides on) we have the Monon Trail which is great for the commute from downtown to the North side of the city... PLUS, I've recently heard that Hamilton County & the Town of Westfield have managed to get everything in place to continue building the Monon from it's current North Endpoint... Going North up to as far as the Northern Hamilton County line.. and from there up to Kokomo...
    Now if Kokomo can get a connection to the north side of the city (which i doubt because I think the area is too lazy) and connect with Nickle Plate Trail you could ride from downtown Indy to Peru in one shot. Easily a century round trip
    Bikes: 2008 Cannondale Rush 4, 1994 Trek 930SHX, 2009 Scott CR1 Team Issue

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  111. #111
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    I live in the midwest- Richmond, IN. Population est. 38,000.

    I would have to rate this city a zero (or lower) on the commuter-friendly scale.

    We have zero bike lanes. We have three bike racks that I know of. We have drivers that have no idea how to handle a cyclist on the road. We also have a good deal of unprofessional or ignorant cyclists which doesnt help matters (ride against traffic, on the sidewalk, no light, dark clothing, running stop signs, etc) Our road system and overall infrastructure is pretty poorly planned for non-car traffic (including walking) as most things are spread out and certain stretches lack shoulders or even sidewalks.

    On the positive side: we have two excellent bike shops, one with an AWESOME staff and the other with a pretty good selection of gear. We also have three miles of converted rail road track to bike/ walking trail that should be expanded further in upcoming years. We also just started a commuting coalition to inform the city of possible problems and prohibitive issues to bike commuting.

  112. #112
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    Glasgow, Scotland. city population about 800,000 (quite a bit more if you include the outlying areas in a 20 mile radius or so)

    OK not great but could be worse, travel 5.5 miles in to town and manage about 2 miles of that with no traffic cutting through a park, probably manage another mile of so on pavements(could be more but it's faster on the road at other bits), which is nice. general tho there is the sustrans routes we have here which are great if your a roadie and wanting to do 50/100mi routes, but they only pass thru the city a few times, so you get a few bike lanes but nothing really all that useful for the majority i'd imagine. other than that it's playing with the traffic, which is fun ideally a hardtail with road tyres is the best thing for commuting around these parts i think, roads can be a bit rough and there are pavements on 90% of roads so you can bounce on to them when it suits. the few bike lanes we do have in the city centre are shared with buses which to me is just daft, whose great idea was it that the smallest thing on the road should share a route with the largest?

  113. #113
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    I live in Parkville, MD. It's half in the city and half in the county. Traffic can be a mess especially on some of the smaller, out-dated road which were originally designed during the early 1950's suburban expansion of Baltimore. The good areas of the city, especially on the east side, have some bike lanes that are actually organized and established.

    Some supposed bike lanes have been marked off and a couple of "share the road" signs have been put up. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that some things have been done but it's an incomplete, feel-good project to counter the high fuel cost and bad traffic at best.

    The funniest part is that they took route 40, a divided 4-lane highway with stop-lights, and marked the shoulder as a bike lane. It's a pretty interesting feeling almost getting blown over by the force of a passing 18-wheeler going 65 mph.

    All-in-all, it's a ride-at-your-own risk area. I recommend a roadie to keep pace with multiple blinking rear lights and as much reflective wear as possible.

  114. #114
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    I ride a mile in my small town streets to a beautiful paved bike trail and take it 12 miles with only one crossing at a light (soon to be a bridge) in Medford. I ride another half a mile on a street with a bike lane. Being Oregon, motorists respect cyclists and are very well 'trained' lets say so negative encounters are few and far between. I previously lived in the San Jose area, that was much more dangerous and aggressive in my experience although the weather was superb.

    I hope that someday everyone can enjoy such a commute away from cars. I look forward to riding whether its pouring rain and 45 or 100 and sunny.

    Sometimes I slow down to greet someone walking their dog, not much more to gripe about than that. . .

  115. #115
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    I would say my town is not commuter friendly at all. We have no bike paths, but sidewalks are here and there, they are great in some places, horrible in others. My commute is .5 miles of highway with less than 2' of edge. On a scale from 1-10. 10 being the best, my town is a 2.
    2002 Schwinn Aluminum Comp. Beater.
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  116. #116
    ol'guy who says hi &waves
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    Modesto CA

    I've always felt Modesto was anti bike. It's time for me to change my mind.

    My commute route through town is more of a touring route than a commuter route. It probably has prejudiced my feelings.

    This article in the local newspaper should raise awareness .

    I've seen scattered bike route signs around town but didn't realize there was an actual system

    Now go ride, and ride safe.
    Last edited by fred-da-trog; 11-22-2008 at 07:40 AM.
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  117. #117
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    I wish stores and restaurants were more bike friendly.

  118. #118
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    A tale of two cities...

    I live in a blue-collar/drug town. Lots of seasonal industry (canneries, farms, etc.). The only cyclists people here are used to seeing are the meth addicts (highest meth use in the state per capita) or an apparent DUI recipient who is pedaling to the store to get more cigarettes. When I ride through town in my screaming yellow Pearl Izumi jacket, tights and obnoxious lights, people look at me like I'm some kind of bug in a jar. They are like...WTF?? Vehicles here tend to fall into 1 of 4 categories. Family cars...there are families here, lifted redneck pickups, ricers and clapped out barely running meth cars. This town has one bike shop and it is struggling. This time of year, I sometimes come in on my way home from work and they tell me I'm the 2nd or 3rd person they've seen all day. I try to do all my business there. Oh...there are very few bike racks in town.

    However, the town I work in just 10 miles away is home to the state university, significant tech industry and has lots of people with disposable income. Most vehicles are family sedans, minivans, SUVs and all of the lifted pickups appear to have been replaced with Priuses. Just about every street has bike lanes and there are dedicated multiuse paths all over the place. The town has 6 bike shops and they are all thriving. Even now...they are chasing customers out the door at closing time. This town has bike racks all over the place. I haven't counted but I think there are at least 1 or 2 racks on both sides of the street on every block in the downtown area.

  119. #119
    I Tried Them ALL... SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tweezak
    I live in a blue-collar/drug town. Lots of seasonal industry (canneries, farms, etc.). The only cyclists people here are used to seeing are the meth addicts (highest meth use in the state per capita) or an apparent DUI recipient who is pedaling to the store to get more cigarettes. When I ride through town in my screaming yellow Pearl Izumi jacket, tights and obnoxious lights, people look at me like I'm some kind of bug in a jar. They are like...WTF?? Vehicles here tend to fall into 1 of 4 categories. Family cars...there are families here, lifted redneck pickups, ricers and clapped out barely running meth cars. This town has one bike shop and it is struggling. This time of year, I sometimes come in on my way home from work and they tell me I'm the 2nd or 3rd person they've seen all day. I try to do all my business there. Oh...there are very few bike racks in town.

    However, the town I work in just 10 miles away is home to the state university, significant tech industry and has lots of people with disposable income. Most vehicles are family sedans, minivans, SUVs and all of the lifted pickups appear to have been replaced with Priuses. Just about every street has bike lanes and there are dedicated multiuse paths all over the place. The town has 6 bike shops and they are all thriving. Even now...they are chasing customers out the door at closing time. This town has bike racks all over the place. I haven't counted but I think there are at least 1 or 2 racks on both sides of the street on every block in the downtown area.
    That sounds alot like Kentucky.....or even Oregon. Man, I would hate living in a tweaker town. If you ever got hit by one- those toothless fools would never stop.
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  120. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah
    That sounds alot like Kentucky.....or even Oregon. Man, I would hate living in a tweaker town. If you ever got hit by one- those toothless fools would never stop.
    DING DING DING DING!! We have a winner...Oregon it is!

    Don't get me wrong...Oregon is an awesome place but there are some real armpit towns.

    If you want to live in a nice place that is bicycle friendly, Portland, Corvallis and Eugene are top shelf. Oh...and on the rack thing...I was in Corvallis today after an awesome ride in McDonald Forest and I noticed there are bike racks almost every 30 feet...sometimes more...on both sides of the street in the downtown area. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a bicycle rack.

  121. #121
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    My commute is from the base of Palos Verdes to Santa Monica. (Los Angeles). 40miles round trip.

    Just started commuting a couple months ago to get in better DH shape. Can't believe it has taken me so long to do so. As far as commutes go, i don't think it gets better than this. Ride up the strand (on the beach) all the way up. Dolphins, surf, mid 70's weather year round.... and NO CARS! Getting around the marina can slow me down a bit, but other than that I cruise 18-20mph.

    My hats to anyone that commutes in the rain or snow... doubt I could do that.
    Last edited by jonny nez; 11-24-2008 at 02:32 PM.

  122. #122
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    Washignton, D.C.

    It's O.K. There are some MUPs that are quite useful to some, but they don't assist my commute. Bike lanes are there but often ignored. I've occasionally gotten attitude from motorists, but no more so than any other city.

    Fortunatly, my commute is only 5-10 minutes. Saves a 30 min walk.

  123. #123
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    I live on the Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area. There are many bike lanes and bike paths in our area. There is a bike lane which runs almost the entire length of my commute and is well lit in most places. Bikes are fairly commonplace on the roads here, so motorists are usually pretty conciencise of us. Roads are pretty well maintained as well. The only real problem I encounter on a regular basis is that a good portion of my commute (the fastest, downhill stretch) is lined with Eucalyptus globulus trees. Those of you that are familiar with this species know that they produce duff like it's going out of style. Slippery leaves, acorns and bark all over the place. I consider it an interesting challenge though and a good excuse to improve my riding skills. There is nothing quite like blasting down a hill going 30+MPH, coming up quickly on a chunk or bark the size of a large dog and having to suddenly get "creative."
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010

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