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  1. #1
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    ... and if we just ... Tell Me What you like Most about Commuting by Bike!

    So I am pursuing an MBA at the UNC Charlotte and am doing a group project for my design thinking and innovation class. The first goal for the project is to choose a target market and interview people in that market to try to identify their likes and dislikes in order to determine a need.

    My group has chosen bicycle commuters or people who ride their bikes around the city for transportation and recreation. Bikes, particularly mountain bikes are my main passion but I have only been commuting by bike exclusively over the last year.

    Anyway, I'd love some input from anyone here in the commuting forum. Feel free to answer as many questions as you want and be as brief or thorough as you want!

    1. What are your favorite aspects of commuting by bike?

    2. If you were trying to convince someone to start commuting by bike, how would you "sell" the concept?

    3. What were your principal annoyances as a novice rider/commuter? What are the main inconveniences you deal with now?

    4. How long have you been commuting by bike?

    5. Other than commuting to and from work, where are your favorite places to travel by bike?

    6. What products do you use that make your commute easier or more enjoyable?

    I REALLY appreciate everyone's time on this, any input from you guys will help me immensely, like I mentioned above, feel free to answer as few or as many of these questions as you like!

    Thanks again!

    (edit)
    I know I've already asked a lot but I need to add one more query here. In our interviews with local cyclist, the issue of bike security has come up a lot so I think it's worth asking about here.

    7. How do you secure your bike at your destination? Does your workplace allow indoor storage? Have you ever had a bike stolen?
    Last edited by rusty904; 02-07-2017 at 04:51 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by rusty904 View Post
    1. What are your favorite aspects of commuting by bike?
    The exercise, connecting with the places I'm riding through, the extra fresh air and sunshine exposure.

    Quote Originally Posted by rusty904 View Post
    2. If you were trying to convince someone to start commuting by bike, how would you "sell" the concept?
    It's refreshing. It makes you feel better. It energizes you in the morning and gets you ready for the day.

    Quote Originally Posted by rusty904 View Post
    3. What were your principle annoyances as a novice rider/commuter? What are the main inconveniences you deal with now?
    Stressful places to ride. Usually related to poor infrastructure for bikes, or a lack of consideration for bicycles in the overall road design resulting in more frequent stressful encounters with cars.

    Quote Originally Posted by rusty904 View Post
    4. How long have you been commuting by bike?
    First time I commuted by bike was probably 2001 or so. It was extremely infrequent because of the high stress infrastructure. I commuted off and on over the intervening years. More frequently when I had better route choices. Less frequently when the routes were less good.

    Quote Originally Posted by rusty904 View Post
    5. Other than commuting to and from work, where are your favorite places to travel by bike?
    Quiet places, in general. Quiet greenway paths, quiet dirt/gravel roads, singletrack trails.

    Quote Originally Posted by rusty904 View Post
    6. What products do you use that make your commute easier or more enjoyable?
    Full coverage fenders. Extended mudflaps (helps keep my feet dry from splashing through standing water). Rear rack. Lights. Bell. Bright/reflective clothing. Locks.

    Wants:
    dynamo hub and light setup
    rain cape

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by rusty904 View Post

    1. What are your favorite aspects of commuting by bike?

    2. If you were trying to convince someone to start commuting by bike, how would you "sell" the concept?

    3. What were your principle annoyances as a novice rider/commuter? What are the main inconveniences you deal with now?

    4. How long have you been commuting by bike?

    5. Other than commuting to and from work, where are your favorite places to travel by bike?

    6. What products do you use that make your commute easier or more enjoyable?

    Thanks again!
    1. I just love the ride! The cool morning air, watching the sun rise, the exercise before work, but mostly, just time to myself on my bike

    2. I'd invite them to join me on a commute, or meet somewhere in the middle

    3. How to carry things - work computer, change of clothes, how to clean up when I get to the office

    4. Almost a year

    5. I love to mountain bike obviously, but Ive also grown fond of all day gravel grinding, and riding obscure, low traffic mixed surface roads

    6. Still working out things TBH. Im not fond of my backpack, despite its convenience. Im looking at installing a rack and pannier bags. Proper clothing can make all the difference between an enjoyable experience and a miserable one. Full length fenders are absolutely a must. Blinky lights for road visibility.
    Grit, spit, and a whole lot of duct tape!

  4. #4
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    Awesome! This is really great input, keep it coming.

  5. #5
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    As a bike commuter, I guess I should include my own responses as well so here it goes.

    1. Time to think and be alone/stress management (on the quieter sections of the commute anyway), I don't have to pay for parking and can ride right up to my building, burning calories instead of gas, general enjoyment of being on the bike.

    2. I'd tell them it's a great stress reliever and it's not as scary as you might think. I second the idea of taking them for a ride along with me.

    3. I tend to sweat a lot and that's an issue here in the Southeas, no shower or locker room at my destination so looking professional is tough. Securing my bike requires heavy and somewhat annoying to use locks. Transporting heavy or bulky items. There is no easy way to determine the best/safest commuting route other than trial and error. More variables that can lead to being late than traveling by car, requires more time and planning. Inconsiderate motorists.

    4. 1 year continuously, I commuted and got around town by bike occasionally in years past including riding to class by bike in undergrad.

    5. Singletrack. Around town I like to ride to the gym, built in warm up! I also like to go to breweries, parks, restaurants and the grocery store.

    6. I like using a bike computer or strava because it's fun to see the miles add up. I like my serfas thunderbolt lights because of the form factor even though the battery life isn't too great. My new Roubaix Pro 2br tires, great ride, hold air well, and seem to be very flat resistant plus they aren't too pricey.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rusty904 View Post
    So I am pursuing an MBA at the UNC Charlotte and am doing a group project for my design thinking and innovation class. The first goal for the project is to choose a target market and interview people in that market to try to identify their likes and dislikes in order to determine a need.

    My group has chosen bicycle commuters or people who ride their bikes around the city for transportation and recreation. Bikes, particularly mountain bikes are my main passion but I have only been commuting by bike exclusively over the last year.

    Anyway, I'd love some input from anyone here in the commuting forum. Feel free to answer as many questions as you want and be as brief or thorough as you want!

    1. What are your favorite aspects of commuting by bike?

    2. If you were trying to convince someone to start commuting by bike, how would you "sell" the concept?

    3. What were your principle annoyances as a novice rider/commuter? What are the main inconveniences you deal with now?

    4. How long have you been commuting by bike?

    5. Other than commuting to and from work, where are your favorite places to travel by bike?

    6. What products do you use that make your commute easier or more enjoyable?

    I REALLY appreciate everyone's time on this, any input from you guys will help me immensely, like I mentioned above, feel free to answer as few or as many of these questions as you like!

    Thanks again!
    1 Commuting? Favorite? Not in a car. MA rider here, North of Boston, 1 hr by car( 17.5 miles) 20 minutes longer by bike. Win. Bike paths, awesome. Fresh air, exercise, I like to bike, year round. Plus my wife loves my sculpted legs. Nice.
    2 Sell? Bike paths, other bikers, commuting groups, short distances, BEST? proper bikes storage( secure) and a whole locker, shower, clean up space for the riders.

    3 Annoyance? Bad drivers. Inconvenient? Bad weather reports?

    4 Since 2004, ( gas went up to $ 4.00 a gallon) I average about 2,000 bike commuter miles per year. 2-6 trips per week.

    5 I bike tour all of New England. I mt bike all over as well. Lots of places right near my house.

    6 Products? Showers pass, jackets, pants, helmet cover. USB rechargeable lights, cygo lite front and rear. Fenders, yup. Disc brakes as well. Patagonia wool base layers, all the time.

    Other? Some of my bike commutes home involve 8-9 miles of sweet single track, out of 20 ( more daylight and warmer days help there) It is part of my lifestyle, exercise, hobby and sport.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rusty904 View Post

    1. What are your favorite aspects of commuting by bike?

    2. If you were trying to convince someone to start commuting by bike, how would you "sell" the concept?

    3. What were your principle annoyances as a novice rider/commuter? What are the main inconveniences you deal with now?

    4. How long have you been commuting by bike?

    5. Other than commuting to and from work, where are your favorite places to travel by bike?

    6. What products do you use that make your commute easier or more enjoyable?

    Thanks again!
    1. Exercise and locomotion = two birds, one stone.
    2. See above. Also, gives you an increased sense of self importance that you can lord over your gas-guzzling co-workers.
    3. Getting to work all sweaty. Getting gear together in the AM. Bad drivers, of course. Then, and now.
    4. 5 years, most days when it doesn't rain.
    5. Everywhere I can display that self-importance I was talking about.
    6. Overpants (winter). Panniers. Rechargeable lights. Single Speed.
    My other bike is a /7.

  8. #8
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    1. Getting exercise; the fresh air; seeing wildlife; less stressful than driving; never stuck in traffic.
    2. Save money, get a workout, and shrink your carbon footprint all at the same time.
    3. Dangerous motorists (both as a novice and now)
    4. On and off for well over 20 years.
    5. Mountain bike trails.
    6. Good breathable waterproof gear; a good bike-oriented backpack; theft-resistant axle skewers; rechargeable lights; a rear fender.

  9. #9
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    I'll do it, but when I transfer to uncc next semester show me the jumpline.

    1. What are your favorite aspects of commuting by bike?
    Staying fit and saving gas money

    2. If you were trying to convince someone to start commuting by bike, how would you "sell" the concept? It really depends on the person, but if I found someone who had a short commute i'd try and convince them to just try it for a week and see if they want to stick with it. Most people dont have nice bikes, and I think it would be a hard sell to get those people to ride their huffy 30 miles. So I'd look for people with short commutes or those who lead an active lifestyle.

    3. What were your principle annoyances as a novice rider/commuter? What are the main inconveniences you deal with now?

    The cold, and people that don't know how to drive their car.

    4. How long have you been commuting by bike?
    A year I guess? and I still drive sometimes if its raining or something.

    5. Other than commuting to and from work, where are your favorite places to travel by bike? On the trails!

    6. What products do you use that make your commute easier or more enjoyable? A quality bike.

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE=BobbyLight350z;13029162]I'll do it, but when I transfer to uncc next semester show me the jumpline.

    Haha, I actually have never been out there, the campus I go to is in the middle of Uptown. I can definitely show you the other jump lines around town though, BYT and the WWC mostly.

  11. #11
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    1. Efficiency. If you are going to exercise anyway it saves time and money. The money saved can go into a fund for buying better bikes. Passing traffic is always fun too. Self sufficiency, I like the idea that I can get from here to there under my own power.
    2. Plan on a time to try it just once, then try it once a week or so. If it works for you keep increasing the frequency. The only person I have ever sold is my wife.
    3. The real possibility of getting hit by a car.
    4. 25 years occasionally. 5-6 years almost daily.
    5. Places I might not visit otherwise. Pick a destination and ride there. See it at a slow speed.
    6. Lights, pretty much mandatory unless you have a very short schedule in the winter. Fenders if you are an all weather commuter. Merino wool everything possible. Don't be that stinky guy.

  12. #12
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    1. What are your favorite aspects of commuting by bike?
    Parking. Parking. Parking. And doubling-down on a little bit of physical activity. Mostly parking. I'm in a PhD program in a private college with 5k students and about 900 parking spots.

    2. If you were trying to convince someone to start commuting by bike, how would you "sell" the concept?
    Use the bike lane to skip traffic. I live in PHX, and even in the summer I'd rather ride in 100*F+ temps than get into a car that's been baking in the sun for 8 hours.

    3. What were your principle annoyances as a novice rider/commuter? What are the main inconveniences you deal with now?
    3 changes of clothes per day, plus books, a laptop and a lunch, every time I ride. hasn't changed. I need riding clothes, then dress pants/polo and leather shoes for class, plus scrubs or running shorts/tee and running shoes for lab. There are no lockers.
    4. How long have you been commuting by bike?
    almost 3 years, average 3 days per week. it's 7 miles each way.
    5. Other than commuting to and from work, where are your favorite places to travel by bike?
    Anywhere remote. I also love morning "café rides" to go get coffee with the wife.
    6. What products do you use that make your commute easier or more enjoyable?
    a giant commuter bag. I want panniers, but I ride a 'road bike' with no ability to easily add panniers or racks.

    7. How do you secure your bike at your destination? Does your workplace allow indoor storage? Have you ever had a bike stolen?

    The school boasts that no bike has ever been stolen from campus, so I just lock it to the provided racks. I have forgotten my lock and left it with the Security desk in the library.
    I have never had a bike stolen from anywhere. I also don't ride to place that I could/should. There's a shopping center with a grocery store, and a Lowe's, a haircut place, and such 3/4 mile from my house. I'll walk but don't trust my bike, even my 20 year old beater, to stay put.
    Don’t modify the trail to match your skills, modify your skills to match the trails.

  13. #13
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    It has been years since I commuted to work regularly (retired).

    1. What are your favorite aspects of commuting by bike?

    The delight rolling out the driveway. The planning on the way in if traffic was light enough, and at my time it generally was. The decompress on the way home. The general fitness maintenance.

    2. If you were trying to convince someone to start commuting by bike, how would you "sell" the concept?

    I likely would not try unless they were asking about it. Then simply answer their questions.

    3. What were your principal annoyances as a novice rider/commuter? What are the main inconveniences you deal with now?

    Exceedingly rude and dangerous drivers (fortunately, rare). Heart issues (64 yo).

    4. How long have you been commuting by bike?

    I had about 7 years total.

    5. Other than commuting to and from work, where are your favorite places to travel by bike?

    Library. Car dealership. Farmer's Market. Just out for a ride in the most common.

    6. What products do you use that make your commute easier or more enjoyable?

    Lights. Bight clothing. Fenders. Good saddles and chamois shorts at least as a bottom layer.


    7. How do you secure your bike at your destination? Does your workplace allow indoor storage? Have you ever had a bike stolen?

    When i am out and back and stopping nowhere: none. I used to take my bike into the office or the storeroom, also with the best locks of the tine in the middle of a large bike lock up with may other easier to steel bikes at a time when bike theft was less rampant. Made sure it was unpredictable, so harder to steal.

  14. #14
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    the ice cold wind on my face.....showing up to work with mud on my pants......getting run over by cars......carrying a heavy lock.........raining and snowing on the road hoping drivers see me....

  15. #15
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    1. What are your favorite aspects of commuting by bike?
    Optimal mix of being outside, experience the surroundings, exercising AND getting somewhere within a reasonable timeframe.
    Main important thing: You have to like riding a bike. Otherwise there is no use - you would be annoying yourself.

    2. If you were trying to convince someone to start commuting by bike, how would you "sell" the concept?
    I tell them the other way around: I tell them how I feel when I dont ride. My co-workers already recognize it when I didnt ride, they see it in my face. I am simply not as awake as usual. I also always explain that at first I wanted to cummute in summer only, but once I got used to it, I didnt want to stop riding. I also explain which stuff I use in winter and sometimes even borrow something out so they can try. Currently a co-worker is testing one of my buffs and I am hear his reaction next Monday. I also once gave away a set of old neoprene boot covers that were almost falling apart. So my collegue tried them for a few weeks then got a pair of new ones for himself => Bullseye.

    3. What were your principal annoyances as a novice rider/commuter? What are the main inconveniences you deal with now?
    -Traffic can be annoying when there is no bikelane separated from the road.
    -Headwind - not much you can do when its there except for installing a dropbar.

    4. How long have you been commuting by bike?
    (all distances one way)
    0-12 yrs old just recreational with my friends around the neighbourhood
    12-17 first real commutes by bike - 3km to school.
    17-20 I commuted from/to the bus stop to school - 2km
    20-28 commute to school, shopping, about everything within 5km
    28-38 everything except commuting, including weekend bike touring with camping gear
    38-now: Because of family constraints commuting by bike is the only way to keep riding. Otherwise I would have to give it up almost completely. Now that the kids are getting older and bigger, we can start thinking about recreational rides again.

    5. Other than commuting to and from work, where are your favorite places to travel by bike?
    No real place, just everything where it comes in handy: within 3-4km and/or when parking a car is difficult.

    6. What products do you use that make your commute easier or more enjoyable?
    well better would asking what I do NOT use. Fully equipped bike with fenders, lights, racks and a low maintenance drivetrain. In addition, when I buy clothing I always have cycling in mind, so mostly its a mix of cotton/merino/polyester. Stuff that dries fast and wrinklefree. Of course the usual bike stuff as well as wind/rainproof jackets, pants, helmet, several sets of gloves for different temp ranges, shoe covers, buffs, .... you name it.

    7. How do you secure your bike at your destination? Does your workplace allow indoor storage? Have you ever had a bike stolen?
    No indoor storage, BUT a lot of bikeracks with a roof over it. In addition, I work in a big company where only employees can get into the plant.
    In the Netherlands when I was in a neighbouring town of Amsterdam, I had a bike stolen in average once a year. The general rule was that the lock has to be more expensive than the bike.
    Later in Germany we had only one bike stolen in 12 years but we didnt have to park the bike at dangerous spots like bus stops, train stations etc.

  16. #16
    turtles make me hot
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    Years ago, I used to be self employed and lived in the same town as my shop. I used to cycle from the house to the shop.
    Then, I took a job in the city and had to commute on the train. Approximately four years ago, I started riding a Dahon folder from my house to the railroad station and from Penn Station to my job. It isn't a lot of riding but it's WAY more fun than the subway, which I hate. It was fun trickin' out the Dahon too. The guys at the bike shop say I have the baddest folder ever.
    I like turtles

  17. #17
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    What I like about commuting? Two words. Early Retirement. I never paid for a new car, always had well used junk (same with the car!). I owe a lot of it to money I saved using a bicycle. Sometimes it means hauling some weird stuff.

  18. #18
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    1. Fun, exercise.

    3. Getting my bike dialed in. Dealing with traffic. Finding the right accessories.
    Now-Dumb drivers. Forgetting something at home. Headwind. Wanting to ride but feeling tired.

    4. 3 years.

    5. Store. Restaurant. Touring. Beach.

    6. WTB saddle. Ergon grips are great. Rear bike rack and bags.

    7. Chain anywhere except work. There I keep it inside.

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