Why did you begin commuting?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Why did you begin commuting?

    We all know that there are countless benefits to commuting to and from work by bike. However, with the most logical form of transportation for most people being to drive a car what was it that made you begin commuting by bike?

    For me it was the record high gas prices of 2008. Once the price of gas rose to more than $4.00 a gallon, I figured that I could save some money by riding my bike to and from work. I planned on riding through the spring and summer then going back to driving in the fall when gas prices would be more reasonable. I ended up liking the bike commute so much that I continued to ride through the fall and almost all of the winter.

    So what was it for you that made you get out of the cage and enjoy the freedom and tranquility of riding to and from work?
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  2. #2
    PCC
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    The first few times that I commuted by bike I did a partial commute just because I wanted to do it. No other reason. The distance was too far to do all of it by bike so I drove half way. That also took care of 90% of the climbing that I needed to do on that ride.

    More recently, when I got a job downtown, I commuted because I could. Driving would be an expensive proposition because parking downtown is $20 a day at the cheapest place. Commuting by subway was not fun by any means nor was it expensive but riding was just so much more fun.

  3. #3
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    Up until about 3 years ago, I didn't even own a car and I live so close to work that I would just walk. Even after I got a car, it was mainly for road trips, long distances and large/heavy loads. I wanted to get back into cycling and mountain biking so I started commuting to work to get back into cycling trim. It's faster than walking and I don't have to worry about parking or traffic hassles. And it saves gases, mileage and maintainance on the car. I also go on a lot of long walks and hikes with my girlfriend, so it helps build my aerobic base. The health benefit, stress reduction, all of these things help. Plus, best of all, it may be the only chance I get to ride that day. Any day I wake up and know I'm going to get to ride makes it worth getting out of bed at all.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  4. #4
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    I'm commuting to my summer job every day. One of the main reasons is a lack of parking.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  5. #5
    weirdo
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    Just for fun. It sure wasn`t to save money- I knew dang well I`d end up spending more on bike crap than I would spend on gas. It`s still fun and I still spend way too much on bike crap : )

  6. #6
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    Well..... I have a medical condition that, when it occasionally rears it's ugly head, excludes me from driving for 6 months per incident ........ has been convenient that I've worked <13 miles from any job I've held in the last 26 years Right now, I'm about 3 hilly miles from work - all is well !!!

  7. #7
    ...a wiggle theres a way
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    i do it for three reasons
    a) endorphins - makes my job much more exciting when i am excited to be there
    b) exercise
    c) dislike driving due to (rubber necking, accidents, jams, idiots - got those on bikes to but - easier to pass, etc...)

    joe

  8. #8
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    When I was a kid, I was an avid cyclist. My family lived on a farm 10 miles from town and I didn't own a vehicle until I was 18. I rode my bike everywhere. I even did some light solo touring in my teens.

    After I got married I mountain biked with my wife's son from time to time but never was in great shape. I always struggled and was very frustrated. Eventually I hung up the bike and didn't touch it for about 15 years.

    Well, in the middle of last year when fuel prices were going ballistic, a buddy at work who lives a long way from the plant started talking about driving part way and riding the rest of the way. My bike hadn't had tires on it in about 10 years but I told him "if you do it, I'll do it." It was on!

    We started a friendly grudge match and had a whiteboard with hash marks on it showing who had ridden the most. It was all in good fun and we we always encouraged each other. As I upgraded my bike, I gave him my take-offs (saddle, brakes, etc.). Well, when sports started up and he started refereeing basketball, his riding subsided but I continued through the winter until I got sick in late November. Up until the second week in December I had only missed 3 days. I live 14 miles from work so I was getting in about 500mi/month.

    I treated myself to a new bike in January and have missed a week here and there for weather or illness. Otherwise, I'm still going strong. Softball just ended so my friend has resumed riding. I threatened him with starting an "excuse board" so he's been riding even with a broken fibula! He's not doing the distance I am but at least he's doing it.

    So, if you know someone who is thinking about starting but lacks the motivation, tell them to find a partner to compete with. It really helps you get through the painful first few weeks.

  9. #9
    I'm SUCH a square....
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    I started because my van quit running, and it was 2-3 months before I could replace it. Oddly enough, it was a year later, almost to the day, when I handed my then-wife the keys and picked up the bike again. Back then, it was a Wally Special, a rigid Huffy 18-speed thumbshifter with fat tires. Fun bike, though....

    I caught the passion for it after doing it steadily for about three months; it was the bizarre, yet simple, act of rolling over a hard-packed plowdrift of snow to put me over the edge. I decided then and there that I was having more fun than I'd had in decades.

    Five bikes later, each better than the last, and I'm rolling an AM rig for all purposes -- commuting, utility, fun, group rides (kept up with Phil Keoghan for about 40 minutes on my XLT, he was on a Roubaix!), everything. I don't even own a car anymore, and I don't miss it! I do, however, get a little perturbed when some igno expresses their sympathies for me 'losing my license' -- NEVER HAPPENED, BI+CH! HERE, I'LL SHOW YA! Current, valid, still in my wallet, no restrictions...damn these fools...........................
    A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....

  10. #10
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    Faster than taking the bus.

  11. #11
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    I only worked two miles away and gas had just gone over $2/gallon. Mainly I'm a cheap ass.

  12. #12
    fnar fnar brrraaaaap
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    I don't have a car

  13. #13
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    My grand daughter moved in and I went riding with her. I realized I needed a different saddle. Once I got the saddle, I was riding for exercise - since I had given up jogging for eliptical and airdyne, getting out on a bike really captured my fancy. I remembered riding to work 25 years ago, and decided I'd get my cardio while riding to work. I rode 3 or 4 days per week last summer and fall, and averaged one ride to work per winter week. Back in the saddle.

    I guess the main reason is exercise, and I appreciate the economics - but I think what keeps me riding is fun and adventure.

  14. #14
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    I'm often stuck in a vehicle most of my shift, riding to the station is a good way to be outside. I only live 4 miles from work, so I save some gas, but don't get a ton of exercise benefit out of it. It's almost the same amount of time to drive or ride, but I suspect when a certain major road is closed to 1 lane while being widened that I will save time by riding.

    I don't ride every day, I still need some good panniers to get everything I need with me. I do not like riding with a backpack. And like someone else said, the gas savings is more than made up for by buying more bike stuff.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by emtnate
    And like someone else said, the gas savings is more than made up for by buying more bike stuff.
    So true... I no longer use cars and have ten grand of bicycles in the garage now.

  16. #16
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    Because it seems ridiculous to drive .75 miles.

    And, since I don't have to take all roads, its a little under a half mile if I walk or ride my bike.

  17. #17

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    My transmission went out last August and I refuse to sink another cent into the car.

  18. #18
    I Have Cookies
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    are yuo kidding? I "GET" to ride my bike to work!! Its awesome! I wish more people did it!!
    and I emphasize "get to!" I dont "have to"
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say. Joshua Stinebrink

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  19. #19
    I'm SUCH a square....
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    Quote Originally Posted by ae111black
    are yuo kidding? I "GET" to ride my bike to work!! Its awesome! I wish more people did it!!
    and I emphasize "get to!" I dont "have to"
    That's what ALL of us get -- NOW. Wasn't always that way for all of us. A few of us got caught up in the 'American Dream' idea, wife, kids, house w/ two in the driveway, all that shee-it.

    In high school, I rode like a madman; EVERYWHERE! Rode to high school registration, rode to re-connect with my dad, rode to my first job, all of it. But then I got that first CAR, and it was all over for years....What an idiot I was.

    Tried a few times to re-capture that feeling of birdlike freedom, but it wasn't until after I was 40 that it happened. Now that I've got it back, I'm NEVER LETTING IT GO!!!!!

    I'm 50 now, faster than when I was 16 (24 minutes to cover what used to take 27-30), and I have every intention of riding my bike 90 minutes on my 90th birthday!
    A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....

  20. #20
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    As a kid at 11 I already had a long history of strolling around town on a bmx and my brother's mountain bike. And one (out of many) time after having waited for a bus for 40 minutes I just decided 'stuff it, I can ride to school and back twice in this time!' so I did - 11 years on I'm riding 1000s of miles a year everywhere and wouldn't give it up !
    "Life begins at 140" Richard Burns
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  21. #21
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    Diagnosed as "pre" diabetic...participated in a study that required me to begin exercising 45 min/day 5 days per week. I chose cycling. after the 12 week study ended..I kept cycling. Within 6 months I was commuting to work by bike. Haven't stopped since.

  22. #22
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    I started in high school. Mostly I was too proud for the bus - I thought that I would outperform it, but I don't think I started actually beating my bus times until pretty late in that period, when I had a completely different route and a much better aerobic base.

    In college because it was a big enough campus to make walking a pretty time consuming proposition, which I frequently still did, and I could beat the shuttles door to door and by taking shortcuts, if not head to head. Then when I got my first mountain bike because I could ride my mountain bike to class, between classes, etc. Awesome!

    As an adult in New York, because I could outperform the subways and it was a way for me to sneak in a lot of short rides and rehab a knee that couldn't deal with longer rides at the time. Since moving to Seattle, where public transit sucks and I have a car, it's because my bike gives me more freedom than my car within the metro area and costs less to use. By time, I can probably ride downtown and lock my bike faster than I can drive downtown and park, even if I'm willing to pay something exorbitant for the privilege of having used my car. I can also run multiple errands, separated by longer distances than I care to walk, without having to pay for parking repeatedly or waste hours of my day waiting for and riding buses.

    Of course, I'd be lying if I didn't say that it's also because I enjoy being on my bike a lot more than I enjoy being in my car in Seattle traffic, and getting some more hours on my bike "free" is also good for my fitness for racing.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  23. #23
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    I started commuting to justify buying another bike.

  24. #24
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    Just pure convenience and pleasure

    I started riding because I felt that I was wasting so much time waiting for busses, trams and trains to get around the city where I live. (Warsaw, Poland) By riding I save about 50% of the time it takes riding public transport. Wish more people would do it so that they build more bike paths.

    Also love the feeling of being able to go where I want, whever I want with the wind in my ears and hair - What a feeling!!

  25. #25
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    I started first when I was a poor student to cut transit costs. Then I realized how much happier I was after riding in or riding home. Now I do it for the exercise and because I hate the crowded/unreliable streetcars in the morning... Besides, nothing beats flying past all the single passenger commuters stuck in traffic on their way downtown!

  26. #26
    I Tried Them ALL... SuperModerator
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    Out of necessity. My drivers license was suspended...everything happens for a REASON. Long after I got my DL back- I am still riding more than I drive!
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  27. #27
    all about the ride down
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    I originally started because I was a [email protected]$$ and had my drivers lic. suspended. I have been doing it off and on ever since. Last summer with the gas prices and all I got serious about it. It was only a matter of weeks before I saved in gas what my Jake and new tires cost. Now I save 105 mi. a week in gas and wear on my vehicle. I get to commute along side the southern Tetons and through Grand Teton Natl.Park. What could be better.

    I want to get a jersey made that says
    "My commute is better than your vacation"
    The More People I Meet the More I Prefer Dogs!

  28. #28

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    Because I hate driving on the Washington DC beltway.

    Biking does not save me time (15 miles/35 minutes driving each way versus 25 miles/ 1:40 biking) or money since the savings in gas vehicle wear is far offset by what I have spent on bike parts/accessories. However it does reduce my stress levels and improve my attitude. It also helps me on the weekends when I am mountain biking - my preferred type of cycling.

  29. #29
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    work is a mile a way, and I spent around 1400 dollars on a bike
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  30. #30
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    exercise, cheaper, great fun, enjoying the nature, can get to the places i couldn't with car and sometimes faster, hate traffic jams which i easily avoid with my bike....if i think harder i could come up with couple more reasons...
    need more bikes...

  31. #31
    I'm SUCH a square....
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    O yeah -- I also work retail, so dealing with a lot of idiots on a daily basis builds a certain amount of stress that just fades away by pedaling:

    'stupid fool -- no, you can't swap the seat off that $170 bike for your $69 turd special; OOOOO, I LOVE that S-curve! WOO-HOOOOO!'

    'no, you don't get lance's bike for $100 -- if you could, HE'D get it for $100, not $8000! Hey -- is that a new trail?'

    '[email protected]^&head, NO, I don't have more in back, there's four out here to choose from! Oh, here we go, c'mon -- THERE! Got the gap, love the spin!'

    Everything balances out.
    A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by enio
    exercise, cheaper, great fun, enjoying the nature, can get to the places i couldn't with car and sometimes faster, hate traffic jams which i easily avoid with my bike....if i think harder i could come up with couple more reasons...
    Did you know about all of these advantages the first day you decided to commute to work on your bike? A few people have replied with reasons that they commute now. What was going through your mind the very first day you decided to ride your bike to work?
    ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → В А

  33. #33
    all about the ride down
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon76
    Did you know about all of these advantages the first day you decided to commute to work on your bike? A few people have replied with reasons that they commute now. What was going through your mind the very first day you decided to ride your bike to work?
    I had no idea how cool my first bike commute was going to be.

    The first morning I had to commute by bike I was for doing something so stupid to get my drivers lic. suspended. More than half of my commute was on super fun technical singletrack and really fast double track. I showed up at work and my bosses were so stoked that I was commuting on bike. I was a rehab therapist and trainer for a teen obesity program at a children's hospital. They thought it was great for the kids to see.
    The More People I Meet the More I Prefer Dogs!

  34. #34
    weirdo
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    Going in the other direction, what I really missed about my bike when I couldn`t ride it. I blew out my knee last Fall and couldn`t ride at all from like the end of Oct until March or so. Durring that time when I was driving, I was REALLY getting tired of scraping my windshield every morning when I got off work. I only live three miles from work, so the whole time I was scraping it kept running through my mind how far down the road I`d be if it weren`t for that stupid windshield. By the time I pulled out of the parking lot at work, I could have been damned near home on my bike!

  35. #35
    local trails rider
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    Originally, I started using a bike for local transportation because it was so convenient: it was years before I could get a driver's licence and I did not have to rely on bus schedules. A lot faster than walking too.

    It is still convenient and I have some great route options, depending on weather, time and mood: quiet streets, dirt path through a green zone, possibilities to take some singletrack "shortcuts".

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon76
    Did you know about all of these advantages the first day you decided to commute to work on your bike? A few people have replied with reasons that they commute now. What was going through your mind the very first day you decided to ride your bike to work?
    Yeah, knew the advantages, and all... I'd commuted to work before, just not on anything like a regular basis until I was forced to by seizures (6 months no driving)......I've ridden to work by bike since early '80's ......was "forced" to several times since the '90's ...
    Unfortunately, this small southern city I now live in isn't particularly bike friendly ....commuted a lot more when I lived in Dearborn Hts MI.

  37. #37
    A Gentleman and a MTBR'
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    I hate to say this, but for me it was a DUI, I couldn't drive for a year, itt's been 2 and half and I still don't drive. I guess it was a terrible experience with a positive result.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon76
    Did you know about all of these advantages the first day you decided to commute to work on your bike? A few people have replied with reasons that they commute now. What was going through your mind the very first day you decided to ride your bike to work?
    The only thing going through my mind on the first commute, besides how much fun I was having was how lacking my aerobic fitness had become! I have a lot of hills to climb to get home.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon76
    Did you know about all of these advantages the first day you decided to commute to work on your bike? A few people have replied with reasons that they commute now. What was going through your mind the very first day you decided to ride your bike to work?
    to be free of expensive car transportation, exercise, and have fun.and i get a kick in thinking how fast and far i can reach places using myself as powering motor.
    need more bikes...

  40. #40
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    i found it to be a great stress reliever. driving into work makes my blood boil, and the bus sucks

  41. #41
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    To be honest....2 DUI's. Kind of a mixed blessing. I was an everyday drinker and way over weight. With daily commuting and no drinking over the past three years I've lost over 40 pounds. When the day comes that I can again drive a auto, I don't see my commuting habits changing.
    The wood is being bent! Let me know what you need!

  42. #42
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    With a kid and a full time job it's the best way for me to get in some miles.

  43. #43
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    Car was a POS

  44. #44
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    I'm loving this thread. It is great to have so many people getting out and loving their bike commute. I have a car and motorcycle and I am passionately in love with the motorcycle, but I read Plan B by Lester Brown and became motivated to bike for environmental and urban design reasons.

    The last couple years I've been hitting ~4k miles, which has proved to really be great for my mountain biking and running base. Whenever I move I draw a dot on my workplace, break out a compass to pick out an apartment that is between 7-15 miles away, because life will suck without a proper commute.

  45. #45
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    With 2 small children, a wife, and a full time job, it's the only way I can get in ride time throughout the week.

  46. #46
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    Drank a couple beers and decided to drive home...Five-O didn't like that - you know the story...
    That was ~10 years ago, but I still ride/ commute even tho I don't have to
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  47. #47
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    I started riding two summers ago. It was nothing big, mostly trail stuff. After a few months, it became my main hobby and remains to this day. I think that the winters are rough (here in Maryland) until I think about Michigan.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by nattybohfiend
    I started riding two summers ago. It was nothing big, mostly trail stuff. After a few months, it became my main hobby and remains to this day. I think that the winters are rough (here in Maryland) until I think about Michigan.
    Hahaha
    , Michigan rider here...winter=Nokian W240's
    The wood is being bent! Let me know what you need!

  49. #49
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    started off as a way to get rid of a few pounds before i start jogging again....lost 20 pounds and once i realized how convenient it is (trying to find a parking space sucks!!!) i just cant let it go....when i take into consideration that although i spent 350 euro on a bike and another 800 on backpack/helmet/... it still cheaper than using a car (600 euro a year only for registration and insurance ..gas here 6.40$ for a gallon so you can guess how much gas money i save )

  50. #50
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    I was driving my wife nuts at home, she told me to buy a bike or something, took her up on it and bought a low end rigid Trek 850 back in 1996. It was a "mountainbike" so I thought I'd try it out on a local trail. It was such a blast but I was out of shape. I decided I needed to ride more and a friend suggested riding in to work. I was hooked. That was five bicycles ago.
    I'm gravity challenged, adrenaline deficient, and looking for that endorphine high. Shout out, I'll move out of the way. :-)

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by enio
    exercise, cheaper, great fun, enjoying the nature, can get to the places i couldn't with car and sometimes faster, hate traffic jams which i easily avoid with my bike....if i think harder i could come up with couple more reasons...
    This works for me. I first started after losing about 60 pounds and wanting to ride a bike again. I was always on my bike as a youth and still rode a lot when I could drive. I started again for my health and the enjoyment of riding.

    Then gas was going up, up, up and no end in sight. So, I get about eleventy billion miles to the gallon on my bike (haven't had to gas up yet unless you count taco bell) and saved a ton of money over the last few years. At one point I had the same tank of gas in my car for over 3 months before needing to put more in!
    Remember when we were kids and our Mom's said we could not play in the mud? I'm making up for it now!!

  52. #52
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    ridin

    ive ridden for as long as i can rember. when in H.S., in Riverside CA. i rode a old school mongoose, till it got stolen. then a beach cruiser with MTB tires, it ride was about 4 miles with the last 2 miles uphill. i dont rember how i got it but i started riding a FS 'mart bike. thought i was hot $#it ridin it too. i rode it to work as well as school. the ride to work was about 15 miles one way. i started riding to work when i missed the bus and decided to ride to the next bus stop, then the next, and the next, so on and so forth, till i got to work in the mean time i got hit by a car on the way to school one morning. Same thing when i moved to Redlands CA. school/work all over again. except everything in redlands is either uphill or downhill. i didnt get my lisence till 6 months after H.S. i still ride 6 years later. i love it!

  53. #53

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    3
    I ride for exercise reasons.. I'm hoping this will help me keep my gut in check.. and to also save some cash on gas..

  54. #54
    Rider
    Reputation: herrhaus's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    242
    Quote Originally Posted by traffic002
    With 2 small children, a wife, and a full time job, it's the only way I can get in ride time throughout the week.
    Amen......except that I have 3 kids.....

    Besides, like another person stated....."I started commuting to justify buying another bike".

    My desk job was killing me.....I needed the exercise (and a new bike).
    No blogs here, nothing special.....I just like to ride my bike.

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