Any Commuters out there?- Mtbr.com

View Poll Results: Do you commute to work?

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  • Yes, I commute almost every day, year-round.

    81 36.99%
  • I commute almost every day, if the weather is nice.

    25 11.42%
  • I commute a few days a week.

    54 24.66%
  • I commute a few days a month.

    28 12.79%
  • I don't commute. I stick to the trails where there are no cars.

    4 1.83%
  • I don't commute. It's too far.

    14 6.39%
  • I don't work a job. I'm independently wealthy.

    1 0.46%
  • I'm currently unemployed.

    5 2.28%
  • I don't commute for other reasons.

    7 3.20%
Results 1 to 62 of 62
  1. #1

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    Any Commuters out there?

    Has anybody taken up commuting lately? With rising gas prices, I'm seeing more and more cyclists on the road.

  2. #2
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
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    i've been commuting by bike off and on for most of the last 10 years. i think i've driven to work about two years worth of that time.

    the off years were due to living buttass far from work, and once in a while weather too ugly for me, or runnng late, having to fly somewhere the next morning, and the sometimes just plain lazy day.
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

  3. #3
    local trails rider
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    I have not started "lately". My commute is so short that it is no big deal to ride it. Also, my wife needs the car at work and we plan to stay a one-car-family.

  4. #4
    Gone riding
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    Not yet, it’s the middle of winter here, and I really don't fancy riding the short 10km commute in the rain. I’m still quite happy to spend a few dollars and fill up the tank in my little 1600cc grocery getter.

    Maybe once the weather improves a little I might consider it.

    Dave.

  5. #5
    trail rat
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    Yup, that 5 block commute is much quicker on my bike than my feet. Plus running to the bike shop or whatever about a mile or two away is quicker, since you don't have to park an oil dinosaur. I ride right to the door.

    I have not been in a vehicle since mid-April. I run all my errands on the bike, and do 4 offroad rides and 2 road rides each week. I was driving about once every couple weeks for 3-4 miles earlier in the year, but quit the second job, and do not drive. Even before, I would put $20.00 worth of gas in my truck every couple months. It was somewhere in early March that I bought gas. It is great to live in a small town where I can ride or walk for all my needs.
    Last edited by slocaus; 08-14-2006 at 04:46 PM.
    "The physician heals, Nature makes well" - real fortune cookie

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  6. #6
    Double-metric mtb man
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    I do the commute, though not daily It looks nice for my job (environmental engineer), but I often have to go out of town (too far to bike it) or carry too much crap (even with a trailer).

    When I do ride, I'm blessed with a great trail system for the 10-12km round trip to the office...I've got my choice of asphalt, MUT's or singletrack to occupy my time.

    I ride all year too, but a little less frequently in the winter. Temps of -40, ice (and being too cheap to run out and get studded tires) and the possibility of snow up the hubs in just a few hours kinda put a damper on it. I guess that's why most of my co-workers go hockey nuts in the winter (I'm Canadian, eh )
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

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  7. #7
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    Yup. Whopping 3/4 of a mile to work, and 3/4 mile back. Love it. I never drive to work, even in winter, or rain.

    hfly

  8. #8

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    Always.
    It's only 12 K's to work (24 round trip) and only a couple of hills on route so i can't justify using a car (and it is significantly quicker through town on a bike anyhow) and rush hour trains in Tokyo are something akin to entering a black hole; You will be crushed.

    I have a spare suit at work for rainy and typhoon seasons so no worries.

  9. #9

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    Whenever possible.

    I've been commuting daily about 5 years. Well, its daily unless I have a good reason not to (e.g travelling, other sports, or really bad weather). Its about a 30k round-trip, and I have the choice of quiet roads, forest roads or singletrack as takes my fancy. My commute is my daily moment of sanity...

  10. #10
    ol'guy who says hi &waves
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    My commute is 70 miles round trip, 2-5 times a month year around.
    .

    I may not have the best of everything, but I have the best everything that matters.

  11. #11
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    8 miles each way... lucky for me they opened a huge Lifetime Fitness about 25 yards from my office. Lately I've been riding to the gym, jumping into a spin class, workout, then shower and walk over to the office. Life is good.

  12. #12
    amar la vida de dos niner
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    Because I'm a personal trainer, I usually work at more than one location a day. Time constraints don't always make it possible, but I ride my bike as much as I can manage, which usually works out to a few days a week.

    When the weather is cooler I also drop-off and pick-up my little one from pre-school in a trailer. But that's just a cruel thing to do to him during the Texas summer.

    I must admit that I have personal misgivings about the amount of driving I do (even though it's much less than most Americans), and that I consider this to be a down-side of mountain-biking: it's almost impossible to avoid having to drive to the trail to ride.

    So I try to balance my unavoidable driving with as much commuting-by-bike as possible.

    Cheers to all of you who do manage to commute almost daily! We need more like you!
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." Anais Nin

  13. #13
    Expert Pushing SSer
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    Quote Originally Posted by oilfreeandhappy
    Has anybody taken up commuting lately? With rising gas prices, I'm seeing more and more cyclists on the road.
    Just started in April. My commute is 25 miles roundtrip. Planning on doing it year round. We have mild winters in Portland, Oregon. Most of the time above freezing (during the day). Get my riding out of the way early in the morning

    Cheers!
    Tuff Schist

  14. #14
    Silence! I kill you!
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    I started a few months ago. Its 3.6 miles to work on backrouds & a bike path. Two days out of the week my wife works at my job so she gives me a ride home since we get off work at the same time.

    When she does't take me home, I ride up and down a hill a few times on my SS (my main commuting bike) to get into better shape.
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  15. #15
    made in Oregon
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    be doing it for 5 years now, 12 miles round trip. much more fun now on the rigid singlespeed!
    nathan
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  16. #16
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    Everyday, winter summer
    Most times the longer way.
    It wears out the bike, bummer.
    But it makes for a great day.

  17. #17
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    I've been commuting year round for about 4 years,17km each way, quite the feat in Toronto...I missed only 6 days last year because of the ice storm, none so far this year.

    I also enjoy a 1.5 hour ride at lunch...use a Schwinn hybrid most of the time, a beater MTB in snow (although this year I bought a new dept store MTB...72.96 CAD)

    EDIT: found a pic of the new winterbike
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by JM01; 08-14-2006 at 08:48 AM.

  18. #18
    Who are the brain police?
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    I commute on bike whenever possible. Gas prices have nothing to do with it though, just love riding the bike.
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  19. #19
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    My commuter rig...



    I retired the hardtail and literally built it out of used/spare parts.

    Mostly on road but a little dirt on occasion I found a thermal coffee cup that fits the bottle cage, got CHEAP Sette SPD sandals and baggy bike shorts and I am set! Not too far, but it does make a difference in gas.

    And there's a BREWPUB on the way home...

  20. #20
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    Yep, almost every day for the better part of a decade now. Five years at my current job has me going 3 mi one way, so it's pretty painless. I usually go home for lunch to let the dog out, too, so I actually get some nice ride time in during the day. If I have an un-walkable meeting or there's 2 feet of snow, I usually drive, though.

  21. #21

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    I Chose How I PLAN to Commute

    But I just started, so who knows how things may change when the weather turns?

    I didn't start 'cause of gas prices. I've been planning the switch over to the bike for three years. I just had to wait for my son to switch from daycare (I had to drive into town and drop him off en route to the office) to Kindergarten (he takes the school bus and I get to leave the car at home), which he finally did week before last!

    Even if I end up punking out when Winter starts, I still won't drive - I'll take the train.

  22. #22
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    here's my good weather commuters
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  23. #23
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    I ride my sickle to wurk

    7 miles each way. Mostly gravel. Soon to be paved which sux. Everyday until night class starts, then 4 of 5. Ride in all weather except excessive rain or below 5 degrees.
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  24. #24
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    been commuting on and off since i was a teenager, depending on the situation. i stopped doing it back in 98 or so cuz i couldn't take biking in new york any more. i actually didn't even look at my bike for 2 solid years because of it. then when i wanted to start again, i couldn't either cuz the building i worked in wouldn't allow bikes or i was going to new jersey and you can't bike through the holland tunnel. finally this year i got a job in a building that allows bikes. i posted a couple threads about it here:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...hlight=commute
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...hlight=commute

    gas would be the cheapest part of my commute. the big expense would be in parking (prolly about $400/month) and years taken off my life due to stress. so the choice is between the subway and biking and the only thing that makes the subway better than driving is it's cheaper.

  25. #25
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    I love the commute

    About three months ago I started a job that allows for a commute. 13.5 miles one way with the bulk of it on MUT. I just ordered my wife a cyclocross bike, and since we have the same inseam and she doesn't ride in the winter I hope to use it in the colder months to keep riding into work a few days each week.

    The best part of the ride, passing the traffic jam that forms every afternoon on I-25 and looking at the drivers on the interstate as I pass by. (oh, and the gas savings is kind of nice too).

  26. #26
    commutin' Canuck
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    I've been going year-round for about 3 years, just moved and the distance is now 40km round trip. Winter is no problem, you just have to have the proper gear.

  27. #27
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    My commute is about 5 mi. each way and dead flat. I used to bike to work as much as I could. Then I got "busy" and lazy. I've been getting out there again, and this time, I'm riding to other stuff as well. In the past I'd have driven to doctors' appointments, etc., but this summer I'm pedaling to them. Some days I've put in upwards of 30 miles.

    Now if I can only keep up the momentum when it starts getting cool and damp...

  28. #28
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    Currently I commute once a week, but I'm converting one of my SS bikes to a fixie and plan on commuting more once finished.

  29. #29
    Devo
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    only the bike

    in Nov it will be 2yrs no car. I've rented a car twice to drive to SoCal to visit my 80yo grandparents.
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  30. #30
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    I think commuting in TX would be problem free if I could just find a jersey that said, "I love brisket, guns, and NASCAR", that way the rednecks in dualies would think they were among one of their own.
    Draft College Republicans

  31. #31
    bicycle rider
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    Yes, I commute almost every day, year-round.

    I have been riding a bike to work for over fifteen years. I rarely drive. I took a job once which had me driving up to an hour each way, 2-3 times a week, and I hated it. My current commute is as short as 7 miles if I ride to the train, or 21 miles if I ride straight to work. I also do some limited masters racing and I'm a dad, so my bike commute is my chance to train. Depending on what I'm looking for in a ride I may extend it, get up early and go farther, etc. There's a real system to bringing in clothes and food too. I'm lucky that I've got a shower and bike locker at work, and a really nice ride. I ride through the winter (NorCal - rain) too. I have an excellent light - a Light & Motion HID - that is now going to be used in its 4th or 5th winter. I ride road mostly to work, but I do have the option of riding dirt to road and I do that on my cyclocross bike in the fall sometimes. Riding a cross bike at 55psi is a lot less efficient, and even my cheater 7-mile commute includes 1000' climbing to my house! Unfortunately mtn bikes just don't factor into the commute. It would be fantastic if they did.

    Morgan

  32. #32
    EGGROLL!!!
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    I used to commute to school 5 yrs ago, then I lived too far from my job and didn't have a shower available, but in my new office I made sure we put a shower in one of the bathrooms...now I'm back commuting again, and loving it! Its not the gas prices as much as the fact that I just enjoy riding, although I don't mind saving money. Also, it allows me to excercise when I might not otherwise in a busy day. Overall, it only adds about 10 mins to my commute (7 miles each way) and I feel great. I think my bike gets more miles than my car most weeks!

  33. #33
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    I'm sorry but you can't use the excuse that just cause you live in Texas it won't work. I commute 40 miles round trip 3 times a week from Cedar Park to Lake Travis in the hills. I save a TON on gas and even more on sanity. I teach middle school so I need every last breath of fresh air I can get! All the hills make it a GREAT workout, and when I'm home, I'm home cause I already got my ride in for the day! The other day's I go mtbing around the local trails. I save $7.50 for every day I bike to work. Not to shabby...

  34. #34
    Rollin' a fatty
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    I wish I could, my commute is almost 100 miles roundtrip.

  35. #35
    life is a barrel o'fun
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    As often as possible, just an 8-mile r/t + laps after work on the hardtail.

    Takes me 25-30min to do one 6-mile lap around the park; our roadie director says he can do twice that speed So much for riding with him! At least until I get a road rig.
    "We sat outside the dentist, tooting a horn on the guy's bike."-overheard in the Underground

  36. #36
    members only
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    Commute 2 Work

    Yes - Every day (Exception of rain)

  37. #37
    Essam
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    I celebrated my 26th birthday this summer and my 10th year of my car free lifesyle. I was ready to purchase my first car when I was 16, but decided on a new bike instead and never bothered with a license. I do have good friends who shuttle me to regional races and distant trailheads for group rides. Other than that I go for months without seeing the interior of a car. The extra challenge of winter commuting is just a benefit in my view. Last year Steamboat Springs recived near record snowfall and in Dcember,a full week of 20-40 below 0 nights. I made fresh tracks along our bike path in 12+ inches of snow several times with a huge smile hidden by my balaclava! I have figured a way to transport my telemak ski gear to the gondola using my bob trailer and a recycle bin for fresh tracks on the slopes. I have to place bottles of hot water in each ski boot so that my boots are warmed up for the first run, of course my legs get an automatic warm up along the way.
    It is never too cold, hot, windy, wet, icy, or dark to ride a bicycle!

  38. #38

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    Ride or die

    Rode to work every day for years and years. Got lazy stopped, had heart attack, went back to riding every day. Silly me

  39. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by switchback27
    I celebrated my 26th birthday this summer and my 10th year of my car free lifesyle. I was ready to purchase my first car when I was 16, but decided on a new bike instead and never bothered with a license. I do have good friends who shuttle me to regional races and distant trailheads for group rides. Other than that I go for months without seeing the interior of a car. The extra challenge of winter commuting is just a benefit in my view. Last year Steamboat Springs recived near record snowfall and in Dcember,a full week of 20-40 below 0 nights. I made fresh tracks along our bike path in 12+ inches of snow several times with a huge smile hidden by my balaclava! I have figured a way to transport my telemak ski gear to the gondola using my bob trailer and a recycle bin for fresh tracks on the slopes. I have to place bottles of hot water in each ski boot so that my boots are warmed up for the first run, of course my legs get an automatic warm up along the way.
    It is never too cold, hot, windy, wet, icy, or dark to ride a bicycle!
    Wow, Switchback - that's impressive. You're a credit to the sport!

  40. #40
    Devo
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    i agree...absolutely great!
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  41. #41
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    Where is the "I commute every day by bike and have for years" option?

    I walked in once a couple of years ago just to see how long it would take. Other than that I have ridden my bike to work every day for years and years. If I am too sick to ride I am too sick to work.
    Ua mau ke ea o ka aina I ka pono

  42. #42
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    I commute every day that I work.

    Most days I do it on a bike as well.
    Your fear of looking stupid is holding you back.

  43. #43
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    yes, every day for 5 years

    With 2 little kids, sometimes its the only chance it get for a good long ride. 15 miles round trip. 18 if i go to the gym on the way home. Got the wife into it last year. Now we're fixinng up the garage, not for the car, for all our bikes.

  44. #44
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    living in hawaii, it is friken hot(even in the morning) and most don't want to go to work all sweaty but i started riding 3 days a week cuz mon and tue gotta take the kid to school. at least my job is about 70% blue collar. 5 mi round trip

  45. #45
    ol'guy who says hi &waves
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    Almost a non-commuter

    Quote Originally Posted by fred-da-trog
    My commute is 70 miles round trip, 2-5 times a month year around.
    I had someone left turn into me yesterday. Panic stop ending up OTB at the bumper. No contact with the vehicle. The guy stopped long enough for me to get up and motion sarcastically that he could have the right of way.

    One of my LBS's is on my route. Stopped for derailer straighenting, a cool drink and on my way.

    10 miles later another left turner. I stopped much better this time and used much better words to express my displeasure with his poor driving skills.

    I've been riding this route year 'round for 6 years with no problems, guess I was due.
    Last edited by fred-da-trog; 08-20-2006 at 07:54 AM.
    .

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  46. #46
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    Yup, I commute a few days a week. I started commuting in June after I totaled my motorcycle. It's only 8 miles to work but I couldn't deal with driving my truck everyday.
    I really surprised how much I enjoy it! I've been cycling on/off road for years but never thought of commuting before.

    I still miss my motorcycle though

  47. #47
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    When I was in school I rode to class, but I usually ended up really sweaty during hot weather, and in the cold weather I did pretty well, but I always snagged my jeans in my chainring and after I ruined a few pairs, I just quit riding to class. Right now my commute by car is 20-25 minutes, so I dont know how I would do it without showing up to work all sweaty and with helmet hair. Do you guys just have a place to clean up and change at your work place?

  48. #48
    Devo
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    well...I just wear a set of knickers and ya...change at work. aint had a car for 2yrs now. but i have been experiencing some communication discrepancies with my immediate management in regards to the locker situation. here is a thread. you'll just laff.
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...68425#poststop
    peace......d
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  49. #49
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    number one

    Quote Originally Posted by fred-da-trog
    I had someone left turn into me yesterday.
    That's the number one cause of collision between bicycle and automobile. Motorist turns left in front of cyclist.

    When I lived in the east bay, my usual route took me through an intersection which I could almost count on somebody turning left in front of me. I was always on the guard. I was never hit there.

    Four days ago it happened to me. Sort of differently though. I was in the left lane of a one way street as I was positioning myself for a left turn at the next intersection. A motorist turned into a driveway across my path to the left. I saw it coming and was able to slow enough to avoid a collision. I followed him into the driveway and before I could say anything he started apologizing. Without getting all worked up, I told him of a friend who is recovering from surgery to fix a severed urethra because somebody did just that to him. I then asked him to be more courteous toward and concious of cyclists. I rode off shaking my head.

    Let's be careful out there.
    "There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword, the other is by debt."
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  50. #50
    mtnjam
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    started bike commuting 3 weeks ago when our local highway district said they were going to start refurbishing a very busy overpass. I started to think that it would take me just as long to get home in my vehicle as it would to commute. I was right, it took me LESS time to get home on my bike than wait in traffic in my truck, burn up fuel, and increase my frustration.

    I'm loving bike commuting, I feel more energized when I get to work, and need much less coffee. On the way home, I've found a few fun little wall rides to play around on and riding curbs is a lot more fun than I'd imagined. On the way too and from work I only have to cross 3 major roads (State St., Orchard, and Curtis) none of which are very bike friendly. The rest of the way I ride our paved Greenbelt along the river which makes it feel like you aren't even in a busy city.

    As far as incidences of almost getting hit, it finally almost happened to me on Friday. I was crossing State St. at Ellens Ferry and a lady turning right off State St. onto Ellens Ferry almost hit me...she was of course gabbing on her cell phone, never looked to her left until my bike tire was just about at her door. She looked up, voiced that she was sorry and I proceeded to let her know how I felt about her gabbing on the cell phone, I think I kinda scared her into being more cautious because I rode back up to her and she was just sitting in her car at a gas station without even getting out of the car. Now a little further down State St. (at this point I was on high alert) I was riding past a large group of vehicles stopped behind a red light, the light turned green, the cars started moving slowly, I signaled that I was going to make a right-hand turn onto Pierce Park Lane and someone honks at me...WTF I'm thinking. This guy in a truck is yelling at me that I got in his way and I'm yelling back at him that I signaled. Maybe he thought I flipped him off or something when I signaled my right-hand turn, but this guy was pissed about something. The only thing I can think is that I (for some reason) needed to yield to him when I was making my right-hand turn into a designated bike lane off a designated bike lane. Ironically he had a Harley Davidson sticker in his back window...all I can say is F#@& YOU REDNECK...

    I'm in the same boat as you SelfPropelledDevo on the work situation. I work at a hospital with a HUGE expansion project going on. I asked the planning people about making adequate space for a bathroom/shower for us bike commuters. I was pretty much laughed at for the idea that I even bike commuted, even though this is the same place that encourages alternate forms of transportation to work.
    I was told to go use the radiologists shower room/the surgery shower room/or the gym shower room that you need a special code to get into and I'm thinking why the F do I need to pay or get my ass in trouble to use a shower. At least they give us adequately spaced lockers...

  51. #51
    Devo
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    its a cyclist's life...

    I know that for the vast majority bikes are about roof racks, races, club rides, etc. I'm gathering that a bunch of us are finding my disposition in regards to the "bike life". that is, to integrate a bike into our lives beyond the aspect of recreation.
    now this is where it really gets interesting. In the realm of sport and recreation we set goals, measure miles, count calories, use scales, etc. In the daily world of a "Bike only" life, it becomes more sublime. new challanges face us. challanges much different than clearing a wet, slippery, rooted climb. From what i know and have experienced the bulk of these challenges come from the COMMUNITY. Ahhh....suddenly its as if you have become somekind of counter culture activist. It really blows my mind to witness the limited scope of view that we Amerikans fall victim to. (sigh) so basically my method, just as i had discovered on a bike, is to stay loose, just like learning how to go fast on a bike with no suspension.
    When it comes to communication skill/technique, I've found that by trying to use "Non-violent communication" aka: NVC (yes there is actually a technique...google it, and learn it) it yields the best results. The core method is to avoid creating duality in speech. ie: "your problem" vs "i would have never been so stupid" lol!
    Obviously i can empathize with the entire situation. Work, co-workers, cars & bikes. A challenge for true. In my person situation, i also look at the world thru a Buddhist perspective, vegetarian, and mostly i have lofty social ideals.
    bike lockers, showers at work, etc. often all of which does nothing but isolate me.
    Damn...only if i'd met that cute little buddhist asain girl on a bike...
    so to all of us out there in bicycle commuting world...keep on riding and try out the NVC thingy.
    back in March i was hit by a car on the way to work.
    here's the thread.
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...ght=car+struck...
    www.AsanaCycles.com
    "Bicycle Lifestyle, realized." D.G.

  52. #52
    Staggering sober
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryman
    Ironically he had a Harley Davidson sticker in his back window
    Sorry, I fail to see any irony there. That sounds like ops normal. Many harley owners I know are pretentious, obnoxious louts. Of course there are exceptions to the rule. I do know at least one harley owner who acutally rides instead of trailers his motorcycle and doesn't put on any airs. A real down to earth kind of person.

    There seems to be an inordinant percentage of offensive drivers behind the wheel off pick-up trucks here in the Humboldt region. More often than not, the driver is white male twenty something.

    It's not those who we need to worry about though. It's the drivers with their heads planted in their behinds, the distracted driver with a car load of screaming kids, the drunk driver, and the ubiquitous cell phone talkers.

    That's just the way it is in our motorized society. We can make changes though. In fact, you are already helping the cause by getting out of your car and riding. With every new rider on the roads, awareness is raised just a little more. It's a revolution. Let's keep it rolling!

    Can I get an AMEN! brothers and sisters?
    "There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword, the other is by debt."
    -John Adams 1753-1826

  53. #53
    Devo
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    Commuter bikes lost at market...

    I wrote this back in March. So i appologize for the redundancy and/or lack of time perspective. However i do still feel the same about the current situation. maybe things will change. I am starting to see a trend in commuter interest. But until i know of more cyclists actually commuting vs just being out to get excercise I'll probably keep this dispostion.

    peace.......d
    [FONT="Lucida Console"]
    so im rummaging thru a bunch of web sites, and somewhere along the line, i stumble on upon a spot that says, "commuting by bicycle is on the rise again". And i think to myself, hmmm...well i suppose, the other night, and just in general, lately i get all kinds of questions to that regard.
    ok...so i decide i kind of want to look around on the web for something along the lines of a nice touring bike. Still it comes down to the Kona Sutra. Not that im plugging a product, or whatever, but for the $1500(ish) it seems to be the best deal out there. The REI line of bikes is a SERIOUS BANG FOR THE BUCK. Of notable mention is the Big Buzz for $700 & the Safari Bike $849. All of which bikes have Avid Mech disc brakes. that is THE thing these days. I cant reiterate how imperative it is to have STRONG DEPENDABLE brakes. As compared to rim brakes, disc brakes are so much better, performance in any weather is consistent. And more importantly, the stress isn't at the rim. this alleviates things like...HEAT BUILD UP in the rim, when running heavy loads, or putting the brakes on super hard, it also alleviates the wear which occurs on a rim when using the traditional rim brake. In the winter, if i use just one bike, I can easily wear out the rear wheel just by the act of constantly grinding debris into the rim. Its inevitable. With rim brakes this constantly occurs. Disc brakes alleviate this condition.
    back on topic
    so im looking around on the web, and im realizing that there really aren't very many touring bikes offered out there. Cannondale has 2, of course Kona, Bianchi has something along those lines, but really...not much. the bulk of the cycling industry is marketed towards specific types of bikes. well i guess...a commuter/touring bike is a specific bike too. what i mean... is that i've suddenly stumbled upon the obvious. Cycling in good-ol U S of A is a sport because, the products are marketed as sport. that is...bicycles are designed and brought to market with the intention of the cycling experience as sport. you know...cross country MTB, road bike, tri bike, time trial bike, yada yada yada.
    cars aren't marketed that way. we don't go out and buy a race car for our daily driver. just imagine if only race cars were sold, and the utility vehicle was only a sliver of the market.
    that is essentially what the state of cycling is at.
    and of course, us being the good-ol U S of A, being a consumer society (i once read that shopping is the #1 favorite pass time of Americans. And of course here i am, shopping online for touring bikes...lol) our activities go hand in hand with the products we purchase.
    ok...so its back to the bike thing again.
    so here we are...looking for a bike. "well what kind of cycling are you interested in?" Umm..Cross country? Road bikes? not many people are asking for that "Commuter bike". of all the fancy shinny bikes in the shop, the least glamorous is the commuter bike. heck...even the single speed has more panache than the useful "commuter bike". so it goes that the industry isn't focused on cycling as a viable source of transportation, but instead its focused on the sport of it all.
    and we Americans buy into that!
    i mean...
    look at our local big race coming up in April. Now i don't want to be specific, about the name of the race, etc. I've said it before, and i'll reiterate this view point. The sport of cycling belittles the potential societal impact of bicycles.
    sport fosters an external goal oriented disposition. it pulls our minds away from the now, and entraps us in concept of past and future. this creates duality, etc. yada yada yada. most of you know my philosophical references when it comes to this view of the human condition. (Huxley, Krishnamurti, etc)
    On a more tangible, concrete, logical, cognitive, view...of course transport by bicycle is a win win situation for our society. for the the individual, immediately it provides EXERCISE. here in America, obesity is an epidemic. getting out on your bike doesn't mean you have to be training for a 24 hr Solo Mountain bike race, RAAM, or anything along those lines. And God help us, if we Americans come to that. All we have to do is get out on the bike, and go do errands. Go to the post office, get groceries, meet friends, have coffee, hang out in the park. Be outside. Experience the world with all of our senses. As compared to the diffused anonymity found behind steel, glass, and the on demand power supply.
    I’ve come to crave the moment when i’d actually share this lifestyle with someone. It blows my mind to think that one day, maybe I’d go grocery shopping with someone, and we be on BIKES.
    On the community level, of course, bikes take up less space, have less of an environmental impact as compared to the power driven vehicles of mass choice. the roads could be smaller, they’d last longer, the insurance policies would cost less, personal property loss would be less, and just maybe, just maybe...our civic minds would turn to a more practical view.
    Grocery stores would be located in more accessible areas, as it would be with vital community resources. As compared to the frequent reality of these places being located on top of mountains.
    Schools would be near by, located in nice flat areas, and wow...can we imagine the day when kids ride their bikes to school? The need for school buses could decrease, and let the kids have sanction to the streets. Let them ride. Cars please yield. If a car bound commuter were in such a hurry, perhaps their route would have better been planned. High speed byways located at the periphery of community. What business do we have running a 45mph byway thru town?!
    Southern Cali is full of it. Houses have 10 ft concrete walls in the back yards shielding from those high speed byways.
    On a personal fiscal level, well, we are talking about bicycles that cost up to $2000. And let me say that, that is AN AWESOME BIKE. Im leaning towards the REI Novara bikes. For that $2K i could get 2 bikes! 1 Big Buzz, and 1 Safari bike! oh ya!! mega consumer.
    on that personal fiscal level, i mean...compared to cars. bicycles are a fraction of what it costs to maintain a car. and its not just the $$$. its also the lifestyle that follows which costs less. with less expenditure on transpo, we have more money for other things. or maybe...we could work less and spend “quality time” with friends and family. (so i’d actually have to go out and find that)
    So this rant is about noticing how the merchandising of Cycling is sport oriented, and we as consumers choose this aspect, throw our carbon fiber bikes on top of our cars, go out on the weekend, engage in sport, while our Monday thru Fridays 9 to 5’s are spent behind the wheel of our cars.
    this behavior of ours, fosters the A type, goal oriented mindset, and that is fine to a certain extent, but not as the major premise of our individual minds, and/or culture.
    The sport of cycling is all fine and dandy, in the arena of a venue to expand mental and physical potential. The greater homage to the life is a daily commuter/utility venue.
    the endorphins of sport are steep spikes, acute highs and lows. The endorphins of daily commuter life, is long acting, sustained. The experience of sport is short lived, and leaves us with the ideas of what was, and striving for the next race. The experience of the commuter life, is daily, it doesn't fade away. its always, its constant. the experience of sport is definitive, with heart rate monitors, stop watches, etc. that experience is bound by measure. the commuter life is sublime, ditch the heart rate monitor, use a watch for sake of getting to work on time, other than that...its just life on the bike,with all of your senses open to the environment.
    and with that...our minds START to open.
    sport is rigid and uncompromising
    life on the bike is tender and yielding
    (that's a slant from Tao 76)
    peace, love and light
    D-
    [of course here i am with all these bike, and of late, the Pug, OD green monster tyres w rack and bags. the bicycle equivalent of an H2. well...sort of. do yourselves a favor and buy a Surta. the significant aspect of that bike compared to the rest, is that the frame and fork is set up for racks, therefore, panniers.]
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    "Bicycle Lifestyle, realized." D.G.

  54. #54
    ravingbikefiend
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    1000 miles to the gallon and it cost me $20.00.

    I cyclo-commute nearly every day no matter what the weather is like unless my work or family matters require me to use a vehicle.

    My job requires me to be out in the community and I can usually use my bicycle for all these transportation needs and run most of my errands, including grocery shopping.

    I presently have 7 bicycles and not a single one was purchased new...all were recycled, rebuilt, and restored by myself and they all have their uses. Some are fast, some take me off road or touring, and some are just for quiet Sunday drives.

    When it comes to the commute, this has been my favourite ride all year... it's a Raleigh road frame that is moved along with a Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub. The drop bars have since been replaced with a set of recycled flat bars and short levers which give me better handling and more room on the bars for lights, my bell, computer, etc and the tires have been replaced with some vintage off road tires that fit the English rims and give a better ride and traction on trails. I'll have to post another picture as it looks like a completely different bike now.

    It can hit some pretty decent speeds on the pavement, handles the MUT's with confidence, and should serve me well on some winter rides although I have another bike to use when things get really nasty.



    The drivetrain is perfect for bad weather... the SA hub is designed to be virtually impervious to water and moisture.



    I paid $20.00 for the Raleigh which was in great running shape and equipped with a Shimano 600 series group. I only bought new brakes and a different seat as I had everythng else I needed in the shop acquired from recycled parts. The original wheels, tires, brakes, deraileurs, and handlebars you see in the picture went to improving other bikes I have.

    My Raleigh touring bike got the 600 series brakes, the bars, brake levers, and wheelset went on my son's Raleigh road bike, and the 600 series deraileurs are still looking for a home.

    My three speed project diary
    I ride with 65'er...he's a mountain goat....But then again, we need to throw him in the mud and pack his pockets with lead shot before a scale will read him. - Psycho Mike

    -Environmental stickers don't mean shite when they are stuck to CARS!-

  55. #55
    MONKEYMAN
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    I'm about 10 miles per day. 5 days a week. Market St. has a unique set of rules which must be adhered to if you expect to survive. I have been riding in SF since '89.

    This one since 1991


    And just got this one finished last week:

    “I don't like jail, they got the wrong kind of bars in there”

  56. #56
    ravingbikefiend
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    My new improved Critter... the upright position is better in traffic and the handling on the trails is much improved with the flat bars and more aggressive yet smooth rolling tyres.

    I don't care what the price of fuel is as I simply choose to ride as often as is humanly possible and in this city, rush hour traffic also includes huge numbers of cyclists who are most obviously commuting.

    These are people who may have decided to take up cycling when fuel prices went through the roof and decided to keep at it... I don't expect that many will continue riding when the snow hits but perhaps they'll use public transportation a little more than they do their cars.

    I'll still be riding as often as possible.

    I ride with 65'er...he's a mountain goat....But then again, we need to throw him in the mud and pack his pockets with lead shot before a scale will read him. - Psycho Mike

    -Environmental stickers don't mean shite when they are stuck to CARS!-

  57. #57
    Ozark Native
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    showin up swetty every workday for about 3yrs now, but on and off since 92. Sold familys second car about 8mo. ago. Used to catch trails to work when livin in San Diego ( above Balboa hosp.). Ride a fixie now with exception of gettin the 29er out every once and a while. Got a Reload bag this year. That has been my best (commuter/bike specific) purchace other than fixie.
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    Last edited by lil hillbilly; 09-21-2006 at 12:31 AM.

  58. #58
    mtbr member
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    My commuter ride, great for hilly Seattle, no more blown out rims.
    Not geared low enough so I put some smaller chain rings on.
    I ride year round.
    There's a big difference between ripping and skidding. Those who skid don't know how to ride.

  59. #59
    nachos rule!
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    you missed a category.

    you need to add - i commute every day all year REGARDLESS.

    been doing it for almost two decades, pretty much the only thing that keeps me off the bike is an injury so severe that i physically can't ride. i've had that happen a few times in the last ten years or so, and it sucked severely every time. it actually felt weird as hell to drive my truck to work.
    plus a change, plus c'est la m'me chose - alphonse karr

  60. #60
    Samsonite Tester
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    A mile and a half in a perfect climate . Nice view with few climbs . How could I not ride ? The ride in is good for clearing my head and getting the game face. The ride home is good for blowing off some steam, and getting a thirst for a brew.
    Yeah I gotta question. You got any excuses tonight Roy ? -Antonio Tarver

    There is room for it all, just ride what you like to on what you like to...that's freeriding. -rbn14



  61. #61
    ravingbikefiend
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    I underestand the frustration at not being able to ride and being forced to drive as my last injury kept me off the bike for nearly three weeks and I'm still working towards getting the knee back to 100%. I used the downtime to build a few SS bikes and complete some work on other bikes so it wasn't a total loss.

    We were on a waiting list to have our kids put on the bus for their return home from school (we drop them off in the mornings) so I was also stuck with having to drive and pick them up after classes so this (and the knee) have also affected how much I have been able to cyclo-commute.

    They started bussing yesterday and it had to be one of the happiest days in recent memory as I was able to come home, ditch the van use my Kuwie for the entire day.

    This is my '87 Kuwahara Cascade... it's an excellent all purpose bike as it handles the commute exceptionally well, it's been great on the trails and singletrack, and it even survived the crash without suffering any damage. I just installed some 1.75 Kenda hybrid tires that performed exceptionally well on today's urban ride and expect some good performance from them when I take the old girl out on the singletrack this weekend.

    I ride with 65'er...he's a mountain goat....But then again, we need to throw him in the mud and pack his pockets with lead shot before a scale will read him. - Psycho Mike

    -Environmental stickers don't mean shite when they are stuck to CARS!-

  62. #62
    mtbr member
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    friggin 80 mile round trip commute
    There's always money in the banana stand.

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