Advantages of cycling to work

Discussion in 'Commuting and Road Safety' started by Steve_V5, Aug 19, 2003.

  1. Steve_V5

    Steve_V5 New Member

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    For me

    Advantages

    No stress from battling the rush hour traffic, rushing past lots of queued traffic
    Feeling nice and awake from 35 minutes cycling
    That nice feeling that once at home in the evening you have done 1 hour+ exercise already today

    Disadvantages

    Drivers, not much of a problem as most of my route is cycle paths*
    Having to get changed at work in a hot toilet
    Having to drive when my bike is broken, i.e. until tuesday next week

    * I am not anti car, in fact I love driving my car and cars in general, it seems other drivers don't seem to have a clue, either when I am on my bike or in my car.
     
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  2. Chotch

    Chotch New Member

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    I should start to tally the number of near misses I've had on my rides to and from work. Today was three, two people pulling through stop signs not looking and one cut off and stopp right infront of me. But I wouldn't trade up that ride for the comfort of my car:)
     
  3. Diaba

    Diaba New Member

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    Riding at night is not for everyone but I have to do it on my way home from work after my regular twelve hour shift. I used to spend my drive home still thinking about what I did or didn't do at work. Now that I ride, I am off to a more pleasant and relaxing place the minute I climb on my bike.
    Ride your bike if you don't wanna take your work home!!
     
  4. MidBunchLurker

    MidBunchLurker New Member

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    1.
    The most satisfying feeling in the world, whizzing past bored motorists fixated on the bumper of the car in front of them...
    2. Free exercise time - it's takes me as long on the bike as in the car!
    3. The improvement in bike handling skills that you get from playing "dodge that moron bus", the ability to bunny-hop over pavements on your road-bike, the practice at repairing punctures caused by broken beer bottle glass...

    Wouldn't change it for anything :)
     
  5. Brunswick_kate

    Brunswick_kate New Member

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    Amen to that one!! I also do 12 hour shifts and there's nothing more therapeutic (physically or mentally) than the commute home on a bike. My family has noticed the difference in how much more pleasant I am towards them when I come home now than when I was car-bound. I think anyone in high stress jobs should really consider cycle commuting for the straight mental health benefits. It's much more sustainable (and affordable) than a Prozac habit.
     
  6. Diaba

    Diaba New Member

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    My sentiments exactly Brunswick_kate. No matter how tough of a day I had, I simply forget about it, just like magic and, you're right, life at home is 10 times better.

    Another thing about commuting: I get to try more than 20 ways(no exaggeration:) ) to go to work and discover all the little nice spots that I would have never even dreamt off had I been driving all the time. I have a 14 mile commute that I can stretch to 20 by taking more scenic and pleasant country roads.
    How else would I ever log in 30 to 40 miles/day working as much as I do?
     
  7. Geonz

    Geonz New Member

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    I love getting to work with energy, not having to sweat over a parking place, and getting enough miles in so that when I want to I can hop on the light bike and go as fast as I want to, and spend a month to go through a tank of gas.
     
  8. dwj444

    dwj444 New Member

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    Amen to the cyclist-commuters. I have been a roadie for about two years now, converted over after the three years I spent on MTB before that. This past spring, I sold my car and bought a fixed gear. I still have the road bike; I still train and ride religiously. But nothing beats the calm, refreshing feeling of making your own way in the world, under your own power, to and from work. The time it takes is well-spent; just imagine your sedentary life-style and the two-thirds of the US population struggling to control their health (obesity) problem getting dropped off your back wheel on your way into and home from the job each day.

    Sure the rain and the changes stink (so will you sometimes); it's worth it for the simple satisfaction of being part of the cult of human power.
     
  9. franklen

    franklen New Member

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    I totally agree with the benefits and need to bicycle commute. I love to pass long lines of traffic that are stalled at a delay such as a fender bender or construction. But if it is just rush hour I stay in the flow and get held up like everyone else. I also have trouble with knowing when if ever it is ok to forgo the road for the sidewalk. I cross a two lane bridge that takes me about a minute to cross with lots of high speed traffic (up to 40 mph) and 3 foot concrete barriers on either side (nowhere for me to go in an emergency), in the summer and good weather I dont worry as much, plus there are pedestrians using the walk. But when dangerous winter conditions arrive I think I might be tempted to do the sidewalk instead, especially since I expect that ped traffic will dwindle greatly.

    I have been doing it for about 4 months now, ever since I moved into a city and lived close enough to my job to do so. But I have to say, I am still not a morning person, and it pains me to get on the bike in the morning and to get moving. I am ok about 10 minutes into the ride, but still wishing I was in bed, I don't think anything will change that. Fortunately, the ride home is another story after sitting in an office most days. I can't wait for that ride, though sometimes I overdo it and pay for it in the evening (can you say in bed by 9 sucks?). I have lost weight and feel more fit in the process, so yeah!
     
  10. p9yto

    p9yto New Member

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    I live in Singapore. I recently stop driving and start using a folding bike in combination with the MRT (underground train).
    In addition to the health aspect, I discover I am more "ready" to start working in the office every morning due to the 30 minutes cycling.
    In the evening, I cycle to the MRT station from my office, fold my bike and get into the MRT. When it reach the station near my house, I unfold my bike and cycle home. In this case I get some extra time to read in the MRT compare to those driving days.
    If this continue to work for me for a few months, I think I will sell my car.

    I feel I am contributing to protect the environment, or at least not making it worst, by stop driving.

    Cycling make sense in many ways: physical health, de-stress, low cost and sustainable.

    I hope the Land Transport Authority will take this form of transportation seriously in their transport planning in the future, make it more safe, more accessble to more people.
     
  11. Chris_L

    Chris_L New Member

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    Amen to all the suggestions about passing long lines of traffic. In fact, I was doing it for several kilometres straight on my commute on Friday. Lane splitting is lots of fun in that situation. What I really love is going past a car that looks like it's designed to go really, really fast - and they're just as stuck as the rest of them!

    In fact, this is one of the many reasons why I consider cycling to be the best option for transport to and from work. Another is the cost, which is minimal. I also don't have the hassle of having to find a place to park either. It's just a shame that so few cycling advocates wish to promote these benefits.

    As far as disadvantages go, I can't really think of any. Someone mentioned having to get changed at work earlier on, but to be honest I see no difference in getting changed at work or getting changed at home. In fact, given that our recent temperatures have spent more time above 30 degrees C than below it, I would argue that being able to change out of long pants and long sleeved shirts and ditch the tie before I go home is a definite advantage.
     
  12. Sidi

    Sidi New Member

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    Bike commuters are less likly to get sick and use less sick days per year and are generally more healthy than non bikers.
    Average days that are used by non bikers that are saved by commuters are 12 days.
     
  13. LOUIE_CARRILLO

    LOUIE_CARRILLO New Member

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    Advantages
    1) Best way to wake up in the day
    2) No other way to get in 4 hours of exercise on one day
    3) Save heaps on car fuel, tyre and servicing costs
    4) Get to have a fresh shower five minutes before work, not > 1 hour before
    5) Get to wear a fresh shirt, not one sticky from however-comfortable the car seat is
    6) Get to see the countryside and not just the road and traffic
    7) Accumulates plenty of qualifying time for competitions at the local gym
    8) If the car is US, can normally switch to cycling at last minute
    9) Get to compile a list of bad drivers, will submit this to
    National Traffic Call Centre - report dangerous drivers by phone or fax
    Tel: 086-1400-800
    Fax: 012-309-3655


    Disadvantages
    1) Sometimes I would like that extra 1½ hour of sleep in the mornings
    2) Punctures - often when in a hurry to get to work
    3) Have had a few close calls with taxis and buses, not great for life expectancy
    4) Last accident was with a careless pedestrian, no longer have nice neat handlebar tape or plugs
    5) Tend to wear out bikes quickly, at around 500miles/month I have an accumulation
    of stressed out US bikes at home.
    6) Carrying a 16lb haversack on all cycles
    7) Getting we in thunderstorms
    8) Getting frozen in winter.
     
  14. e_space23

    e_space23 New Member

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    Getting frozen in winter? I've been commuting by bicycle in the Denver, Colorado, area for 30 years. The temperature during this morning's ride was -11 degrees Celcius and I was beginning to break a sweat before I got to the office. You just have to know how to dress.
     
  15. e_space23

    e_space23 New Member

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    Excuse me. I meant -11 degrees Celsius.
     
  16. LOUIE_CARRILLO

    LOUIE_CARRILLO New Member

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    Here let me help you, use the symbol instead of the word
    -11°C

    That is pretty cold, worst I have had is -4°C, and this was uncharacteristically cold for my present location.

    You are right, after a while you do start sweating, but the first ½ hour is freezing on hands, feet and ears.

    At -4°C
    1) I had ice forming in my drink bottle tube
    2) My head bracket grease got so viscuous I had to free up steering play everytime I stopped
    3) I substituted ski gloves for my usual sheepskin lined leather gloves
     
  17. e_space23

    e_space23 New Member

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    Thanks. My current ride is 12 miles round trip. The 6 mile ride to the office takes only 1/2 hour. The first 3 miles are all uphill so I get warmed up quick. I have always used ski gloves when the temp drops to near freezing. I dress in several layers. Wide temperature variations during the day can happen here so I have to be able to shed layers and change to regular cycling gloves for the ride home. There have been days where a winter storm has blown in and dumped so much snow that I've had to get a ride home with a co-worker.
     
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