Encouraging people to ride to work, a different view



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M

Mike

Guest
I haven't posted much around here, but I commute to my factory job(about 7 miles with a 200' climb
at the end over the distance of 1/2 a mile), when the weather is nice. I get very interesting
reactions to this at work. I'm always asked by my coworkers if I've lost my license or if my car has
broken down. I tell them it only takes me 40 minutes, and they look at me even stranger.

I guess my question for you guys is this. Would it be possible for your average out of shape person
to make that ride? Should I attempt to encourage people, or would I just be setting them up for
failure? Based on what I know about where people live, most of the other people that live in the
city that I live in are 75' above the river(the route that I take is along the river, with about 30'
in variation until that climb at the end) and 1 to 2 miles further away from the plant than I am.

Suggestions? Comments?
 
C

Christopher Har

Guest
Mike,

A 7 mile ride is certainly not out of the question for a beginner. The hill you speak of could
discourage some depending on their overall fitness. I have ridden with beginners for miles of flat
roads and they enjoyed it- until we had to climb a hill. That is when the "why am I doing this?"
expression came over their face.

But speaking from experience, once I conquered those hills, I was quite proud when I began commuting
to work myself. I wish I could figure out the logistics of it better so that I could commute more.

By all means encourage your co-workers and stimulate their interest.

Chris

"Mike" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> I haven't posted much around here, but I commute to my factory job(about 7 miles with a 200' climb
> at the end over the distance of 1/2 a mile), when the weather is nice. I get very interesting
> reactions to this at work. I'm always asked by my coworkers if I've lost my license or if my car
> has broken down. I tell them it only takes me 40 minutes, and they look at me even stranger.
>
> I guess my question for you guys is this. Would it be possible for your average out of shape
> person to make that ride? Should I attempt to encourage people, or would I just be setting them up
> for failure? Based on what I know about where people live, most of the other people that live in
> the city that I live in are 75' above the river(the route that I take is along the river, with
> about 30' in variation until that climb at the end) and 1 to 2 miles further away from the plant
> than I am.
>
> Suggestions? Comments?
 
K

Ken

Guest
Mike <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:
> I guess my question for you guys is this. Would it be possible for your average out of shape
> person to make that ride? Should I attempt to encourage people, or would I just be setting them up
> for failure?

Start out slow. Hold a group ride on a weekend so people can try it out in a fun environment with no
pressure. The next week, try it one day a week. It is hard to fail at that rate. As you get
stronger, build up to more days a week. With beginners, I think riding in groups really helps, both
with traffic and for mutual encouragement.
 
R

Rich Clark

Guest
"Mike" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> I haven't posted much around here, but I commute to my factory job(about 7 miles with a 200' climb
> at the end over the distance of 1/2 a mile), when the weather is nice. I get very interesting
> reactions to this at work. I'm always asked by my coworkers if I've lost my license or if my car
> has broken down. I tell them it only takes me 40 minutes, and they look at me even stranger.
>
> I guess my question for you guys is this. Would it be possible for your average out of shape
> person to make that ride? Should I attempt to encourage people, or would I just be setting them up
> for failure? Based on what I know about where people live, most of the other people that live in
> the city that I live in are 75' above the river(the route that I take is along the river, with
> about 30' in variation until that climb at the end) and 1 to 2 miles further away from the plant
> than I am.
>
> Suggestions? Comments?

Do they have bicycles? If you succeed in getting someone to try, and they do it in jeans on a $69
Walmart "MTB", your plan could backfire.

I think an 18 nile RT commute is no problem for someone who's solved the equipment, clothing, and
fitness issues of the returning/newbie rider. But it's not the place to start.

RichC
 
W

Wafflycathcsdir

Guest
>I guess my question for you guys is this. Would it be possible for your average out of shape
>person to make that ride? Should I attempt to encourage people, or would I just be setting them up
>for failure?

Yes they can do it. To start off with, it would be hard work, but the positive thing about cycling
is you see *real* improvements in fitness in a short space of time. I know - I am that unfit,
overweight person!

Cheers, helen s

~~~~~~~~~~
Flush out that intestinal parasite and/or the waste product before sending a reply!

Any speeliong mistake$ aR the resiult of my cats sitting on the keyboaRRRDdd
~~~~~~~~~~
 
M

Matt O'Toole

Guest
"wafflycathcsdirtycatlitter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...

> >I guess my question for you guys is this. Would it be
possible for your
> >average out of shape person to make that ride? Should I
attempt to
> >encourage people, or would I just be setting them up for
failure?
>
> Yes they can do it. To start off with, it would be hard
work, but the positive
> thing about cycling is you see *real* improvements in
fitness in a short space
> of time. I know - I am that unfit, overweight person!

I agree. Also, bicycling is the easiest way to build that kind of aerobic fitness. It's simply
easier on the body. They'll improve faster on a bike than doing anything else, even walking.

A few of my friends, in their mid-late thirties, have started riding after decades of being really
out of shape, and living seriously unhealthy lifestyles (use your imagination). Guys who could
barely walk up a flight of stairs without undue effort were doing 50 mile rides comfortably within a
few months. And this is without any special "training" effort -- just regular rides -- but
regularly, and that's the key.

Matt O.
 
R

Ron Wallenfang

Guest
IMHO people fail to ride because they don't want to expend the effort, not because they're out of
shape. Take up the effort, and the physical fitmess will take care of itself , for most people at
any rate. "Mike" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> I haven't posted much around here, but I commute to my factory job(about 7 miles with a 200' climb
> at the end over the distance of 1/2 a mile), when the weather is nice. I get very interesting
> reactions to this at work. I'm always asked by my coworkers if I've lost my license or if my car
> has broken down. I tell them it only takes me 40 minutes, and they look at me even stranger.
>
> I guess my question for you guys is this. Would it be possible for your average out of shape
> person to make that ride? Should I attempt to encourage people, or would I just be setting them up
> for failure? Based on what I know about where people live, most of the other people that live in
> the city that I live in are 75' above the river(the route that I take is along the river, with
> about 30' in variation until that climb at the end) and 1 to 2 miles further away from the plant
> than I am.
>
> Suggestions? Comments?
 
J

Jon Isaacs

Guest
>Suggestions? Comments?
>

Over the years I have been able to get several of my coworkers to comute on a bicycle. Some have
stopped at that and some now ride hundreds of miles per week for the pleasure of it.

I try to take an active role, not only encourage them, but provide them with a decent bike that fits
them properly.

I also offer to ride along with them so they get the hang of not only riding up and down hills but
also some pointers on riding in traffic.

Hills are a problem but helping people learn to use the gears properly and how to pace themselves
can help them turn a seemingly impossible mountain into a warmly remembered conquest.

Recently I acquired an Electric Assist bicycle and my plan is to loan it people interested in
getting started commuting via bicycle. I have one fellow who wants to try it.

With gasoline prices well over $2 a gallon and traffic congestion severe, parking expensive (a
parking permit would cost me about $700 a year), and beautiful weather, there are many reasons to
commute via bicycle.

So, my suggestion is to encourage them to ride but don't stop there, give them a hand getting
started on the right foot.

Jon Isaacs
 
Y

Yourbuddy

Guest
"Mike" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> I haven't posted much around here, but I commute to my factory job(about 7 miles with a 200' climb
> at the end over the distance of 1/2 a mile), when the weather is nice. I get very interesting
> reactions to this at work. I'm always asked by my coworkers if I've lost my license or if my car
> has broken down.

I know the feeling. I usually get asked if I had a DUI. People look at me like I'm crazy for riding
in the Florida heat.....
 
G

Guy Tedesco

Guest
[email protected] (Jon Isaacs) wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...
> >Suggestions? Comments?
> >
>
> Over the years I have been able to get several of my coworkers to comute on a bicycle. Some have
> stopped at that and some now ride hundreds of miles per week for the pleasure of it.
>
> I try to take an active role, not only encourage them, but provide them with a decent bike that
> fits them properly.
>
> I also offer to ride along with them so they get the hang of not only riding up and down hills but
> also some pointers on riding in traffic.
>
> Hills are a problem but helping people learn to use the gears properly and how to pace themselves
> can help them turn a seemingly impossible mountain into a warmly remembered conquest.
>
> Recently I acquired an Electric Assist bicycle and my plan is to loan it people interested in
> getting started commuting via bicycle. I have one fellow who wants to try it.
>
> With gasoline prices well over $2 a gallon and traffic congestion severe, parking expensive (a
> parking permit would cost me about $700 a year), and beautiful weather, there are many reasons to
> commute via bicycle.
>
> So, my suggestion is to encourage them to ride but don't stop there, give them a hand getting
> started on the right foot.
>
> Jon Isaacs

i just started riding to work. i saw a few others at work doing it so i started partly because of
that but also because of the money it can save me. over the past few years i have been keeping close
records on my car expenses. it averages out to around $200 per month and i just use my car 4 days a
week and travel 2500 miles per year! i'd say my work is about 5 miles from my house. i found it no
problem but there are no hills either. i use a mongoose crossways 250 that i got a little over 2
years ago,seems to be a decent enough bike. anyway i feel bike riding to work is worth the effort
and it gets easier very fast.-guy from long island
 
M

M Gagnon

Guest
"> "Mike" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]...
> > I haven't posted much around here, but I commute to my factory job(about 7 miles with a 200'
> > climb at the end over the distance of 1/2 a mile), when the weather is nice. ...
> >
> > I guess my question for you guys is this. Would it be possible for your average out of shape
> > person to make that ride? Should I attempt to encourage people, or would I just be setting them
> > up for failure? Based on what I know about where people live, most of the other people that live
> > in the city that I live in are 75' above the river(the route that I take is along the river,
> > with about 30' in variation until that climb at the end) and 1 to 2 miles further away from the
> > plant than I am.
> >
> > Suggestions? Comments?
>

I think a lot depends on the environment. It looks like the factory is somewhere out of town, in an
industrial sector and just outside a valley. The 200-ft climb per se isn't terrible, although in
flat country it might look impressive. So the main factors to consider are:

- Is the 7-mile road a busy one or a bike-friendly one. I like main roads, especially for commuting
or general A-to-B riding, but newcomers might feel intimidated. If there is a side road, or an
"old road" near the "improved road", it might be nice to point that out.

- The 200-ft climb might look impressive. If it is very steep (as many private roads are), it might
be hard to climb unless one has very low gears (typically not offered on cheap bikes) or unless
one is well trained. In a bizarre twist, a macho attitude might prevent people from walking up
that hill. Indeed, it's strange that people would be fear being laughed at if they walk the hill
but not if they drive by car...

- Your workload might be a problem. For example, people who work all day long lifting heavy weights
might not be that willing to make more exercise and commute that long.

- If the shop is out of town, I guess you all have free parking, but no public transit...

WIth the above factors, I don'T think the ride would be a problem for the typical employee,
especially if they start to do it when the weather is nice and it's not windy. There are a few
things that might increase the number of bike commuters:

- good bike parking (secure racks, etc.);
- decent routes;
- a sponsoring programme, where you (or another commuter) would chaperone one or two newcomers for
a few days;
- a "plan B" for what-if situations, such as a list of collegues who would offer a lift back home if
the weather turns sour, if there is an emergency at home, etc.

Regards,

Michel Gagnon
 
T

Thomas Reynolds

Guest
"YourBuddy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...
> "Mike" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> > I haven't posted much around here, but I commute to my factory job(about 7 miles with a 200'
> > climb at the end over the distance of 1/2 a mile), when the weather is nice. I get very
> > interesting reactions to this at work. I'm always asked by my coworkers if I've lost my license
> > or if my car has broken down.
>
> I know the feeling. I usually get asked if I had a DUI. People look at me like I'm crazy for
> riding in the Florida heat.....

Yes, I know the feeling. When I was in college I worked as a tech on the second shift and had a 7
mile commute home. I wheeled my bike out one night (equipped with lights and everything needed to
ride at midnight) and without me saying a word the retired fellow working as the security guard
started going around asking if anyone could give me a ride home. I had to catch up with him and tell
him that I was bicycling by choice.

And then I got the "are you nuts?" look.

Tom
 
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