Year-round Commuter

Chris left a comment that deserves a posting:

Commuting by bicycle is really just a matter of how much motivation you have to do it, or what life position you are in. I live in a college town and tons of students have their bikes out all year round. Of course they are in a life position where they have a very low income. So, the bike makes sense for them. Then we have a fair amount of homeless peoples and low income peoples using bikes to get around. And there are those that have lost their driving license for what ever reason.

I would agree that there are very few people commuting by bicycle that live in a two income home with multiple cars. I live in a two income home, with one child and two cars. We have a loan against one of the cars, and our mortgage is not nearly as high as many other people my age (31). But I commute almost year round on my Redline single speed because it makes me feel good about myself due to the exercise, the money I am saving, and I guess the fact that I am putting less CO2 into the environment.

Now, I am pretty lucky that the town where I live, Lincoln Nebraska has 120 mi of paved and rock surfaced trails to ride. And my round trip commute to work, and or school is only about 6-10mi. The only days that I don’t commute are when there is ice and snow on the streets just after a big snow storm, or when the rain is pissing down to the point that no rain gear would save me from getting drenched. I commuted all the way through December last year. I did sit out most of January and Feb as there was a fair amount of snow storms. Some mornings when I left the house in December it was easily only 10F outside.

Now, I’m not looking for a medal here or anything. Just saying that I really think it is all up to your willingness to commute by bicycle. There are a million reasons you can think of why you should not commute by bicycle. Each of us just needs to decide how valid those reasons are to us.

I would really love to see a national push for bicycle commuting that involves folks driving their car to a large parking area just outside of the large city they work in, then getting on their bike and riding the 3-10mi to thier office. But, again that will only happen with a big social shift, or fuel prices escalating to levels of say twice what they are now. Can you imagine spending 120 dollars to fill up your SUV every week because gas is 5-6 bucks per gallon. That would sure make the partial bike commute much more inviting. Us Americans need to quite looking at the bike as a toy for the young and physically active, and start seeing it as a valid commuting tool.

But this is just all my opinion. Feel free to agree or disagree!

Peace out

Thanks Chris for your inspiring thoughts.

9 Comments

  1. Ghost Rider May 30, 2007 9:24 am 

    Amen!

    I fall into the same demographic (two-income household, two cars, one child)…but getting on a bike puts a smile on my face, resets my mood toward the positive, and allows me freedom and flexibility. Besides, I don’t EVER have to worry about finding or paying for a parking space!!!

  2. Eric May 30, 2007 4:22 pm 

    Minivan, PT Cruiser convertible, and a 1965 T-Bird for the occasional spin. Two incomes. Two kids. I started riding this year March 4th. It dawned on me that I could combine exercise & passionwith purpose and I started commuting 2-3 times a week (32 mile R/T) on April 4th. I cursed the cold morning hovering just below or around freezing, but now I am grateful for the cool mornings. I am planning on riding to work until the Daylight Savings time ends. I travel some extremely congested secondary roads (and even the tertiary roads are clogged at rush hour) – and don’t want to venture that in the dark… Otherwise, I love the challenge, the awesome feeling I get at work from riding, the conversations at work, well – you’ve heard it all before…

  3. Moe May 30, 2007 5:13 pm 

    I find it interesting how most of us CHOOSE to ride. We also have 2 incomes, 2 kids, 3 cars. I love riding my bike to work, even though I’m the ‘weird’ one at work. (Then again, have you seen my B27-R?)

  4. Logan May 30, 2007 6:00 pm 

    I sold my car so that I wouldn’t make excuses to drive it. If I really need one for a move or something I can borrow one. I live 8 miles from my job. About 5 from the grocery. Up until the past few decades nobody lived more than 10-15 miles from their jobs because it doesn’t make any sense.

  5. Chris May 31, 2007 7:55 am 

    Hey…it is good to see others share the same view point about bicycle commuting as I do. I am typing this message at one of the college campus locations here in Lincoln. I road today, and I am getting ready to motor to the other campus on the other side of town for some tutor help. I will put in about 15mi today I suppose. I could have driven the car, but then I wouldn’t get the exercise, the or satisfaction of not burning any money in the form of fuel.

    I hope that our little demographic of people (bicycle commuters) continues to grow!!!

    And thanks for the kind words about my post being inspiring!!! You should know that your website is truly inspiring as well.

    Peace out

  6. Ben C. June 8, 2007 10:51 am 

    Sorry for being a little late posting to this comment. I also agree that what needs to change is how people view the bicycle. At one point in time, it was thought to be for transportation. You see old movies and people in suits and dresses used the bike to get around. Now, it is more of a toy that ends up collecting dust in the garage and tires getting flat for non-use. I ride down a street called Harbor and it gets back-up. As I ride through, I think how great it is to ‘cut’ to the front of the line.

    I would consider riding year round. I just need to research clothing for the winter. Living in So. California does get cold at times. Not 10 degrees but more like in the lower 50’s.

    Thank for your post and I agree with you.

    Ben C.

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