Year Round Commuters

The topic of our current poll was suggested to us by one of our readers. I’ll be honest, I don’t consider myself a year-round commuter. I really HATE riding in the rain. Why? Two main reasons:

Reason #1: L.A. drivers can’t drive for s__t when it rains.
Reason#2: My facility at work does not have showers or any place to store wet gear.

I’ve ridden twice while it was raining and I was miserable. The nice thing is that it rarely rains in Sunny So. Cal. so you can say I ride 3 seasons and a half. I tip my hat to all of you who ride in the rain/snow/shine.

So go ahead and vote, we are curious to read how many of you ride all year round.

17 Comments

  1. slide23 October 11, 2007 8:37 pm 

    I live in Burlington, VT and I am an admitted year-round commuter. I have a commuting problem and I own up to my weaknesses.

    About the only thing that stops me is snow that is too deep. And then I bust out the snowshoes because it is then too deep for my car anyway.

  2. Quinn October 11, 2007 11:07 pm 

    Hello my name is Quinn and I am a year round commuter.

    The Reasons:
    1. I’m NOT paying $3/gal!
    2. I’m not paying outragous insurance
    3. Its the only way I stay sane
    4. I want to prove to the typical SUV driving Lazy-a** that it can be done.

    No I don’t have a car
    yes I ride in single digit temps
    yes I ride in 100+ temps
    “how do you ride in crap weather?”
    lets say I can relate to Lance and having health struggles, 10 months ago, I had pneumonia, out of work for a month, after I bought 2 bikes to get back in shape.

  3. Ghost Rider October 12, 2007 3:16 am 

    Truth be told, I am only a 2-season commuter in Florida — summer and “not summer”. We don’t have spring or winter here. It’s either really hot or kinda cool!

    Riding in the rain sort of blows…I won’t usually ride if it is raining on my way to work(but I’m working on that — have a decent rain jacket now), but I don’t mind it at all if it rains on the way home. Summer rains in Florida are warm and fun to ride in, even if the rain destroys hub and bottom bracket bearings

  4. Alyssa October 12, 2007 6:28 am 

    I wish I could be a year-round commuter. Just in the past couple of months have I gotten into the groove of riding nearly five days a week to the local train station 4 1/2 miles each way. My other half unfortunately doesn’t trust other drivers (or me, probably) and thinks it’s too dangerous for me to ride in the dark. I have a headline and rear blinky and reflectors on my messenger bag but evidently that’s not enough. Maybe I just need more lights?

  5. Ghost Rider October 12, 2007 7:38 am 

    Alyssa, light yourself up like a Christmas tree — front and rear lights on your bike as well as on your bag and as many reflectors as you can…riding in the dark isn’t so bad, especially if you can find an “off the beaten path” route or other quiet streets to get home on.

  6. db October 12, 2007 8:25 am 

    …light yourself up like a Christmas tree…

    Yep. Create your own Commuting Clown Cycle. I own and like these blinkies.

  7. Gabriel October 12, 2007 9:21 am 

    I’m another two-season year rounder commuter in Florida — rain or shine, hot or… not as hot. I particularly love the rainy rides, though — it beats the heat in the summer. For when it rains on the way in, I keep a towel at work to dry off with. Plus, it’s like having a shower and a ride at the same time!

  8. Ghost Rider October 12, 2007 9:41 am 

    “Yep. Create your own Commuting Clown Cycle”

    db, was that directed at ME?!? After covering my back, now you want to stab me in it? Ha ha

    Shoot, that bike is nothing…you should see my other hideous creation (that I cannot blame my son for this time!) on my Velospace profile. Hell, all but two of my bikes are an affront to the aesthetic senses!

    Gabriel, I love that statement “hot or…not as hot”. That captures the essence of the Florida commuting experience perfectly!

  9. Tim October 12, 2007 10:44 am 

    “Year Round Badass” here in Austin. I’m usually able to find a bus if it’s raining too hard, which is infrequent. The one time I tried to sprint (9km) home through the rain, my laptop got wet and was nearly ruined in spite of being wrapped up in garbage bags. I need a waterproof backpack, and then I’ll never take a bus again.
    Driving is not an option since we sold the 2nd car so I could come back to graduate school.

  10. Noah October 12, 2007 12:49 pm 

    Year rounder.

    When I want to, I ride a few miles to the bus instead of my usual ~30 mile round trip by bike. Sometimes I go just one way by bus.

    When it’s really bad out, I ride to the bus as well. I figure 10 minutes scraping off the car while it’s trying to warm up, another 5 minutes to actually warm up while I’m inside trying to thaw myself, and then I can finally hit the road and take 5-10 minutes to drive to the bus stop.

    Time spent freezing my ass off: 10 minutes
    Time spent warming up: 5 minutes
    Time spent on the road: 10 minutes, warm.
    Total time: 25-30 minutes

    Now, if I hop on the bike, I am cold for a minute or two, but I get to the bus stop in 15 minutes.
    Time spent freezing my ass off: 2 minutes
    Time spent on the road: 15-20 minutes (cold, the rest warm)
    Total Time: 15-20 minutes.
    So, less total time to get to the bus, and less time freezing. And I can go offroad or on the sidewalks if there’s a wreck or traffic jam (there usually is, kansans can’t drive in the snow)

  11. RL Policar October 12, 2007 1:14 pm 

    Tim,

    I second that backpack. That was me on the video getting wet! Seriously, this backpack is what you need!

  12. tom October 12, 2007 4:19 pm 

    I’m a year around commuter in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota because:
    1. I don’t have a car.
    2. My commute is pretty short.
    3. I’ve ridden a bike daily most of my life.
    4. Who cares about the weather? People go skiing and snowshoeing on the weekends.
    5. When you shop for groceries on a bike, you don’t spend as much on food.
    6. Riding a bike in traffic is exciting, like a free amusement park ride.
    7. You notice all kinds of neat things when on a bike.
    8. Riding a bike is a tremendous health benefit, at least until you’re in an accident.
    9. You find tools on the highway.
    10. Travel expenses are minimal.
    11. You can maintain and repair your own bike, something that’s no longer true about cars.
    12. People that know you ride a bike year around look at you a little differently.

  13. Mike Myers October 12, 2007 6:24 pm 

    Aw come on now, Ghost Rider. I live not far north of you, and last winter I left for work when the temperature was in the 20s more than a few times. Granted, we don’t get snow, but when there’s frost on the ground it’s COLD. But 99% of those cold mornings turned into warm days. I’ll take the cold over thunderstorms, though. Nothing is fun about riding 20 miles with lightning crashing, wind blowing, and rain coming down sideways.

  14. misc October 12, 2007 7:14 pm 

    Year-round commuter in Boise, Idaho.

    Why do I do it?

    Because I’m rough and tough like dat.

    And because I sold my car two years ago to pay off bills, and have since realized that cars are too friggin’ expensive to replace.

    I’d have no toy budget if I acquired another car.

  15. Ghost Rider October 12, 2007 8:17 pm 

    Mike, it doesn’t frost down here. I have yet to experience freezing temps here (4 years in Tampa, 3 years in Sarasota). Those few miles make a HUGE difference, as does our proximity to Mother Gulf — she keeps us a little warmer.

    I’ll take a summer thunderstorm over cold ANY DAY of the week — I really hate it when temps fall below 65 or so (I have no body fat to speak of). Sure, I am a wuss, and I hold cold weather commuters (Minneapolis, KC, Idaho) in the highest regard…I only hope I would have the same strength and perseverance if faced with similar climates!

  16. jay October 13, 2007 7:48 pm 

    I do year-round here in Salt Lake. The temp range can be extreme (105 in July to 15 in Jan.), but it rarely rains, and snow in the valley is usually light. (But I can go 35 mins. on the ski bus to get the serious snow!) Plus, I live relatively close to my son’s school and my work, which you can’t overestimate as a benefit if you’re cycling!!! For a lot of people, proximity to work is the difference between getting on the bike and worrying about car commuter traffic from the suburbs. I wish more cities were set up with denser living options in-town. For my money, this is a bigger deal for a lot of people than weather.

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