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How do you convince yourself to commute EVERY day?

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How do you convince yourself to commute EVERY day?

Old 12-02-16, 04:16 PM
  #26  
BobbyG
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Originally Posted by KenshiBiker View Post
I drive in on Monday (due primarily to an after-work commitment)
I also commute and for the last three years I too drive on Mondays due to an after work commitment that is not bike-feasable.

I guess I'm lucky. I'm physically addicted to bike riding, well, probably the endorphins. Three days off and I get irritable, depressed and my sinuses build pressure. Plus I begin to feel mentally sluggish. I used to swim every morning in my late 20s and I had the same addiction, but jonesed far worse for swimming, although it could have been my age 20s then vs 50s now). Ironically, chronic sinus infections and a growing sensitivity to chlorine stopped me from swimming (I know nowadays more and more pools use saline).

Aside from the physical pleasure (ewww... not a good phrase), there is less traffic for me on a bike since I can ride side streets and trails. And if I do get frustrated with the traffic I have to deal with, it is much more satisfying to stomp on bicycle pedals than a car's accelerator...healthier, too. After a few blocks, the tension or aggravation is worked out of my system.

Another thing has really helped me, and that's podcasts. I never used to ride with headphones or earbuds, except after a lengthy break from cycling where it hurts to get back on. Then I'd allow myself a week. I was off for a year five years ago due to a nerve issue. I had been listening to spoken word podcasts in the car, and when I got back on the bike I listened to spoken word podcasts with one earbud, curbside, and continue to do so.

There are so many interesting podcasts now, and riding gives me an extra 20 minutes to listen versus driving.

And then there are the personal challenges. Darkness? Cold weather? Snow, ice, rain? Ferrying packages. Comfort?
And sometimes pace. I like to feel that I'm smart enough to conquer these obstacles, and enjoy the satisfaction of overcoming them

And finally, don't measure yourself against anyone else. Ride your own ride, at your own pace, with the regularity that fits you. Depending on the length of the commute, riding everyday can be tough on a body. So don;t beat yourself up if you aren't riding everyday. Try setting incremental goals. Two days a week. Three days a week, Four, then Five for more. If that's too much, back off. Think long term.
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Old 12-02-16, 04:23 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by globie View Post
Have kids, raise them to driving age, decline to buy them a car of their own ... boom, you're bike commuting.
Exactly how it started with me
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Old 12-02-16, 06:23 PM
  #28  
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I find it doesn't take too much convincing, considering that our Metro/"subway" system (my next best alternative since I'd have to pay to park at work if I drove) here in the DC area is known to catch on fire or fill with smoke a la a Cheech and Chong van.

Last edited by TheCharm; 12-02-16 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 12-02-16, 06:35 PM
  #29  
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I commute every single day just because I like it so much, including snow days (within limits, like less than ten inches). However, I do have some bus/rail options to shorten the commute if weather goes badly wrong and have used those (rarely). I'd say, "Do what you feel like." Some bike commuting is better than none. I have a system, set things out the night before and it's not too time consuming. I also live in Denver, with 13 inches of moisture per year and 300 days of sunshine.
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Old 12-02-16, 08:25 PM
  #30  
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I don't commute by bike EVERY day, either, but on the days I plan to ride to work, I usually start out wanting to drive my car instead. Then I get on the bike and start pedaling and I can't imagine how I could ever have had such a crazy thought.
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Old 12-02-16, 08:47 PM
  #31  
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I've been commuting 4-5 days a week since August. Having the right gear really helps, because I leave the house at 5:30am and the fear of being cold strikes icicles of fear into my little heart. Knowing I'll be roasty toasty (well, within reason) during the ride really helps.

Typically, the thought of how crabby and out of sorts I'll be if I skip riding is what makes me want to ride. On days I drive, I feel so HOT and gross (in the worst possible way). Also, as I ride, watching the sky gradually get hints of light in the east as I pedal along the river, well, there's nothing like it.
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Old 12-02-16, 09:15 PM
  #32  
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I commute by bike every day except when I have to go directly from work to a musical performance.

Several years ago I simply decided to gradually bring it up to 100%. On days when I drove the car, I thought about why, and worked on gradually removing the obstacles (some were probably imaginary). Today, I'm equipped for every season -- temps can range from -20 to +100 F in my locale. I keep my gear ready to go, so I don't have to search for anything in the morning.

What I suggest is, don't try to ramp up to 100% all at once. Instead, just see if you can add one tool to your belt every month, for instance rain gear if needed, warm clothing, a place in your house to keep that stuff, etc.

Today, I get indignant when I have to drive, because I enjoy riding.
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Old 12-02-16, 11:23 PM
  #33  
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No convincing required. The only days I don't ride - rain or shine - is when I have an immediate obligation after work. And I don't ride or work if I'm sick which is rare. My commute (~26 mi round trip) is my gym time and my "me" time. I enjoy the decompression after a busy day. Solitude. Music or podcasts via my Bluetooth earbud occasionally.

My ride only takes a little longer than if I drove. Bay Area traffic is horrendous but riding keeps me moving so there's no inching along in the stop-and-go congestion. I ride as hard or easy as I damn well please and make whatever stops I need along the way. Pick up groceries or food to go on the way home. My riding time is often some of the best part of my day.


-Kedosto
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Old 12-03-16, 12:40 AM
  #34  
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I'd just remind myself of the statistics. My bike commute was a predictable length of time. Driving to work was faster, but home could be up to three times as long. The bus would be two to three times as long in either direction, or even longer if my stop was repeatedly skipped due to buses being full. I'd be standing out in the rain anyway so I might as well ride my bike. Sometimes I rejected log and drove anyway, and half the time regretted it while sitting in traffic envying the cyclists riding past me.

I no longer have a commute as I work from home, but sometimes I work from libraries or coffee shops. The crappy weather and having developed anxiety around riding my bike have pretty much killed off my motivation to ride. The only thing that gets me on my bike at this point is understanding that I don't have to be motivated to do something. I just need to do it, and it's OK to hate every single second of it.
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Old 12-03-16, 01:14 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by globie View Post
Have kids, raise them to driving age, decline to buy them a car of their own ... boom, you're bike commuting.
The kids bought you your commuter bike right? I can imagine the conversation went like this, "Gee Dad, thanks so much for letting us use the car, we're happy to chip in and buy you this great new commuter bike . . . . "

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Old 12-03-16, 01:27 AM
  #36  
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I commute everyday.
I love the bad weather days...lol
It's fun walking in and seeing the look on peoples faces.
Key is knowing what the weather is going to be...and being prepared for it.
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Old 12-03-16, 01:30 AM
  #37  
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I don't have a job, but my walking sucks for my back and yeah, jogging...


I striped the Schwinn's Hawthorne peaked fenders myself. Came up with Tempest's paint job in a Paint file I did, almost 7 years ago it seems like, maybe not that long ago but forever is a really short time. I don't have a car to put some nice rims on, why ride bland bikes?


I don't get on them every day either, I have a house to take care of here and four cats and I'm not a sponge usually.
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Old 12-03-16, 01:34 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
The kids bought you your commuter bike right? I can imagine the conversation went like this, "Gee Dad, thanks so much for letting us use the car, we're happy to chip in and buy you this great new commuter bike . . . . "


If they wreck it, that's their problem, let them get a new car and pay for their own insurance. If that happens you worry about them. But you aren't there grinning and bearing it if you would have to either I suppose. Most kids understand their responsibilities and drive fine when you teach them (unless you're a maniac tooooo)
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Old 12-03-16, 01:43 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by zze86 View Post
Four days of wet roads, two days of light rain; one of those days without rain gear (thanks weatherman!) in high 30's and low 40's. Another cold, dreary, cloudy day today and I couldn't quite work myself up to dealing with bundling up, riding in, changing and carrying my stuff around. Getting here though, I wish I had. I feel weird not being all hot and sweaty and I forgot how much it sucks taking the bus and walking.

So how do you convince yourself to go through the routine?

As an aside, much respect to those in the PNW and other rainy locations. I don't think I could do rain every day of the winter. Snow? Fine. Ice? doable. Rain? ughh.
For me it's rather easy. My commute was about 11 km one way. For about 3 years. Rode all year round. How?

1) It was flat - that helps a lot. No hills (sweat) going to work.
2) Cycling always kept me warm. So in the summer - just ride in shorts, then change. On cold days - easy, you get warm pretty quickly.
3) Getting parking spot is tough, traffic jams etc. Also, getting cramped in a crowded bus, waiting for the bus in freezing (or too hot) weather - it all sucked more than cycling.
4) I LOVE cycling.

When it is both cold and rain is the only time when it is really uncomfortable for me to ride a bicycle. If I use a jacket that keeps me dry, I sweat too much since it doesn't breathe (my metabolism is such I sweat quickly and a lot). My solution is to get a thin, windproof jacket (for hiking) that is rain resistant, but breatheable. And quickly drying clothes - trousers, shirt, gloves if needed. The jacket keeps me warm enough and not too wet too quickly. I make piece with the fact I'll reach the work place soaking wet.

Full change of clothes upon arrival, leaving wet clothes to dry. In about 8 hours one shift lasts, I can change back into my, now dried, commuting clothes and ride back.

Oh, and I wear hiking boots - they keep my feet warm and dry. That helps a lot. Just make sure trousers cover them, so the rain doesn't drip inside.

That usually works for me. And I feel good when I arrive. Like: "I've done it again!"
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Old 12-03-16, 07:29 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by zze86 View Post
So how do you convince yourself to go through the routine?
How far is your commute? What kinds of facilities?

Americans way over-complicate bicycling — thus 'the routine'. Outside of the US, where massively more people ride bicycles for transportation, you don't see all of the complications. There is no prep or routine or extensive planning or pretending to be a race car driver. You get dressed, get on your bike, and get to wherever you're going, all in normal clothes.

As others have said, you don't need to ride every day. I'll ride in rain but not heavy rain or lightning. I'll ride just about any distance down to about freezing and I'll ride a mile in just about any weather. If it's 0F, cloudy, windy and I've got 5 miles each way then I'll drive — with zero guilt for doing so. I'll also mix modes on bad weather days like ride a Citibike to the train, train for the bulk of my journey, and then Citibike to my destination.

On sketchy weather days I'll often not make the mode choice until time to leave. Riding is my default but, depending on distance, if it's raining hard or extremely cold I'll drive. Since I'm wearing the same clothes either way I need only choose a warmer jacket or rain suit on my way out the door if necessary. For light rain an umbrella works quite well.

BTW, good comment from @PaPatom, if I'm on the fence I'll ride and almost always be glad I did once I get going (though there have been a few times I wished I'd driven).

Last edited by CrankyOne; 12-03-16 at 07:34 AM.
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Old 12-03-16, 07:40 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Jazzba View Post
I commute everyday.
I love the bad weather days...lol
It's fun walking in and seeing the look on peoples faces.
Key is knowing what the weather is going to be...and being prepared for it.
Nicely and succinctly said. I have extracted this slogan from a post by @scoatw of Ohio, "Gear and gumption." Always on bad weather days someone at work will ask me, "You didn't ride your bicycle today, did you?."

When it’s really bad out, my wife will chide me, “You just want to ride your bike today, so you can write about it to Bike Forums."




Last edited by Jim from Boston; 12-03-16 at 07:54 AM.
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Old 12-03-16, 07:51 AM
  #42  
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There are a number of things that keep me on my commuting bike, 9 miles each way, year around:

1. Driving totally sux in Boston during rush hour, and taking public transit to work requires 90 minutes from my home.
2. I like researching and buying more gear and better gear, to make my biking safer, more comfortable and more fun in all seasons.
3. My local clients give props when I show up on a bike.
4. My office has a core crew of bikers, a bike room, and showers; the community is really nice.
5. Coffee tastes better on a bike.
5. The female biking population on my commuting route gets bigger and better every year.
6. I need to burn the 1,600 calories every day to offset my beer drinking habits. (it almost works).

When I do need to drive, I try to capitalize on it in every way: dry cleaning, brewery run, changing towels and shoes, etc.
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Old 12-03-16, 08:06 AM
  #43  
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Hi neighbor @archwhorides,

I enjoyed your list, though at my workplace there is no core crew of bike riders but I do have excellent storage facilities, and don't drink beer, prefer martinis.

What's your commute if I may ask? I ride from Kenmore Square 14 miles through Brookline, West Roxbury and Dedham. Its a great ride, particularly since it's the reverse outbound direction, and I can supplement it via Commuter Rail.

I previously posted to this thread, “Describe Your Commute”:
Originally Posted by Jimfrom Boston View Post
… Humbly, if Bike Forums ever had a Best Commute Award, I would be a frontrunner...

Amenities: coffee shop and cafeteria on site; almost all my personal service needs like barbershop, dentist, dry-cleaner/tailor, supermarket and drugstore, and good take-out restaurants are all within walking distance of work, or a short hop on the bike; bike shop two blocks away...

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Old 12-03-16, 08:31 AM
  #44  
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How do I convince myself? That is, how do I convince myself to get on my bike ("Plan A"), rather than get to work by some other means ("Plan B")? Easy: there is no Plan B.

No doubt there are other ways I could get to the station: I could learn about buses, I could but a car, I could ... oh, let's not go there. I don't have a Plan B. If I can't ride my bike, I'll stay home. If I'm at work, it means I rode my bike that morning.
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Old 12-03-16, 08:33 AM
  #45  
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I bike commute every day. When I wake up to the morning news reporting an over night collision, a current collision or congestion, I don't need further convincing. It's those odd days when I have to convince myself to drive- like going to the Doctor, who doesn't have a proper bike rack or picking my wife from the airport, or recovering from appendicitis.
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Old 12-03-16, 10:33 AM
  #46  
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I sold my car; I now bike. We still have one car but it's normally for Nancy's use; when necessary, I can use the car. Prefer to bike ;o)

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Old 12-03-16, 12:52 PM
  #47  
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work less days
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Old 12-03-16, 03:01 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
Are you in Switzerland?
Yes Sir.
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Old 12-03-16, 03:30 PM
  #49  
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I like the paycheck.
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Old 12-03-16, 04:15 PM
  #50  
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I like to eat so I have to get to work. Bicycle is the best way to get there.
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