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  1. #16
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    195

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tri Girl View Post
    Of course, yesterday on my commute I nearly got t-boned at an intersection when a truck with a stop sign apparently thought that the stop sign was optional. I thought to myself "do NOT kill me with 3 days left in the school year- kill me in August- NOT May." Is it weird that that was my first thought?
    Not at all, I think you do have to make peace with the fact that any idiot at any time can kill you (even though it's unlikely) and after a while you just get used to that. "meditation at gun point", as it was said in a bike article I read a few days ago.

    I remember one time I was so excited that I had apricot rugelach pastries at home, and my first thought when turning onto Kent Ave was "I am going to be so pissed if I get hit in traffic, I need to eat those pastries if I'm going to die happy" and the casual honesty of that thought did kind of scare me...

  2. #17
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,041
    Quote Originally Posted by BodhiTree View Post
    When traffic is crazy, I walk on the sidewalk. At busy intersections I get off and cross in the crosswalk.
    It is always an option to get off the bike and become a pedestrian. If you are in a traffic situation that is more than you are comfortable with, that is probably a good option.

    However, pedestrians have higher fatality rate per hour than either bicyclists or motorists. Pedestrians get hit as much in the crosswalk as out of it.
    Quote Originally Posted by BodhiTree View Post
    Pretending you are a tank puts a lot of faith in drivers to see you and treat you like a tank.

    In all honesty, if a driver hit me while I was riding in a tank, they'd total their car. If they hit me while I was on a bike, they'd barely notice. It is up to me to be the adult in the situation, gauge the risk, and proceed accordingly.

    Don't trust them an inch.
    If I had this attitude I'd never bicycle or walk. I wouldn't even ride in a mere car, I'd have to have an SUV for the "protection" of its glass & steel cage. Better yet I'd never leave my house.

    The risk of dying in a car is about the same or a little higher than on a bicycle, per hour traveled. Learning the actual relative risks helps us put our perceived risk into perspective. It also gives us control to manage our risks. I ride an arm's length or more from the edge of the road, I take the lane if it is too narrow to share comfortably, I obey traffic rules & regulations, I use appropriate lane positioning at intersections, I stay off sidewalks, and I wear a helmet. These practices decrease my risk of a crash by over 90%.

    In a car, I only drive sober, I don't drive & text or drive & talk on a cell phone, and I wear a seat belt. I don't know the statistics on all of those but I know driving sober decreases my risk of dying in the car by 30%.

    I don't trust motor vehicles to watch out for me or to see me, I watch out for myself and assume that a vehicle about to turn might not see me.

    Sorry if this is a rant, and I probably read a lot more into this than you intended, it just sort of triggered something for me. Rant over!
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Wilts, UK
    Posts
    903
    Melalvai, I think that was an excellent post, thank you.

    Catrin, I have found so many benefits to utility cycling (I don't have a commute). I love not paying to park, and I love being able to leave the bike right outside wherever I'm going. I love being able to take off-road short cuts that take me through green sections and having the option to stop for a bit along the way, or to go for a coffee without worrying about going over on the meter. Most of my journeys are under 2 miles each way, and driving such short distances is pretty bad for the car and the environment, whereas cycling (or walking) them is very good for me. So I feel pretty happy mentally about riding these journeys whenever I can, as well as physically.
    Dawes Cambridge Mixte, Specialized Hardrock, Specialized Vita.

    mixedbabygreens My blog, which really isn't all about the bike.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,066
    Actually I drive so seldom that when I do I am flabbergasted by the time and effort it takes to transport and maneuver and park a car in an urban environment. Don't get me wrong, we have a car, and are totally dependent on it to be able to go kayaking, or xc skiing in most areas, or to get to the mountain areas we enjoy hiking or skiing in. But then we have a definite plan, and drive from A to B and park. We use it very rarely for shorter trips like shopping or errands, and when we do my stress level goes through the roof. It is so worth it for us to run minor errands with a bike, or by public transport, even if it may take a bit more time.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  5. #20
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    348
    I agree, shooting star. I have experimented with morning cycle times. My ride is more enjoyable and safer (less cars) if I go out early. My goal is Also to arrive at
    730 for an 800 shift.


    Quote Originally Posted by shootingstar View Post
    A cyclist really can't trust drivers. We are against a 1 ton machine.

    Besides, nowadays it's the added danger of people on their cell phones, texting, etc. Which never existed 30 years ago. In a sense, driving was abit safer back then.

    For workplaces I've been, since I returned to cycling 20 yrs. ago, I've requested to start work earlier than others just so I can avoid heavy traffic and slide into the work groove in a more pleasant way.

    And leave work abit earlier to beat the rush hour because I started work earlier. Even half hr. earlier makes a noticeable difference to a cyclist.

    So for over 6 different employers, I've started work at 8:00 am, some other employers at 7:30 am. Then I can leave at 4:00-4:30 pm, depending on employer's rules.

    which means I get into work BEFORE 7:30 am to change, get a coffee, etc.



    Quite true Melavi. It doesn't make me a superwoman in the summer immediately, but I was pleasantly surprised for the short very cold winter rides I did several times per week for work and for weekend grocery shopping, that this type of incremental cycling helped me deal mentally, with cycling long hills and longer distances faster in spring /summer.
    2013: Riding a Dolce sport compact for fun and a vintage Jetter with cargo rack for commuting

    www.bike-sby.org: A network of concerned cyclists working to make our city more bicycle friendly.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    So Cal.
    Posts
    501
    Confidence riding in the dark. I never rode in the dark before setting out for that first commute 2.5 years ago. I learned a lot about what is and is not a good light setup really quick. Confidence riding in traffic. This is also partly due to thinking through visibility and lighting. Have a 'SEE' light, have a 'BE SEEN' light. Have two BRIGHT tail lights, reflective tape, reflective vest, BikeGlow, Lightweights. I've shined my blinking Stella, on the helmet, into drivers eyes on many occasions; just turn my head a little... Yep, ride your car defensively, ride the bike offensively and defensively and know when to use each. Yes, don't trust the drivers; they are busy with their coffee as they exit the Mcdonalds. Take the lane when needed (I have to do this several times each way); I never had the guts to do that before.

    Riding a bike that weighs double what my road bike weighs has improved my meager endurance to almost sub human levels (I was never athletic even as a child), and my legs aren't flabby anymore. A co worker mentioned that from behind, I look like a little girl because my rear is so small.

    I find I am more alert at work, and more alert and 'alive' in general. Energy level is higher all day whether I rode or not. Kinda like I feel younger. I feel better but I can't say exactly what it is; breathe easier, head feels clearer, think clearer; does this make sense? BP is lower that's for sure, heart rate is lower. Maybe that's it?
    Tzvia- rollin' slow...
    Specialized Ruby Expert/mens Bontrager Inform RXL
    Specialized SWorks Safire/mens Bontrager Inform RL
    Giant Anthem-W XT-XTR/mens Bontrager Inform RXL
    Fuji Newest 3 commuter/mens Bontrager Inform RL
    Novara E.T.A commuter/mens Bontrager Inform RL

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    108
    Lilacs. Shouldn't have been unexpected, but I just didn't realize what a pleasure it would be to ride past a row of lilacs in bloom on the way to work - I wouldn't have picked up that scent from my car, let alone been enveloped by it.
    Road bike: Specialized Ruby Comp (2011)
    Commuter: Salsa Vaya (2012)

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    23

    Nice People

    I meet a lot of nice people while biking to work. I think its because I am wearing a dress and a smile. People dont expect to see happy people so early in the morning.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,984
    Quote Originally Posted by Rina View Post
    I meet a lot of nice people while biking to work. I think its because I am wearing a dress and a smile. People dont expect to see happy people so early in the morning.
    In all the years I've biked to work, I've never had the opportunity to "meet" people properly while cycling.

    I have met 1 person who is involved in cycling as part of her job in the bike parking area. So we share info., etc. over lunch at times. So that is great.

    Then other cyclists in the bike parking area are like me, in a hurry to change/leave work, etc. Including the few cyclists at work, who I recognize by name and vice versa.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    108
    I haven't "met" people either - not in the usual sense - but I smile and say hi to other bikers and early morning walkers and joggers, and there's a feeling of shared experience (maybe just in my head, but judging from the answering smiles I don't think so)
    Last edited by ZenBiker; 05-22-2012 at 04:36 PM. Reason: Fixed typo
    Road bike: Specialized Ruby Comp (2011)
    Commuter: Salsa Vaya (2012)

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    52

    Smile Thing I have noticed in just 3 weeks

    1-I can get up at 4:40 am to ride my bike to work, but not on days I have to drive
    2-I am in a better mood on the days I ride.
    3-I drink more water on the days I ride - no caffine (drive days start out with an ice tea from McDonalds)
    4-I am sleeping like a rock, even on days I do not ride
    5-My clothes are fitting better
    6-I swear I am getting a little more respect from the staff I supervise and other co-workers (except for those who think I am crazy to bike at my ripe old age of 57)
    7-Higher self esteem
    8-I get more done on the days I bike
    9-Spunkier and wittier
    10-Wardrobe issues...like black shoes are at work...oops! Started to split my clothes so the things I leave at work are better for mixing and matching

    I have to wonder what this list will be like come November <G>
    Deany

    "A girl can never have too many bicycles"

    2008 Specialized Ruby Comp
    2012 Specialized Vita Elite
    2013 Specialized Myka Elite

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,251
    Quote Originally Posted by deanywalker21 View Post
    1-I can get up at 4:40 am to ride my bike to work, but not on days I have to drive
    2-I am in a better mood on the days I ride.
    8-I get more done on the days I bike
    +1 on all these!!

    Also- I handle stress and stressful situations better on days I ride.
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    2,208
    My husband and I both drive and both commute. One of the interesting things I've observed is how much cycling I've done and how that's changed me as both a driver and a cyclist. I am often pointing out things that he and I can do that can make us more predictable cyclists to drivers. This is in turn making both of us a better driver and a better cyclist.

    My commutes in the PNW and Austin are very different from each other, but they both teach me a lot. We also ride almost all the time in Austin in general, so we get to experience other traffic or riding situations that make us much more aware of traffic flow and different situations.

    I bring my clothes back and forth to work each day, but I think as the summer wears on in Austin I might have to pack extra clothes in and not have to carry my messenger bag every day, it makes me really warm. We get lunch brought in 2 days a week, so I can skip carrying those days.

    That reminds me, eating. I eat much better when I bike because it's challenging to get anywhere (in either of my locations) by bike in a fair amount of time (or safely). I pack my lunch and that means I choose much healthier food for myself, tons of fruit & veg.

    I was surprised to find how much commuting has improved my general cycling strength, too. My Austin route is hilly, my PNW route I often sprint. Both are about 6 miles each way.

    Love this thread! Great idea.

 

 

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