Bicycling, the way to a brighter future?

Discussion in 'General' started by xcel, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    ___Just keeping up a blog on local miles traveled by bike vs. the Ranger P/U or Accord to and from the US Post office and such.

    (2) days of riding so far. 24 miles RT with no fuel consumed :)

    ___Good Luck

  2. ksstathead

    ksstathead Moderator


    Add new vehicle w/ EPA = to the accord not used?
  3. Bike123

    Bike123 Well-Known Member

    I know you have supported riding instead of driving for a long time, but what convinced you to start biking? Fewer cold starts? Only way left to use less fuel? Exercise? Watching the Olympics? Whatever the motivation, good job!
  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Bike123:

    ___I was a little nervous given this is Chicago suburbia hell but along with alternate routes in the vehicles, I found some paved and non-paved roads, sidewalks and trails into downtown Gurnee including the post office. With that, you hit it right on the head! The Olympics added a little inspiration as did some of our fellow riders here on the forum. That would be Lightfoot and Locutus. Exercise and the only thing left to do other than get an all BEV ride were also on the list as you guessed :)

    ___I did not bother getting my drivers license until I was 18 and did not own my first car until 22. I cannot even begin to describe the thousands of miles my bikes and I used to travel back to various jobs but that was as a teenager.

    ___At my current age, my butt, palms, neck and shoulders ache a bit but it is lessening with each ride. I hope it goes away permanently as I can pick up the pace for a real work out rather than a survival ride as I am currently doing :) And I hope I continue as it is a great experience all over again!

    ___Good Luck

  5. locutus

    locutus MPG Centurion

    Very cool! Glad to see you have taken up the use-no-gas mode of transportation vs the use-very-little-gas method. ;) The aches and pains should go away as you get back into it, like any other type of exercising I guess. Not sure what you are riding right now but if you have a full mountain bike with 2" knobbys it really slows you down! When I was commuting by bike to work (6.5 miles one way) on my mountain bike it would take 35 minutes or so. The day after I got my road bike I made the trip in 27, and got as low as 21. The so-called "hybrid" bike is a nice compromise, you get some of the speed benefits and don't give up too much in the way of a comfortable ride.

    So, now that you've started logging your bike miles... when will we all be able to do that here? :D
  6. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    Wow! 24 miles is a pretty huge first ride for someone just getting started commuting. Way to go!

    And yes, the soreness in the butt, shoulders, neck, hands and butt will go away. If it really hurts it's best to take a day or two off the bike, usually enough time for the soreness to subside -- and then you'll find yourself getting less sore the next time out. It'll take a little time to adjust to a ride that long, but the body can adapt pretty quickly.

    By the way, I highly recommend a mirror for riding on busy suburban arterials. Getting hit from behind is actually a pretty small risk (about 3% of serious bike crashes), but being able to keep an eye on traffic behind you -- without craning your neck and swerving into it -- does wonders for your peace of mind.
  7. Bike123

    Bike123 Well-Known Member

    You can get LRR tires (relatively narrow, high pressure slicks ~1.5", 80 psi) for 26" mtb wheels, too. It helps a lot, but a mtb is still slower than a road bike. I ride a mtb with 2" semi-slicks for most of my commuting, but I prefer a road bike if it will be over 10 miles between stops.

    No FASing the engine on the bike, just leave it idling. :Banane39:
    Humans don't restart very well! :D
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
  8. fuzzy

    fuzzy Mild hypermiler

    I haven't read this forum long enough to know whether you have other employment outside running this site. If so, would either the employer or a community traffic agency offer incentives for cycling or other non-SOV commutes? During my most recent contract, the destination city offered a $50 gift certificate after 45 non-traditional commutes. Though I normally pedaled once or twice a week (my body cannot take 34 miles RT every day), this deal was incentive to pack in more rides.

    If the butt continues to ache, or certain parts get numb (male) or raw (female), check out the many other nontraditional seat designs. DW and I both switched to seats with slots in the middle. The sit bones get less sore, and the rest is pain-free.

    Aspiring bike commuters should look, or lobby for, rail-trails (former railroad beds) -- nearly flat, wide, off-street routes. The Burke-Gilman / Sammamish River trail between Seattle and Redmond, through the University of Washington, has enabled thousands of commuters to go by bike. Hundreds more use the Interurban trails.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
  9. bomber991

    bomber991 Well-Known Member

    Well, is bicycling the way to a brighter future?

    Look at it this way, Lance Armstrong had some cancer and ended up with one ball, and he turned to biking to ease his suffering of being half a man. Or something.

    Anyways I can't use a bike where I'm at. Really nowhere to drive to except the grocery store, and putting 2 miles on your car to go there isn't that big a deal when you go once every 2 weeks.

    Besides, seems like every little story or blog you read about someone who starts riding a bicycle, they end up getting into an accident with another car and have a scrapped arm or some broken fingers or something.

    So what I'm trying to say Wayne is be careful riding that bike!

    Good luck!
  10. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    ___Added another 24 miles this past weekend and this morning. I even went to the bank along with the USPS. I have to take some vids back this evening and if I can only figure out how to get the groceries ;)

    ___48 + miles total so far :)

    ___Good Luck

  11. aca2983

    aca2983 Well-Known Member

    I'm biking nearly every day now, and it fits into my school/study/work routine.

    I just got my cool folding grocery baskets that mount to a rear rack, and put them on last nights. Now I can swing by Trader Joes (2 blocks from the library), or a regular grocery store ( a few blocks farther) or a multitude of places.

    Having the baskets are nice because I put my backpack in them, and thus avoid having a sweaty back from the backpack.

    If you are afraid of biking in your area, do something about it. Move someplace safer, or lobby your municipal planning & zoning officials and elected officials and tell them to consider planning for other modes of transportation other than automobiles.
  12. koreberg

    koreberg Junior Member

    My bike just sits in the garage collecting dust. I can't even really walk right now, let alone ride a bike. At least I am saving gas, working from home.
  13. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    No stories like that on my blog. 20,000 accident free miles in the past 8 years. Only one truly close call I can think of (and that guy learned to regret what he did). Most of the bike commuters I know are accident free as well.

    Contrary to popular belief, cycling is NOT more dangerous than driving. The per-mile death rate is about the same. If you avoid the major idiot risk factors (riding against traffic, at night without lights, or while intoxicated, each of which alone accounts for at least half of all biking deaths - lotta overlap there) it's actually safer. Yes, that goes against many people's intuition, but then again a lot of people think flying is more dangerous than driving too, and I've known quite a few people who thought it was safer to be thrown clear in an accident than belted in. Intuition can be wrong.

    40,000 automobile passengers die on our roads out there. Be careful driving those cars!
  14. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Bomber:

    ___Thanks for the heads up and I am being careful ;)

    ___I knocked out another 4 miles tonight as I headed to the vid store and back. 52 miles so far and counting!

    ___Good Luck

  15. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    ___Two USPS trips this week for another (2) 12-mile RT's for 24 total miles this week. 78 miles in total so far.

    ___Good Luck

  16. gershon

    gershon Well-Known Member


    The next step on the bike is a 48 state tour in one trip. I figure a person could make it in 2 years or so.

  17. ILAveo

    ILAveo Well-Known Member


    The number one safety measure for (motor- or bi-) cyclists is helmet use -- sunglasses/goggles (for windburn) are a good idea too. The slower speeds prevent a lot of accidents so just be careful and don't worry too much. I always looked at cycling as an exercise/transportation twofer and with the kids out of the house I'm hoping to have more opportunities.
  18. locutus

    locutus MPG Centurion

    Exactly - always wear a helmet. Turning on your hypermiler senses to see what the cars around you are doing and to stay out of harm's way I'd say is #2. Eye protection is a close #3. If you are biking at night, of course, a headlight and taillight for visibility is top priority. Simple safety measures to take and you'll be fine. :)
  19. 99HXCivic

    99HXCivic Well-Known Member

    xcel - I think biking in the Chicago suburbs is suicide. Inner city is perfect!

    Just did a medium distance shopping workout ride Saturday for 29.86 miles = $2.89 in gas.
  20. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

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