PDA

View Full Version : Advice for Potential new Bike Commuters



mwhatley
04-30-2013, 04:39 PM
Hi everyone,
Next week, I'm giving a short presentation in my office on the advantages, benefits and options for biking to work in celebration of the upcoming bike to work day. I'd love to include some input from the forum here, so my question for you is simple;

If you were to offer up one sentence/piece of advice for people who are interested in biking to work; what would that be?

Some background, the audience for this session will be made up of 20-40 year olds, health conscious who mainly live in DC, some in VA/MD.

dasgeh
04-30-2013, 04:46 PM
It's not about going fast; it's about having a great ride and getting their safely. Speed will come, and even when it does, will only save you 5-10 minutes.

Tim Kelley
04-30-2013, 04:48 PM
"Try it once. It's easier than you think."

KelOnWheels
04-30-2013, 04:54 PM
Confident City Cycling classes will make you a confident city cyclist!

PeteD
04-30-2013, 05:06 PM
Your bike commutes can sometimes be as quick as your car commutes, unless you make a wrong turn and end up doing a century on the way home.

Tim Kelley
04-30-2013, 05:08 PM
"For many people, biking is actually faster than driving, by the time you factor in traffic, parking, and the time you don't need to spend at the gym."

acc
04-30-2013, 05:09 PM
Try it out on a weekend morning when there is less traffic and with the bike loaded exactly like you were riding to work.

Tim Kelley
04-30-2013, 05:10 PM
"My morning bike ride IS my morning cup of coffee!"

Greenbelt
04-30-2013, 05:45 PM
Oops, redundant, deleted. What acc said.

mwhatley
04-30-2013, 05:50 PM
Thanks everyone - these are great! I honestly worried that we'd all get on our soap box about bicycle rights and all that - great to see such awesome answers.

Will definitely include these (and keep them coming!) - I'll find a way to post the presentation on here next week.

Cheers!

83(b)
04-30-2013, 06:45 PM
"For many people, biking is actually faster than driving, by the time you factor in traffic, parking, and the time you don't need to spend at the gym."

For me it's just plain faster! I've timed it and can bike in ~20 minutes hitting the average number of lights, walk + metro in ~35 minutes, and drive in ~35-45 minutes (plus deal with a garage that fills up really early in our building). Also, DC may get hot, but biking is so much nicer than the underground oven the metro stations turn into during the sweltering summer months.

baiskeli
04-30-2013, 06:49 PM
Exercise, no traffic, no cost - twice in one day.

brendan
04-30-2013, 06:52 PM
If you were to offer up one sentence/piece of advice for people who are interested in biking to work; what would that be?

Via friends, I read this list yesterday. It's not one sentence/piece of advice, it's a list of DO's and DON'Ts...but perhaps it can help?

http://www.peopleforbikes.org/blog/entry/kristin_butchers_guide_to_introducing_new_people_t o_bike_riding_without_rui

Update: that list is more geared to leading your perhaps-reluctant friends on rides or getting them to join social rides, but perhaps a few items are useful.

Brendan

ebubar
04-30-2013, 07:09 PM
I'll echo the thought that its easier than you think. As a relatively new commuter it really shocked me how easy it can be. My goal last August was to ride back and forth on my 30 mile round trip at least once for the year. Now I'm up to around 3 times a week, working up to all 5.

I'll also add my big motivator:

It's cheaper than metro. Saves me $11 for every round trip. I can bike commute AND bring home cupcakes cheaper and faster than if I take metro.

mwhatley
04-30-2013, 07:29 PM
Via friends, I read this list yesterday. It's not one sentence/piece of advice, it's a list of DO's and DON'Ts...but perhaps it can help?

http://www.peopleforbikes.org/blog/entry/kristin_butchers_guide_to_introducing_new_people_t o_bike_riding_without_rui

Update: that list is more geared to leading your perhaps-reluctant friends on rides or getting them to join social rides, but perhaps a few items are useful.

Brendan

Brendan - thanks for the share - this guide is just what I need. Much appreciated!

mstone
04-30-2013, 07:30 PM
You, too, can look forward to your commute.

DismalScientist
04-30-2013, 07:58 PM
Actually, it is about the speed.:rolleyes:

dbb
04-30-2013, 08:29 PM
You can start slowly, try one day a week.

Figure out what you can leave at work, clothes, bike lock, shower gear - that will save time and weight

The regular commuters are amazingly helpful, unlike the motorists on the interstate people will stop to help

Join the forum and ask questions - there is a boatload of skill and experience here

oldbikechick
04-30-2013, 08:44 PM
Advice for first-timers: Plan your route and give yourself enough time so it's not stressful. Pick a route that you feel comfortable with and is most enjoyable (ie. quieter/wider roads, bike paths) even if it's not the most direct one. Pack your things the night before so you don't forget essentials. Talk to other commuters in the office to get the low-down on routes and amenities, borrow stuff you forgot, etc.

Benefits of commuting: Exercise, commute, attitude re-adjustment and fresh air/communing with nature, all wrapped up into one, with no extra time added to the day. It's like you've cheated the working parent rat-race gods each and every day.

Finally - just do it! One you start, you won't regret it.

Subby
04-30-2013, 10:09 PM
Free exercise...with a purpose!

Dickie
04-30-2013, 10:19 PM
It's better for your heart to race with exercise rather than stress!

mstone
04-30-2013, 10:44 PM
Oh, and leave shoes at the office. They're heavy.

Steve
05-01-2013, 07:20 AM
It's better for your heart to race with exercise rather than stress!


This is along the lines of what I was thinking. My commute is, by far, the biggest stress relief in my day.

rcannon100
05-01-2013, 07:25 AM
Bicycle commuters are happiest.... and they are the only commuters indifferent to how long there commute is.

http://bikeportland.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/trblead3.jpg

http://bikeportland.org/2013/01/30/bike-commuters-are-happiest-and-other-psu-research-tidbits-82448

oxie
05-01-2013, 11:01 AM
If you don't own a bike or if you aren't sure you want (or even are able) to bike the whole way, Bikeshare can be a great way to get your feet wet. I started out using CaBi, just going from downtown to Dupont Circle at first and then to Adam's Morgan and then to Cleveland Park and then to Van Ness... and then I decided I needed my own bike to get me all the way home!

In addition to having some time outside and exercising every day, one big thing I love about bike commuting is how it really puts you in control of your schedule. I'm no longer at the mercy of the bus and metro and I don't really get caught up in traffic snarls. Since I've gotten a hang of the light signal patterns and how fast I can go at different levels of effort, I'm now able to tell with a high degree of certainty exactly how long it's going to take me to get to work.

DismalScientist
05-01-2013, 11:14 AM
Being a bike commuter doesn't mean you have to ride in the rain or cold (if you don't want to:rolleyes:). There is no shame in using the bus or Metro when not on the bike.

ShawnoftheDread
05-01-2013, 11:36 AM
Being a bike commuter doesn't mean you have to ride in the rain or cold (if you don't want to:rolleyes:). There is no shame in using the bus or Metro when not on the bike.

You lie!

mwhatley
05-01-2013, 01:25 PM
Oh, and leave shoes at the office. They're heavy.

haha, I have about 6 pairs of shoes stashed under my desk for this very reason.

baiskeli
05-03-2013, 09:51 AM
haha, I have about 6 pairs of shoes stashed under my desk for this very reason.

I ride in my work shoes so that's no problem, but there's been a few times when I've had to go commando at the office.

DismalScientist
05-03-2013, 09:58 AM
I ride in my work shoes so that's no problem, but there's been a few times when I've had to go commando at the office.

What does this have to do with shoes?