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Thread: Happy Anniversary!!

  1. #11
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    baiskeli is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerdont View Post
    I was rather hoping this would prompt others to tell their bike commuting anniversary, origin, and history stories. I mean, one shouldn't be intimidated by Steve O's,, um, seniority.
    LOL, seniority, right.

    I started commuting in 1988 from Alexandria. I still have the button I got at the very first Bike to Work day, and my old permit to bring a bike on Metro when you needed one. I also biked through 20 feet of snow to get to school.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerdont View Post
    I mean, one shouldn't be intimidated by Steve O's, um, geezerness.
    ftfy

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    I’m a relative newbie as a regular bike commuter. Though I’ve been in the area for close to 17 years now (same office building/suite the whole time), it was really when I moved into DC proper 5 years ago that commuting by bike seemed more attainable. For whatever reason, the thought of crossing the river on bike seemed so daunting.

    I started occasionally riding into work/to daycare with our (then 1yo) daughter on my “nice” Target bike (a Schwinn Trailways) and a Yepp mini front seat. Definitely a fair weather cyclist; I wouldn’t ride if it was too hot/cold/rainy/windy/etc. I upgraded to a Jamis Commuter, moved my daughter to a Thule Ridealong rear seat, and started riding a bit more regularly. Safetrack (especially the few times where there was NO Metro service by me) was further encouragement so once that kicked in, with our daughter graduated to a trailercycle for the PM commute, I started riding at least one way (if not both) each day, using CaBi the next day if I got lazy and left my bike at work. We also started riding a bit for fun on the weekend (to get coffee/donuts/visit a playground/etc.)

    Last year’s Freezing Saddles and the mild points-based encouragement to ride every day was the final step in the evolution to my current “I don’t care what the weather is – we’re getting there by bike!” approach to commuting, with the #kidical leaderboard a small nudge to do both school drop-off and pickup each day starting last May. FS also gave me the extra motivation to ride WAY more than I ever had, though it's still not anything folks would consider "high mileage." That mindset has carried over to a lot of weekend activities as well; I’m now at the point where I try as hard as possible to plan on getting there by bike, regardless of how sensible or not that plan may be (though once I break down and get a cargo trailer…)

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LhasaCM View Post
    For whatever reason, the thought of crossing the river on bike seemed so daunting.
    Daunting? You kids have it easy! In my day, we didn't have any of these fancy-schmancy "bridges." You had to hitch a ride on a riverboat every day. It cost us ten cents - that was alot back then! When the weather was bad and the boat wasn't running, we had to swim through a storm while holding our bikes in one arm! And that was after riding through 20 feet of snow.

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    2 days ago, I unknowingly celebrated my 5-year anniversary bike commuting when I naively set off from Vienna in the cold darkness for work. Inspired by the effects of the aging process and being 30 pounds overweight, I was determined to find a fun way to get some aerobic exercise. I normally drove from Fairfax to Vienna to take Metro to/from work so I decided to just drive to the WOD in Vienna for an easy bike commute to Ballston. 1 mile in, already frozen and huffing up the "hill" by Tapawingo, I questioned my sanity. Fortunately my stubbornness won and I did it again, although not until the following week.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by reji View Post
    being 30 pounds overweight
    Hah! Just 30 pounds? You kids today. In my day, we were all 100 pounds over, and that was before we ate all our pie! Stop complaining, you spoiled kids.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boomer2U View Post
    So I guess that I must be past my 50th Anniversary Bike commuting somewhere I needed to go on a regular basis.
    I guess I'm right about there too. I rode my bike through school. I probably started about the 2nd grade when we moved out of walking distance. That would have been about 1968.

    I remember my bike around that time had a fake gas tank made out of sheet metal so that it would look like a motorcycle. What was neat about it was that there was a little lid that flipped up, and I could store things in there. Like the dead bird I found one day on the way to school. Even after a week the smell didn't bother me too much, but for some reason it sure bothered my mom.

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    Oooh! Oooh! I love bike commuter origin stories. I'll play, even though many of you have heard parts of this before.

    Spring 2014. I'd gotten my first road bike a few months earlier, although I hadn't ridden it much (because who's silly enough to ride in the winter? ). I was training for my first century, and the training schedule I was following called for a number of midweek rides. But I usually work pretty late, and I was finding it difficult to go home, eat dinner, and then drag myself to the gym at 9:00 or 10:00 p.m. to go nowhere on a stationary bike.

    Enter WABA's lunchtime seminar on bike commuting, which turned into a combination WABA presentation and skillshare with the existing bike commuters at my office. The WABA rep shared some useful tips, but the most inspiring thing for me was learning that my then-next-door office neighbor was a regular bike commuter. This woman is a grandmother, is in her sixties, and is as un-MAMIL-like as it is possible to be. "If she can do it," I thought, "so can I."

    I wasn't sure how long my commute would take the first time, so I biked to the office on a Sunday, left my bike there overnight, and then biked home on Monday.

    Although the bike commute quickly became my favorite part of the day, I was initially a fair-weather cyclist: I wouldn't commute if I had more than a 50% chance of getting rained on. In September, when it started getting dark on my rides home, I gave up commuting for the rest of the year -- or so I thought. But my Metro commute crosses over the MVT at several places, and every day I'd gaze wistfully at the bike commuters whizzing by with their headlights. I finally went to the local bike shop, bought a good set of lights, and resumed commuting. And then I found Freezing Saddles, which taught me how to ride through the winter.

    I now commute year-round, in any conditions except ice. And on those rare days when circumstances or scheduling demands force me to take the Metro, I still gaze wistfully at the bike commuters whizzing by on the MVT.

    Just for fun, I dug up the post that I wrote on my one-year commuting anniversary. Not much has changed, except that I now have even more reflective or illuminating gear and have seen even more spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Oh, and I'm even more convinced that bike commuting has made me stronger, happier, and healthier.

  9. #19
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    And then the economists moved in, filled up the bike room, and started to act all icky...


    (We had a WABA presentation?)

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DismalScientist View Post
    And then the economists moved in, filled up the bike room, and started to act all icky...


    (We had a WABA presentation?)
    Yes, at HQ. I'm pretty sure it was before the economists moved in to HQ and took over the bike room.

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