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Question of the Week: How have your “bike to work” habits changed?

2009 June 15

A year ago we got hundreds of comments when we asked you about biking to work. Now a year later, tell us how you’ve changed your biking habits and why.

How have your “bike to work” habits changed?

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53 Responses leave one →
  1. RITA AMODEI permalink
    June 15, 2009

    desearia saber mas de sus actividades , les escribo desde muy lejos desde la Argentina. Por aqui se sabe poco y nada de las cosas que hacen alli .

    rita amodei

  2. Kevin Pierce permalink
    June 15, 2009

    I bike about the same. Winter is still tough, but am working up the gumption!

  3. Jorge Gerônimo Hipólito permalink
    June 15, 2009

    Here in Brazil has increased the sale of motorcycles, but in cities the streets are narrow, no space. The traffic of motorcycles and bicycles is difficult because competing with cars. Essential to adapt the streets for change of behavior.

  4. vinayteja permalink
    June 15, 2009

    i started using bicycle. its enthusiastic, fun filled, thrilling
    it helped me understand how to paddle in the hilly roads, and how to save energy in sloppy roads.
    it is analogous to life. we have a lot to learn about life in cycling

  5. Scott permalink
    June 15, 2009

    I recently hit my one year anniversary of bike commuting also… http://drivemybike.wordpress.com/2009/06/02/i-forgot-my-anniversary/

    What is different now? Riding my bike is a wonderful habit that I look forward to. I used to stress about planning for almost every ride to the office, but now it is just a relaxing experience that I’m very comfortable with. Biking to work has been a great change in my life.

  6. June 15, 2009

    Commute is too far – would take me way too long to get there – if I tried I would be a sweaty mess – and we have no showers at my place of employment – so my ‘habit’ is the same – it is still no habit at all.

  7. Left Coast Tim permalink
    June 15, 2009

    Well, today June 15, 2009 is “Ride (your bike) to Work Day”…but the OTHER kind of “bike”…The kind with 1, 2, 3, or 4 cylinders. Hey, my little red Italian Stallion DOES get 45mpg when I hold ‘er steady at 70mph (not easy to do on a machine that wants to go twice that), so it’s still a “greener” alternative to most 4-wheelers out there.

  8. Susan permalink
    June 15, 2009

    I live in Portland, OR, am 48 years old, and bike to work 4 days a week. Last year, I was only biking once or twice. The biggest factor for me seems to be my physical condition: if I have a sore back, hip or neck I don’t want to ride! Staying fit and healthy in middle-age is a big challenge. Bike commuting is the most consistent exercise I get.

  9. Wayne permalink
    June 15, 2009

    I use to bike, but was hit while I was waiting at a stop light. Until the attitudes of drivers change, I really do not want to chance it riding to work. I am not young anymore and can not afford the risk due to drivers being to busy to pay attention and not willing to be patient and share the road. I live in an area where the roads are not set up for riding bikes in traffic (Burlington, NC) safely (my opinion).

  10. Jonce permalink
    June 15, 2009

    I bike to work everyday and use the new Phoenix Light Rail for part of the distance. I come to work refreshed and energized.

  11. Steve permalink
    June 15, 2009

    Living in the Detroit metro area it’s difficult to communte year-round. Once spring hits I try and commute at least 3 days a week.

  12. Ohidunnno permalink
    June 15, 2009

    I do not bike anywhere, but if I had the ability and the landscape agreed with this option ( not too hilly)
    I would gladly bike around my home in Butler, PA.

    I remember riding my coaster-braked bike a lot as a child living in Sherman, NY. Traveling 14 miles/day.
    I even rode it in a blizzard!(I had to dress real warm).

    If there came to a choice on arriving somewhere fast (as in a car) or slow (as on a bicycle).I’d choose slow.

  13. June 15, 2009

    I got a new bike and a helmet mirror. I feel much safer now that I can easily keep an eye on the cars that approach from behind.

  14. John permalink
    June 15, 2009

    I started work in late May, and I have been riding my bike to the Metro since the beginning of June. It’s 4 miles from my house on rolling hills. I would take it on the metro but they don’t let you bring on a bike during rush hour. I have to say that it definitley makes you more alert, happy, and refreshed at work when you ride. Everyday, I look forward to the ride home. The commute has become the most dreaded part of the day to the best.

  15. Dano permalink
    June 15, 2009

    I now bike everyday rain or shine in sunny Seattle. Downhill to work, uphill home. Last year, it was about half-time for me and rarely in the rain. I only wish that the drivers in this “green city” were more bike-friendly. The biggest problem is that they travel way too close to cyclists. I have the observed data from my everday commute to prove it.

  16. Jackenson Durand permalink
    June 15, 2009

    When I lived in my native country, I used to bike almost everyday because of this country society building.
    This is where, we do not have expressway. Cars are able to drive 15 MPH almost as the same as a good biker.
    This one tropical season allows a great biking during the year.
    All that, are diminishing our biking.

  17. Georginius permalink
    June 15, 2009

    Manejarse en bicicleta no solo es mas barato, sino que tambien mas saludable y contribuye a disminuir la contaminacion del medio ambiente.

  18. Dwayne permalink
    June 15, 2009

    I would love to bike to work as I could use the exercise. There are a few practical problems for me. There are no bike lanes in my town and riding on the road can get kinda hairy. My work has no changing area or shower for getting cleaned up after a ride into work. Finally with the time change in fall it is dark when I get done and the neighborhood isn’t the best.

  19. Yangmusa permalink
    June 15, 2009

    I continue to bike to work every single day, rain or shine. Just like last year. Just like I always have, in fact.

  20. Scott F. permalink
    June 15, 2009

    I’ve gotten more safety conscience since I’m commuting by bike more this year. I wear both a reflector vest and reflector ankle straps (good for keeping pant legs from getting in your chain too). I also went to the DC website and requested a map of bike lanes in the city (http://ddot.dc.gov/ddot/cwp/view,a,1245,q,559835,ddotNav_GID,1761,ddotNav,%7C34416%7C.asp). I didn’t know that the sidewalks downtown were off limits! As there’s lots of people walking in these areas it makes sense, but until this city becomes more bike friendly I’ll take my chances going slow on a sidewalk versus getting swiped on a busy road.

  21. Moises permalink
    June 15, 2009

    I before went much in bicycle, but almost they kill to me twice, and I have seen several accidents some of motorcycle, and we always lose. I was the unique one who went to the bicycle to the work, but in a world that thinks about the car, to go in bicycle it is very difficult. Although I will try to return to go in bicycle but I have had many scares, some very serious, my uncle died hasty.

  22. Chris S permalink
    June 16, 2009

    Commuting by bike is only feasible in more developed areas and even then it may be highly dangerous for the biker.

    It takes me 30 minutes with a vehicle to get to work on roads that are hilly and have no shoulders or sidewalks that would provide a safe place to use a bike.

    The memorial for a biker killed less than a mile from the entrance to my job is a daily reminder while we talk a good talk, but the road infrastruture is only dedicated to the use of motor vehicles.

  23. J.B. permalink
    June 16, 2009

    After years of good, but failed, intentions, this year I finally dragged my bike out of storage for Bike to Work Day. It has been sunshine ever since. For a solid month I have been biking to work two days each week, 11 miles each way. Bonus: I’ve lost 10 lbs.

  24. pat permalink
    June 16, 2009

    motorcycles do get better gas mileage reducing CO2, but I believe they pollute more than cars for ozone forming, pm and co pollutants than cars do.

  25. Johnny R. permalink
    June 16, 2009

    The one time I tried bicycling to work in New York City, it proved so dangerous in traffic down 7th Avenue that I had to give it up. So, instead I moved into a neighborhood close to my job and walked to work for nine years. No iron horse, no smelly bus and I saved the rising bus and subway fare.

  26. June 16, 2009

    Last year I lived in Michigan and worked 40 miles from my house – never commuted via bike and public transit was nonexistent.

    This year I live in San Diego and use either bike or bike/bus everyday for the 15 mile one-way commute (takes me about the same time to bike to work as it used to take to drive!). Fortunately the parts of San Diego I ride in are fairly bike friendly, but I do worry about cars due to their speeds and occasional disregard of bicycle traffic sharing the roadway.

  27. Deborah permalink
    June 16, 2009

    I live and work in two different suburbs of Detroit. Unfortunately the commute is too far and there are no showers at work. I tried contacting SMART (bus transporation), but being so close to the big three has hampered our ability to use public tranportation. A 17 mile commute would take 3 bus changes, $6.00 and two hours. I’ll just have to hope I can save enough money for a Ford Fusion Hybrid! Great job to those who can do it!

  28. David S. permalink
    June 16, 2009

    Yes. I love riding my bike to work almost everyday. I ride my bike or walk. So to answer the question. My “bike to work” habits increased.

  29. Zac Appleton permalink
    June 16, 2009

    For the last couple of years, I’ve been promoting and tracking Bike to Work Day participation through my office’s program in San Francisco. Here are some of the numbers and lessons we’ve gleaned: my office has approximately 70 cyclists that range all ages and levels of experience.
    – In 2008, 35 riders chalked up 302 miles.
    – In 2009, 22 cyclists rode 178 miles. We also know that at least 11 more cyclists participated on Bike to Work Day, but were not accounted for in our information-gathering tool.

    We also learned a couple of valuable lessons from the experience:
    1. Reach out and remind. Setting up a voluntary Bike Clinic to analyze and repair employee’s bicycles was a great way to get the word out and improve participation on the day.
    2. Recognize the role models in your cycling population. Some of the experiences and stories our cycling commuters shared included: people who have suffered bike theft and back pain, but were determined to return to bicycling to their suburban train station; people who quite late in their careers have kept a resolution of biking “a new way every day” for four years; and a family who commute their two kids to Daycare with bikes.

    Our greatest environmental gains were from coworkers who decided to leave the car parked that day, and instead hopped on their bike to get to the train, ferry, or office.

  30. June 16, 2009

    As a regular commuting bicyclist, I can’t wait for my employer to engage and implement the tax-fringe-benefit that is now law.

    http://www.commuteconnection.com/assets/pdf/Bicycle%20Commuter%20Federal%20Benefit.pdf

    My chain is getting squeaky, my ankle strap in loosening, and I’ve worn through two cycling shorts.

  31. John permalink
    June 16, 2009

    I am 51 and work in Madison, Wisconsin. I have commuted 60% of the work days in 2009. My commute is 13.5 miles each way.

    It just takes will power.

  32. Bill Jarocki permalink
    June 16, 2009

    Even though we’ve had 3 bike fatalities in the last three weeks in Boise, I am not detered from shifting to comuting to work by bike. I crashed and broke a helmet and suffered some injuries 5 weeks ago when I ran over something in the bike lane and went off the road and into a tree. Fortunately I fell away from the traffic, not into it, or I would have been #4.

    In my case, I have cut back driving to work by 50%. I may even be getting rid of one of our family vehicles.

    The problem is that riding is so risky. With inattentive and/or abusive drivers it is a little scary. A ban on texting on cell phones would really help.

  33. Charles permalink
    June 16, 2009

    Kevin – I’ve biked a lot in winter. I really like biking in the cold because it’s quiet, clear, and there’s fewer people out. But there are two tricks:
    One is keeping ears, fingers, and toes warm. The other is to NOT wear too much on your body core or else you just get sweaty. Charles

  34. Gabriel Michas permalink
    June 16, 2009

    Nothing has change my friends, biking will be always my favorite habit and fitness way of living whenever I have the time to do so. I remember myself putting inside to my previous car (Mercedes c190) my bike full of mug and dust, just to carry to the hills…for biking! Trust me, whenever I get a new car again, I will do the same. Keep in mind that biking is always good for your heart and your immunogenic system.

  35. Luis Moreno permalink
    June 16, 2009

    En verdad me a ido bien, pero en verano no podre andar en bicicleta, esto por que el calor es muy extremo en Mexicali B. C. ya que cuento con una temperatura de 44° C durante el dia y por la noche es de 39° C..

    Pero en fin de semana saldre a la cierra a continuar con la bicicleta.

    En Mexicali cada vez hay mas uso del ciclismo, esto por hacer conciencia del medio ambiente.

    Saludos…

  36. Druz permalink
    June 17, 2009

    My habits haven’t changed. I do not bike to work. I have to wear business casual at work. In our temperatures and humidity in Florida, I would look like I just took a swim when I arrived at the office. My boss won’t install a shower.

  37. Laura B permalink
    June 17, 2009

    Zac Rocks!

    It really helps to have an advocate at work to make biking in easier.

  38. tommy4usa permalink
    June 17, 2009

    how much would you save at 4 days a week ?
    seems a way to cut Co2 is to change to a 4 day work week?

    I would like to see a study by some-one ?

    what will cut more Co2?

    1. the cap and tax that will collect Billions?

    2. taking millions of cars off the road 1 day a week X 52 weeks?

  39. Midwest Aaron permalink
    June 17, 2009

    Pat, I’ve heard, and at one time read (somewhere don’t remember) similar information What I seem to remember is that a four stroke moped produces about 4x more pollution than a modern Ford Explorer and a two stroke moped produces about 8x the pollution.

  40. Bonnie Aylor permalink
    June 18, 2009

    I have seriously considered bike to work options, only I live considerably far from my own work. I would be great to move closer but most of the places in the area are little isolated ghettos, no good for me. What’s not would soak up so much of my income that it wouldn’t be practical to take advantage of it, since I’m on beginners income.

    Motorcycles are always nice too, the EPA showed last year that an average of 3000 bikes used less gas, a greater fuel economy, and only had the emissions of a car. That seems like a horrible impact except that you should consider the byproducts of gas production.

    LOL! I hope to win a modeling contract or an acting spot somewhere, then I can get into the media and then start doing bike-to-work methods and high fuel economy low emission methods and put it in the face of the world utilizing attention getting skills to draw attention to myself while I’m using those methods. That would send an AWESOME signal about what luxury really is :D

  41. Samuel Steinmetz permalink
    June 19, 2009

    As a resident of New Orleans, I am lucky to be able to bike all year round, and with no hills. Although having spent many a summer biking in some beautiful areas of New England, I could go for a change of scenery now and then. I leave early in the morning to avoid early traffic, and stay later. By the time I go home, things have slowed down, it is a bit cooler, and working a compressed schedule, get my Friday’s off. I am looking into by a Dutch cargo bike to do my grocery shopping. My family is down to one car, and hopefully soon we will only have to use it for emergencies.

  42. Dennis P Lima permalink
    June 22, 2009

    As a resident of Denver, CO I am fortunate to be able to bicycle to work pretty much year round. As long as there isn’t any snow or ice on the streets and its at least 20 degrees in the morning I’m out there. So I guess my bike to work habits haven’t changed all that much, but I do use my bike a little more often to run errands around the neighborhood.

  43. Peg Bittner permalink
    June 23, 2009

    I respect people who ride bikes in the early morning and during rush hour a little more now. I always gave bike riders their right of way but now I keep reminding myself that they are either going to work or coming home from work. I never thought like that before. Bike riding was always looked at as a recreational activity. Now it is a means of transportation.

  44. Chuck permalink
    June 24, 2009

    Hasn’t changed I still don’t.

  45. sonja permalink
    June 25, 2009

    I have been riding a bike everywhere for quite some time now and I really enjoy the cost savings and the connection I have to my community. Finding a job that you can get to, on a bike, is quite another thing. Our downtown communities would be served well if people would just realize that you don’t need to get on the highway to get to the future, you need to get back to some basic living in your own community. It is however a commitment that really requires a passion for the concept of back to the future, where less is better and downtowns thrive because people can get to things by walking or biking. Living in the country is great if you don’t like or can’t get along with people, but I think that is half of what is wrong with america today. People are so disconnected from the community that they live in and have no real connection to the community they work in because they don’t live there. Go figure!

  46. Alexander permalink
    June 25, 2009

    I began the “bike challange” halfhearted, however as the days grew into weeks…my pattern of biking to Cambridge increased from once a week to three times a week (Boston weather permitted).

    However when I find myself writing on far off place on my travel guide I wonder if I lived in a place without snow measured in feet such as Miami…would I find another excuse…too sunny today to bike?

    Oh well keep up the good work.

  47. us of a permalink
    July 6, 2009

    pues aqui solo comentan sobre estas preguntas que les hacen…

  48. us of a permalink
    July 6, 2009

    I walk…its more environmentally friendly…I’m not using up aluminum or any of the earth’s precious resources. I rely on my own two legs to get me where I need to go.

  49. Julie permalink
    November 26, 2009

    I have not changed my habit because I still work from home – thank goodness. I am too far out in the boonies to commute by bike anywhere even if I did have to leave my home, which I sometimes do for business purposes – so a bike is out of the question for me. It just is not practical.

    When I did commute to work I always took the bus and walked (I lived closer to the city then). I was too far for a bike to be used to get to work, so I tried to be as green as I could by taking the bus everyday.

    For those riding bikes you should know that your most important piece of gear is your helmet. Motorcycle riders especially should use a full face motorcycle helmet that meets DOT standards and is Snell certified for the greatest protection.

    Julie

  50. Linda permalink
    January 19, 2010

    Going to work on my bike does not just environmental implications it also is good for my health. It gives me the cardio exercise that I need.

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