5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably don't

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Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby high_tea » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:09 pm

Xplora wrote:The final point in the blog is really THE biggest aspect I reckon.

Humans are hard wired to try and achieve things. Sitting in a car designed to drive at 160-200kmh, doing 20kmh in gridlock for 2 hours a day, is incredibly frustrating and emasculating. Like "OM WT SRSLY I AM GOING TO KILL THEM ALL" type frustrating. The limiting factor riding a bike is your fitness, then corners and lights, then your bike. It is suddenly about you, and not the cars around you. That responsibility means that you are able to focus on your achievement as you get to your destination. As you get fitter, lose weight, get more toned, get faster, get those KOMs, buy the Garmin, upgrade your pedals, tyres.... it doesn't escalate for most people, but the fact is that you GET something from cycling, even as a commuter. You get a tiny fraction of the psychological reward from a car, unless you are one of those people that is able to convince others to have sex with you on the basis of your "sweet ride" etc. And even then, you've spent a year's wages which would have been better spent on hookers. I digress.


If someone made going down to the shops into this big thing where they rocked a HR monitor and racing flats and wraparound sunglasses and tracked their times on some website that'd be fine, but I wouldn't assume it was the done thing. Yet cycle commuting is often made out to be this big athletic thing with Strava and Garmins and all. Sure, it can be but it doesn't have to be. I think this distinction isn't clear to newbies for one reason or another.

Some of it's the media, to be sure, and some of it's social attitudes. But some of it, too, is the way people advocate for cycling. You see plenty of it on this forum: "just get a road bike straight away, you'll end up wanting one anyway" and "I set a PB on my commute today!" and "you need padded shorts/clipless pedals/whatever!". It's not all like this, of course, but it's easy to get the impression that you really do need to spend a heap of money on a plastic bike and wierd clothing to do it properly. There are plenty of people, on this forum and elsewhere, who are living proof that you don't need a special bike or special clothing or heaps of fitness. A basic bike, basic good health and a bit of common sense is a pretty good start and I think this often gets overlooked.
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by BNA » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:52 pm

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Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby casual_cyclist » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:52 pm

il padrone wrote:
dynamictiger wrote:4: After work I often want to get home as quickly as possible

So ride a bike :roll:

Cycling is the fastest way for me to get home. It takes 25-30 mins to ride. It can take up to 50 minutes by bus. That is a frustrating trip!

FWIW I find cycle commuting rather boring, but not more boring than being on the bus for nearly an hour! :roll: At least a ride is over reasonably quickly + I also got my daily exercise in.
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Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby casual_cyclist » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:58 pm

high_tea wrote:There are plenty of people, on this forum and elsewhere, who are living proof that you don't need a special bike or special clothing or heaps of fitness. A basic bike, basic good health and a bit of common sense is a pretty good start and I think this often gets overlooked.

For my first year I pulled a 20 year old road bike out of the shed that had been in pieces, put it together, lubed the chain and started commuting. Of course over time I replaced the tubes/tyres but it didn't really cost much in that first year. I think it had been in the shed for at least 5 years. Nothing fancy but it did the job.
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Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby Xplora » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:22 am

Ht, you know my commute is 20kmh. I like going fast. I don't have a garmin or most of that gear and I did the bunch ride with a trunk bag for 8 months until my bike was written off. We should have flexibility of culture, as you suggest, but the reality is that there is a large cohort of commuters that crave a short fast commute. I am representative of Many people out there. My comment relates to them. I would not garmin to the corner store. I would garmin 5kms though to the local centro. Lots of straight road, and my commuter/baby seat bike has tri-hard bars. Your search for simplicity in commuting is actually alienating most people under 35 who want get to the destination rather than do the commute there. Me? I can't wait for the garmin 510 to arrive LOL
I am not forcing speed cycling on anyone with my views. I am not forcing rain hail or shine riding on them. It IS worth telling people they are strange for being so close minded that they miss that a bike is just as fast as a car for many trips.

Edit; I do find your call for cycling culture pluralism to be quite at odds with your comments about the helmet laws. If speed is not necessary on the bike then why is the helmet?
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Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby high_tea » Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:11 pm

Xplora wrote:Ht, you know my commute is 20kmh. I like going fast. I don't have a garmin or most of that gear and I did the bunch ride with a trunk bag for 8 months until my bike was written off. We should have flexibility of culture, as you suggest, but the reality is that there is a large cohort of commuters that crave a short fast commute. I am representative of Many people out there. My comment relates to them. I would not garmin to the corner store. I would garmin 5kms though to the local centro. Lots of straight road, and my commuter/baby seat bike has tri-hard bars. Your search for simplicity in commuting is actually alienating most people under 35 who want get to the destination rather than do the commute there. Me? I can't wait for the garmin 510 to arrive LOL
I am not forcing speed cycling on anyone with my views. I am not forcing rain hail or shine riding on them. It IS worth telling people they are strange for being so close minded that they miss that a bike is just as fast as a car for many trips.

Edit; I do find your call for cycling culture pluralism to be quite at odds with your comments about the helmet laws. If speed is not necessary on the bike then why is the helmet?


My point is pretty simple: some people don't commute because they get the impression that cycle commuting is physically demanding and capital-intensive. It doesn't have to be and getting that point across might get more people cycling.

Helmets are completely beside the point, as you well know.
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Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby skull » Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:37 pm

dynamictiger wrote:4: After work I often want to get home as quickly as possible (this is almost laughable if you time the bike against car trip)

The main reason I don't ride to/from work all that much now.

All I want to do is get straight home and play with the baby. It also gives the wife a break from baby duties since I get up early ride before work and then spend all day at work.
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Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby Xplora » Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:56 pm

high_tea wrote:My point is pretty simple: some people don't commute because they get the impression that cycle commuting is physically demanding and capital-intensive.

Sidebar: the opportunity cost of purchasing and maintaining a car is so far beyond a bicycle, unless you're buying Italian SR EPS carbon monsters, that it renders the idea of cycling being capital intensive to be utterly ridiculous. I find irony like that hilarious.

That said, I've had conversations with people and clarified with that they will save money if they buy a beater and ride it for three months, compared to the train. They will cut their commute time in half as well. Are they riding? :lol:

They see lycra as an excuse for their stupidity, much as they see the social aspect of smoking as a reason to continue spending 50-100 a week on cigarettes.
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Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby high_tea » Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:27 pm

Xplora wrote:
high_tea wrote:My point is pretty simple: some people don't commute because they get the impression that cycle commuting is physically demanding and capital-intensive.

Sidebar: the opportunity cost of purchasing and maintaining a car is so far beyond a bicycle, unless you're buying Italian SR EPS carbon monsters, that it renders the idea of cycling being capital intensive to be utterly ridiculous. I find irony like that hilarious.


Sigh. People will be considering a bicycle as well as a car to start with, not instead of a car. Comparing the capital cost of bike and car is something that just won't cross their minds. That would be because it's not a meaningful comparison.

But when people get told - and they do, there are plenty of posts on this very forum - that they need a $1200 bike rather than a $600 bike and $400 worth of accessories at least, I can well believe that they find that extra zero a bit off-putting.
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Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby Nobody » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:38 pm

Some start cheap. There is a guy at work who bought a cheap bike (or BSO) rigid MTB for about $80 secondhand, got a helmet for about $30 and is commuting to work once or twice a week. His ride is only about 30 minutes and he does it on the standard tyres. No tools, puncture kit or lights at this point. It can be done cheaply.

I suppose people like him just ignore enthusiasts like me who think he should spend more for better comfort, functionality, reliability and speed. Sure, the gears are shockingly bad. The brakes, steel rimmed wheels and tyres are all poor. But it does the job so far.

I would not ride to work on anything less than 7 speed rear with a good saddle, brakes and good functioning gears. Something reliable. But that is the problem with being an enthusiast. I probably couldn't ride to work on a bike less than $300 secondhand. And then I'd have to spend more on it to get it up to a standard that I find acceptable. Yes, I've become a bike snob. :oops:
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5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably don't

Postby Dan » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:41 pm

casual_cyclist wrote:
il padrone wrote:
dynamictiger wrote:4: After work I often want to get home as quickly as possible

So ride a bike :roll:

Cycling is the fastest way for me to get home. It takes 25-30 mins to ride. It can take up to 50 minutes by bus. That is a frustrating trip!

FWIW I find cycle commuting rather boring, but not more boring than being on the bus for nearly an hour! :roll: At least a ride is over reasonably quickly + I also got my daily exercise in.


My 13km commute takes effectively half the time when cycling, even counting on a bus arriving as soon as I reach the bus stop. So, a minimum journey of 50 minutes is reduced to a flat 30 mins door to door - even with showering I'm up a quarter of an hour over the public transport option. On road sections total 3 to 5km, depending on the route i choose, with perhaps 500m on a high volume/arterial road.

1 day a week I take the bus in to drop off some shirts, and I could probably even negate this by wearing them unironed out of the backpack. Or by taking an iron to work ;)

Saves time, saves money, saves me going to the pub on Fridays - and I'm still home in 30 minutes, regardless of traffic, weather, etc. Sometimes a little wet, but hey.
Last edited by Dan on Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby Xplora » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:46 pm

I actually tried to ride my 300 dollar Fluid MTB to work, and nearly blew my knees out because it didn't fit right. Bought a 2.1 Madone and I'm much happier. Not the slightest bit repentant about it either. Needed a second bike to destroy, so my good bike was protected from the rigours of commuting.

I can guarantee that the people who shirk at 1000 bucks for a bike will take a 80/month iPhone contract every two years, and buy an iPad/MacBook AS WELL. Meanwhile spending 40 bucks a week on fuel or a train ticket...

We're all entitled to do as we choose, but don't think I won't call BS when its appropriate. These people need to wake up and smell the coffee. Their Apple and apps habit is costing more than cycling could ever cost.
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Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby wizdofaus » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:43 pm

Xplora wrote:...the fact is that you GET something from cycling, even as a commuter


My next blog post (I know I know, like the world needs another cycling blog...) is going to be exactly about that. Just got back from doing the Audax Alpine Classic, and I think it's the closest thing to religion I've ever experienced :-) Would never have got there if I hadn't started with regular commuting by bike.
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5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably don't

Postby Dan » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:02 am

Xplora wrote: Their Apple and apps habit is costing more than cycling could ever cost.


Good thing the strava app is free, then ;) ! For what its worth I have all those gadgets you mentioned, and spent far more on cycling related bits last year than apps/hardware - then again, it was year zero for me in relation to cycling, and I bought, sold and built perhaps 7 different bikes in that time, all whilst developing a rather dangerous fetish for retro jerseys.

Point is, you can be all inspector gadget and still commute by bike.
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Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby wizdofaus » Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:36 am

wizdofaus wrote:My next blog post (I know I know, like the world needs another cycling blog...) is going to be exactly about that. Just got back from doing the Audax Alpine Classic, and I think it's the closest thing to religion I've ever experienced :-) Would never have got there if I hadn't started with regular commuting by bike.


As promised: http://pedalingtowork.blogspot.com.au/2 ... ament.html
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Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby Xplora » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:57 am

Dan wrote:
Xplora wrote: Their Apple and apps habit is costing more than cycling could ever cost.


Good thing the strava app is free, then ;) ! For what its worth I have all those gadgets you mentioned, and spent far more on cycling related bits last year than apps/hardware - then again, it was year zero for me in relation to cycling, and I bought, sold and built perhaps 7 different bikes in that time, all whilst developing a rather dangerous fetish for retro jerseys.

Point is, you can be all inspector gadget and still commute by bike.

Dan, my post was specifically related to the people who make excuses about not cycling to work, yet spend heaps on phones and crap. If you are choosing to ride and spend more on bikes than Apples, well that's your choice, and I'll applaud you for riding... but you aren't in the group I'm slagging :lol: Good on you for riding, and yes I'm glad Strava is free too! :mrgreen:
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Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby Dan » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:23 am

Aha! Remind me not to reply to threads at 3:30am. Apologies ;)
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Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby warthog1 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:25 pm

Nobody wrote:
I would not ride to work on anything less than 7 speed rear with a good saddle, brakes and good functioning gears. Something reliable. But that is the problem with being an enthusiast. I probably couldn't ride to work on a bike less than $300 secondhand. And then I'd have to spend more on it to get it up to a standard that I find acceptable. Yes, I've become a bike snob. :oops:


I reckon most people on here wouldn't ride to work on a bike costing less than that. That is less than our weekly shopping bill :(.
Nah you are definitely not a snob but an enthusiast. :) except for the saddle preference of course :P
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Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby Nobody » Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:27 pm

warthog1 wrote:I reckon most people on here wouldn't ride to work on a bike costing less than that.
Thanks, you are helping to make my point. We as enthusiasts develop higher standards of what we believe is acceptable. Then we recommend those higher standards to new ones. Fortunately, some of them don't listen and slowly develop their own high standards without the higher initial cost.

I've got a friend - yes I know, strange, but it happens :wink: - who currently rides at the rate of about $15K+ a year for health reasons. He started out on a BSO, much to my disapproval. Fortunately he didn't listen to me for a year or so, then I helped him buy a secondhand Cell MTB for $300 about 18 months ago. He is still riding it as his main bike.

Below is a my utility/wet bike. 7 speed (complete with '90s Acera rear derailleur) single chainwheel, old rigid MTB with 50mm Marathons. It's been made to look worse to prevent theft as I leave it locked at the shops on occasion. It's my acceptable minimum but I swap the Brooks & post for a cheapie when I go to the shops. I'd say most people could commute on it if the area is flat enough.

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Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby warthog1 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:57 pm

that is substantially better than my malvern star thing that I ride with the kids and sure I could commute on that but I wouldn't enjoy it, because like you I am an enthusiast too. Besides I'd have to leave for work half an hour earlier or change my route.
500 to 1000 dollars will buy you something much better and is not alot of money when you look at how much people spend on housing, groceries and a car. Might as well cough up and enjoy life I reckon.
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Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby Nobody » Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:37 pm

Of course you are correct. But to the people who still think a bike should cost next-to-nothing (BSO) and cost nothing to run it comes as a bit of a shock, which can put some off. Like many, I blame supermarkets and department stores for the distorted perception.

So how's the disc conversion going, or isn't?
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Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby Xplora » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:26 pm

Nobody wrote:Of course you are correct. But to the people who still think a bike should cost next-to-nothing (BSO) and cost nothing to run it comes as a bit of a shock, which can put some off. Like many, I blame supermarkets and department stores for the distorted perception.

So how's the disc conversion going, or isn't?

Let them buy the BSO, it's not your cash. When the thing falls apart then a trip to the mechanic will set them straight. :)
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Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby warthog1 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:05 pm

Nobody wrote:So how's the disc conversion going, or isn't?


It will but I haven't got any money at the moment (having just said $500-$1000 isn't much :oops: )
I need to get a new light to tide me over until I do the disc conversion properly, maybe even with a dyno hub wheel ideally.
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Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby Nobody » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:17 pm

warthog1 wrote:It will but I haven't got any money at the moment (having just said $500-$1000 isn't much :oops: )
Sound familiar. There's plenty of money flowing, just not much extra money around.

warthog1 wrote:I need to get a new light to tide me over until I do the disc conversion properly
I don't know of the light you linked. Looks reasonable, but have you seen the road.cc light test?


warthog1 wrote:...maybe even with a dyno hub wheel ideally.
Good idea, but hopefully you'll be able to find a lighter duty rim for the front than an A719. Very strong rim, but 565g too. I have one on the back of the CC. Probably too much for what I do too, but I'm no WW. :)

warthog1 wrote:brake
Can't complain about a BB7. However if you spend most of your time on the hoods commuting, you might prefer a 180mm for easier braking from the hoods as a few of us have found. Although you can also easily change later too.

warthog1 wrote:fork
Do you want a CX fork on your road bike? It might change the geometry a bit. Otherwise you may need to look at ones about 370mm. My Dimension CX fork is 400 from memory, but it matches the Surly CC's original A to C length.

If you have a look through some of the pages of the road disc thread some have suggested road disc forks like this SJS one. Or you could PM MichaelB or MattyK for suggestions.

Edit: Although the this fork is a 26" it should have no trouble fitting a 700C with 23mm tyre. It has a 380mm A to C and is cheap too. But you may be allergic to what it's made of.

Hope that helps. :)
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Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby warthog1 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:40 pm

That is a very helpful post thanks Nobody :)

It also informs me that I have no clue as to what I'm doing :oops: So hopefully I can pm you before i start buying stuff? Which is still some way off.

I want to keep the Azzurri as a commuter as I have the riding position set up fairly similar to my S5, so that jumping from one to the other is not a big change. I also need to keep the costs down, I've got 2 kids starting secondary school next year.

I had no clue about axle to crown distance before but I do now thanks, I dont want to turn the Azzurri into a chopper :lol: so 30 mm is probably too much of an increase? 10mm should be ok do you think?

That fork you linked is heavy but if it fits I dont care, it has eyelets on it for mudguards too which is a plus, after getting drenched off the front wheel last winter.
Nobody wrote:but you may be allergic to what it's made of

:x :lol:


Sorry to the OP for going off on a tangent again and highjacking the thread :oops:
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Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby wizdofaus » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:09 am

NP, I'll just hijack it back again with a link to my latest addition: http://pedalingtowork.blogspot.com.au/2 ... -that.html
Will try to keep posting there twice a week. Feel free to move the discussion into the blog comments section!
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