G Scale Model Train Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,976 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

During some of the "OMG Gas is $$$$$" threads we've had on here over the last 3 years, I mentioned my potential for riding a bicylce to work. In the past few weeks, I have been giving some very serious thought to commuting by bike to work.

I guess it is increase in the price of gas that doesn't seem to be stopping any time soon. Also, I have been finding that I have been getting up early to go running anyway, so why not get up early, hop on the bike, and get in that long workout I do not seem to have time for anymore. I guess in a small way, the environment is also a motivation, but that's not my primary reason. I also did a cost anaylsis and I think I'll cut my fuel bill in half by riding only 2 days a week (and carpooling 2 days).

I started a blog to record my plans, mistakes and new plans! I got some feedback from folks here when we were last discussing gas prices, and if you are interested, here's a link to the blog:

http://lancastercommuter.blogspot.com/2008/07/first-post.html

I started it mostly to keep my thoughts in one place, to share it with others who might be considering the option, and to get some feedback from bike commuters out there.

Later,

Mark
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,311 Posts
That's great Mark, go for it. I'll follow your progress. I ride to work once or twice a week, 14 miles one way.. Only saves me about $10.00 a week in gas, but I'm in better shape and really enjoy the ride.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,297 Posts
I've ridden to work twice, both times were scary. I have to take surface steets to work but theres really is no direct non-freeway route to downtown LA from my neck of the woods, I have to ride thru a dicey industrial/run down part of town to get to LA. The other thing here is that people are so disconnected from reality in their steel Lemmingboxes that they simply do not see or even perceive other non-auto vehicles, some dont even see the other cars and pedestrians are points to be scored. So bicycle riding on the road here is an extreme sport, even just riding to the store and back can be an E-ticket ride. Motorcylcles are a bit more noticed, but not by much, and mostly because they can travel at speed with the flow of traffic, unlike a bike. The biggest troubles here start when self rightious bicyclists insist on riding IN the traffic lanes and are often pedalling 20mph LESS that the flow of traffic and these guys get clobbered and then wonder why? I thought about a motorcyle or a scooter, which have some power and speed to deal with knucklehead drivers but so far I havent commited. I could also take the light rail in, but it takes 45min-1hr commute (same as bike) vs the 20 min commute by car, with a scooter I could manage 30min commute. If I could buy a Royal Enfield here in California (emission issues prevent sales), I think it would be a done deal.


Basicaly its more a big motor-scooter more than a motorcyle /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/hehe.gif
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,976 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Vic,

My wife and my parents / in laws would kill me if I had a motor on any of my bicylces!!!


Actually, reading the laws regarding bicylists, bike riders have the same rights and responsibilites as motorists.

Here's the CA law pertaining to such:
"Bicycle Use. VC 21200

Every person riding a bicycle upon a street or highway has all the rights and is subject to all the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle, including the provisions of law dealing with driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages or drugs, except those provisions which by their very nature can have no application.

Duty of Bicycle Operator: Operation On Roadway. VC 21202

a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at such time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:

When overtaking and passing another bicycle or motor vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge. For purposes of this section, a "substandard width lane" is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
b) Any person operating a bicycle on a one-way street or highway with two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of such roadway as practicable."

So, the guys that use a part of the lane are within their rights. Not that it really means much, since there are more than a few people out there who think bikes are for kids. If they are out in the lane, I think it is less likely they'll get hit, than if they are close to parked cars (opening doors, merging) where they'll blend in.

Anyway, I don't want to speculate about other people actions, which I can't control! There are bad drivers out there, bikes, cars and motorcycles! I'll try to be a good bike driver, wave and acknowledge people giving me my space.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,746 Posts
The problem here in Nashville is that the drivers will run you over. Not a bike friendly area exluding the greenway.

Earlier this month I bought a folding bike, a Downtube 9FS. First new bike since 1983. No need for a rack, and I can carry it with ease in the back of the Honda Fit.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,297 Posts
"...a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at such time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations: ..."

Correct, but tell that to some of the riders out here, you'll get a indignatious reply that they have the right to ride as fast as they want in any lane they want, and like I say, then they wonder why they end up hood ornaments. I've been riding most of my life, but I know better than to ride IN traffic if I cant keep up Lance Armstrong speeds, so I stick to the sides, even then its dangerous as heck out here. And some drivers dont even obey traffic lights anymore, let alone any codes.

A guy recently was arrested here for road rage after mowing down two cyclist who wouldnt get out of his way, the guy was a physician to boot!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,746 Posts
Posted By vsmith on 07/29/2008 4:33 PM
"..
A guy recently was arrested here for road rage after mowing down two cyclist who wouldnt get out of his way, the guy was a physician to boot!






Was this the case where he actually passed the two who were riding side by side (would not get over) and as he passed one of the cyclists gave him an obscene gesture and after he got around them he jammed on the brakes, they hit him and both went through the rear window of his Lexus? Saw this on one of the biking commuter forums, sounded like the bikes were at fault for failure to yield, but the Dr. who stopped short had a history of agressive driving with cyclists.

There was some blerb on the local news about some mob of "bikers" beating the snot out some unsuspecting driver in Seattle today too.

I guess there are jerks on both sides?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,297 Posts
Absolutely, I have met some real gold plated A-hole cyclists who are bigger A-holes to other cyclists.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,976 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Vic,

I've seen that kind of side-by-side riding here, too, and I don't agree with it. Sure, we have the Amish and their buggys going slower than most riders, but that's a little different.

I also think that the guys riding in any lane they want is taking things to the extreme!!

I was thinking that it might be good to take something like a Phoenix Sound system, mount it in a waterproof box, and protect the speaker from water. Then, I'd have a bell and a whistle I could activate when warranted, like passing a line of traffic, activate the bell sound. Most folks probably wouldn't hear it over their radios / cell phone calls. But at least it'd be something. Probably more useful in the city traffic. Plus, it could be pretty loud, if neccessary.

Mark
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
105 Posts
Been riding my bike to work for the last three weeks averaging two to three days a week. Figure I save myself about $16.00/day (gas + fastfood breakfast + fastfood lunch + afterwork stop at the gas station for a soda and chips). On top of that I'm 7 pounds closer to my goal of fifty pounds lost by my 50th birthday (which is in February).

My ride is just shy of 13 miles one way and I have a 1/2 mile long hill with about a 6-8% grade about three miles into the ride home. My legs, lung, and heart get a pretty good workout. It's a wellpaved country road with a 4 foot wide paved area to the right of the white stripe. While it's not an officially designated bike lane, it's pretty much accepted by both bikers and motorists as one.

Added benefit is I get to watch the wildlife along the roadside, who seem to be oblivious to my presence. The deer don't even run back into the brush, they just watch me as I ride by.

Mark
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,976 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Mark,

Sweet! I am getting ready for this afternoon's 'trial run'. I just realized that I forgot the shirt I was planning to wear. I guess I'm riding in this polo shirt. Ugh! Oh well.

That fast food breakfast/ lunch/ chips and soda is pretty bad stuff, all around! Cutting some or all of that out will help you drop 7lbs in no time!

Mark
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top