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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
 

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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.
 

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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
 

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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
 
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