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July 27, 2010


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I would consider the idea because my situation would be pretty much perfect for it as I only live about two and a half miles from work. However, the thing that prohibits me from doing so is that to get to work and back would require me to cross one of two freeway overpasses, neither of which is bike friendly. I've seen bikers cross these and it scares the heck out of me every time they do because they're so dangerous.

I use cycling as my primary form of exercise (and also because I enjoy it). However I hate being sweaty when in an office environment and there is no shower at my office. If I worked somewhere with a shower biking to work would be a no brainer. Not only that but my office is only a mile away so it almost takes just at much time to get the bike out and ready as it does to get in the car. I'm spending so little gas it is hardly worth the time and effort.

My father bikes to work almost every day of the year unless it is raining or below freezing (he lives in Jersey). They do not have showers at his work either but he just takes his time so he doesn't sweat (going slow would annoy me). In regards to his car I believe his insurance did give a discount of some sort since he is not driving it much.

In regards to the cost of having a car I think Brad's figures are a little misstated. These days most cars do not have to have their oil changed every 3,000 miles. It is more like every 6k or 7k. Both of the cars I have are Honda's and the computer just tells us when to get the oil changed. Not only that but $500 for routine maintenance also seems rather high. So far the only cost of owning our Accord has been oil changes and checking various areas of the car and it has 47k. We do need new tires soon which will be around $300 - $400. That being said, a car is still much more expensive than a bike, but I think the estimated costs are a bit high.

Although I have worked for the same company for the last 20+ years, I have worked in 3 different locations. At the first one I was 6 miles away and it was mostly country roads to get to work. I rode my bike pretty much all summer when I was there. Then they moved me to another location that was more in the city. I tried to figure out a safe way I could ride my bike. But there was just no way. The roads were to heavy with traffic and it just would have been to dangerous. Unfortunatly America is not really a bike friendly nation. I wish we could be more like many of the countries in Europe. I love places like Holland where they have a bike lane in the cities. I now work too far away from home to ride a bike.

When I was able to ride I enjoyed doing it and I always felt like I had got my exercise for the week just by riding to work. The savings a gas was also a nice perk.

I agree mostly with what Brad says. Only I did not find my bike cost were as much as his. My bike cost about a 100 bucks and I bought a basket and a nice seat for it that added a little cost to it.

Nice idea, but not doable for me. I work at a company in Houston that's 12 miles from my house - those 12 miles cover a whole bunch of not-biking-friendly freeway and tiny roads. Plus my company offers no biking incentives or showers and nowhere that great to lock your bike up. 1000 person location and 2 whole bicyclists - each of them lock their bikes to the handicap walkway and "freshen up" in the men's restroom. Nope, not for me.

Even when we lived at an apartment complex down the street about 1/2 a mile, I drove...there was one major street that had to be crossed that was 5 lanes across and had no pedestrian crossing. This part of Houston just isn't friendly to non-car commuters...

Swimming sounds good though and there is a YMCA on my way to work. :-)

i think its a great idea if you can do it. it requires a lot of determination every morning, a shower at work, and the will to ignore the easy way out!
Preferred Financial Services

FMF, when you're in Chicago with the family, check out their Millennium Park Bicycle Station, where workers can park their bike and enjoy a shower before heading to the office! I discovered it when I was in Chicago earlier this summer, and I think this is awesome!

I've wanted to bike to work all summer long, but haven't yet because it's been so hot and muggy...and I wouldn't have a place to shower. But my kids wanted to ride to my office (it is located along a river), so we've done it 6 or 7 times so far this summer in the evenings. It's 7 miles each way.

If it works for you and you like it then thats great.

I tried biking to work but its not for me. 20-30 minutes of my time isn't worth the $.50 in gas savings. Plus it rains a lot here and I don't want to ride a bike in the pouring rain.

At 5 miles, it would be worth it to bike to work. ten miles may be stretching it, for me. At roughly 15 miles (how far I commute one way), I do not think that biking is feasible...

Biking to work can be a lot easier than people think. The shower thing can be tough, but the hottest it has gotten around the DC area this summer in the mornings has been about 80 degrees. If you take your time, you won't be too sweaty once you get to work.
When I first started bike commuting, I tried to follow the most direct (driving) routes. The first would have led me down a huge hill (and back up in the evening) where the speed limit is 35, but cars routinely hit 50 and up. I didn't even try that. Another route took me over an interstate and across exit ramps. I only did that a few times. Then I finally asked some other bike commuters at work for advice, and they pointed out a route using a bike trail that didn't add too much distance, and kept me off the main roads entirely! That was the moment everything clicked for me, and I've been doing it at least twice a week since then. My attitude is so much better on the days that I bike. I love it.

It seems from the comments that the most important factor is "distance to work". I purposely moved job and home close to each other (2 miles) and ride every day in my mild climate rain or shine. No need to move my shower location to the office. We eliminated a car from our 3 person household and save about $4,000 per year that goes toward retirement. It compounds in IRAs and will allow us to retire 5 years earlier. Try the math and see if you can make the healthy wealthy change.

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