Tell us about your commute. It may inspire others to Go By Bike!

I’m putting together a page that will inspire people to consider commuting by bike, or just getting around in general on a bike instead of driving. So many of the trips taken by car are short (under 3 miles) and don’t require hauling 50 pound bags of dog food, and yet we don’t think twice about grabbing the car keys and driving. Time to “Think Different” as Apple would say! So please, respond to this with your bike commute story, and I’ll see what I can do to organize things and inspire others. Thanks- –Mike–






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10 thoughts on “Tell us about your commute. It may inspire others to Go By Bike!

  1. Not a commute story but a transport one. I used to have a Hobie-16 sailboat on a trailer parked on the street at my rental house. The cops tagged it as it had not moved in some time – ivy growing on it! I had let a buddy borrow my car with a tow hook for a month or two so had no way to move the boat. I did have my old Rockhopper MTB and a bike trailer so I tied the boat trailer tongue onto the middle of the bike trailer bed, hooked it up to my bike, and towed the boat 2 miles through Palo Alto residential streets to my driveway. The Hobie with trailer is ~8 feet wide, ~27 feet long, and weighed about 600 lbs ( 320 lb for boat, ~280 lb for trailer). Starts were pretty tedious but once up to speed we rolled along nicely. No quick stops!

  2. Live in Saratoga, work in Menlo Park. 20 miles door to door, mostly coasting along Foothill Expwy, two to three days a week (when Junior doesn’t need a ride to school). Done this for a little over four years now. Having a gym (shower!) and a stash of clothes at work helps a lot to make this feasible. Not saving much money though – beer prices still higher than gas… ;)

  3. Since the beginning of the new year, I’ve been biking and taking CalTrain weekdays from East Palo Alto to work San Jose. I do a fair amount of shopping and errands around town by bike as well. Commuting is good training as well for longer rides.

    With bike commuting, having to have all your stuff together is at first a challenge, but once you get a system and you’re rhythm down it becomes second nature. (Keys, wallet, phone, change of clothes, lunch, tools)

    I carry my tool set, lock, pump and tubes in a mussette bag (Archival Clothing waxed cotton musette) that I can easily take separately instead of the backpack when I eat out for lunch.

    Mark

    I tried using a panniers but this was a headache having to take them on and off for the train, a back pack is easier.

    Mark

  4. I’m a grad student who lives off campus. The ride to my office is 3.3 miles; that’s 33 miles a week total. My car gets roughly that many miles to the gallon, so call it a gallon of gas saved a week. That’s about 50 gallons of gas a year, with gas between $3.50 and $4.00 a gallon, that’s $175-200 a year in savings. I also don’t pay for a campus parking pass, which saves another $275 a year or so.

    All in all, my bicycle commute pays for my coffee habit and beer at our happy hour.

    I also get to enjoy the trees, smell the flowers, do some people watching, and be in the sun. Much better than a drive.

  5. I’ve been bike commuting for over the last four years solid, rain or shine. I live in San Mateo and work in the financial district of San Francisco.

    I ride to Caltrain in the morning, load my bike, get off and ride to work. Like many others, I was having troubles with getting bumped occasionally, and not being able to find a seat on the train. Finally, I bought a Bike Friday Season Tikit. (Sorry, this was before Chain reaction sold them!), that has made a huge difference. Great bike, fun to ride, and eliminates any issues getting on board the train.

    I also do most of my shopping with my tikit, unless it is a Costco run. Because of that, I probably put gas in my once every couple of months, so I could care less about gas prices. In fact, I have to keep a duster in the trunk of my car and clear all the dust off the windhields and windows before I take it out.

    Oh, and I shed about 40 pounds the first year I started the bike commute, so there is that as well… ;)

  6. Hi Mike, nice idea. Live in Sunnyvale with office in Cupertino, about 12 miles R/T. Usually do so about 3-5 times/week (my high school aged daughter seems to ‘need’ the car regularly!). Have been averaging 120+ bike commute days for several years now.

    The addition of the Mary Ave bike/ped bridge has been great, ride across that about every day, the climb from the Sunnyvale side even has a little bite to it! Use an REI messenger-style bike bag but generally use ‘car’ days to transport a stash of clothes back and forth. Have been fortunate to have shower access at both office buildings we’ve been in over here.

    And gotta love it when there’s a tailwind blowing me home like last nite!

  7. I bike to work every day and have done so for the past 5 or 6 years! Stanford was in violation of its General Use Permit (GUP) with county with too many cars on campus so we were all urged to use alternative transportation. As the head of a large department, I decided it was time to lead by example, and have not looked back! I only live 2.5 flat miles from work so no need for change of clothes. I have rain apparel so unless it’s a downpour I bike all year. It’s refreshing to bike in the morning and a way to relax on my way home. Also, makes it easy for me to get around on campus for meetings. Stanford pays folks not to drive so besides not paying several hundred dollars for a parking permit, I get paid quarterly not to drive. So a no brainer!

    So great having my bike!

  8. Hi Mike:

    My bike commute, which I do three times per week (trying my best to carpool the other two days) is 18 miles long (one way) and takes me through 3 counties (Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda) and 5 cities (Mountain View, Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Newark and Fremont) across the Dumbarton bridge.

    I’ve seen a number of unusual things in the 4 years I’ve been riding this route from the drunk guy sleeping in the middle of the road (I stopped and called 911) to (just tonight) the guy pushing a shopping cart with all his worldly possesions over the bridge – in the vehicular lane.

    I like seeing the sunrise best. Early mornings are my time and I arrive at work energized and ready to go.

  9. Hi Mike and co,
    Well I finally started doing it-bike commuting to work that is! My taxi services are no longer required now that my son and daughter just got their drivers licenses in April so I have started what will hopefully become at least a 1-2/wk tradition in the nonraining months of the year. I live in redwood city by Roy Cloud (hi neighbor!) and work in Newark just across the Dumbarton Bridge. Roundtrip is 35 miles with the morning eastern ride fast and sassy (even after my morning training ride up Kings or intervals on the trainer) and make it over in about 50 min moving time (about 55 min total with lights). The return in the afternoon is (ugh) into the famous afternoon northwesterly head wind but I just tell myself that its like climbing (which I love). That takes about an hour to 1:05 coming home. So by adding one hour to my normal car commute (takes 30 min each way by car) I can go green and get a one hour day to become a three hour day on the bike! We shall see how the racing season progresses with the additional miles in my legs.

    Best wishes and thanks for keeping the Madone in tip top shape (especially the drop in while I wait service-that is the “bomb”!)

    Curtis

  10. Hi Mike,
    My commute is along Alameda de las Pulgas from San Carlos to Stanford. It is 7.5 miles each way. I ride 4 days each week and a lot of weeks I will drive one morning with my bike then keep the car at work so I can use it there, then bring it home when I need to drive home. My ride is fun because the route can be easy or challenging. I can ride easy or do some intervals for a work out. I can also detour into Woodside and Portola Valley when I have time to put in more miles.

    The other great thing about my commute is the number of other riders I see. I have developed new friends and connected some old friends over the years.

    Oh, and when I need to stop by a bike shop, Chain Reaction is a short detour off my route!

    We really do live in the best place to ride on earth!

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