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One simple trick: I bike to work. Remote-only companies hate me!



I would bike to work. It's a nice 12km. But I think it would significantly shorten my life expectancy.


You must live in Iowa, where looking a cyclist at worst, warrants a fund because it is "accidental". We have a major bike ride across the state from West to East every year, called RAGBRAI along a different route. And seemingly every year, at least one cyclist is killed. Rarely is anyone charged with a crime. Tragic


What does your first sentence mean? I can't tell if it's a typo or regional phrase I am not familiar with.


i think it means: killing a cyclist is accidental, and warrants a fund only (whatever that is :-)


maybe fund = fine


I stopped biking into work because of the danger of getting hit. It's only about 7 miles for me, but on about a daily basis I would almost get hit. Paths that heavily interact with automobiles are not safe at all. Cars turning out/in crossing my path and stoplight intersections were a constant threat.


If it is not too hot, or too cold, or rainy, I take my 25km/h EU-regulated e-bike for my 7km trip to work (40% public road /w bike lane, 30% public road /wo bike lane, 30% forest road; 110m altitude to climb one way, 140m the other). I've average height&weight, but am not athletic - no chance I could do that route on a normal bike. So while it's not a huge workout, the bike doesn't go all by itself, and I really feel it has a positive effect on my overall health.

The additional 5km wouldn't make a huge difference with an e-bike (just 12m longer ride), as long as the altitude you have to climb isn't significantly more (you can check that on Google Maps).

Maybe you can rent a (proper!) e-bike from a specialist dealer and give it a try.


You could not do 7km each way an actual bicycle ? you need to see a doctor I think.

I am considering a slightly longer bike commute (mostly on bike paths) and I had a kidney transplant 2 years ago


I think the biggest risk is not the ride, but the vehicles on the roadway. Way back when I used to ride 6.6 miles from home to the university, but stopped after the second time I got run off the road. The bus was slower, but safer.


Statistically, it's the other way around.


Strongly disagree, depending how your commute is. In my office and on the factory floor we've had 3 major cycling accidents just in the last year - the latest guy was put into a coma for 2 weeks.

I cycled for 6 months before I could afford a car, and counted 11 separate incidents that could have ended with me hospitalized if it weren't for some adrenalin fuelled swerves. Had one accident where someone failed to indicate left as I was crossing the road of a roundabout, and I ended up on her bonnet. No amount of apologies make up for a broken rib unfortunately. How that was my only "major" injury still baffles me. Had another where someone failed to check their mirrors as they randomly swerved out and forced me into oncoming traffic. Never tried to overtake from that point onwards. I had 4 instances where people tried to overtake me way too close and forced me to bail onto the pavement (not fun with clip-on pedals). As soon as that bank balance hit the magic number I went and invested in driving lessons, insurance and a car.

Unless my future commutes have bike paths from beginning to end, there's no chance I will ever cycle to work again. It was the most miserable part of my day. I'll stick to my morning spin class and get to work early to avoid the traffic instead.


Judging by your language here and the fact you couldn't already drive, I'm guessing you're British, was this London? Because cycling has gotten a lot better in London in the last few years and I'm interested what your route is.


No, but it was in the South. I have cycled around London and it's much, much more friendly for it. It's improved substantially in recent years. I think part of that is culture - people cycle in London, so drivers/pedestrians pay attention for cyclists - and part of it is that there are substantially more designated areas for cyclists. In my current location, you're damned to end up under a car if you cycle on the road, and you're damned to get fined by the police for cycling on the footpath.


Where in the world is this and how many people at your workplace cycle? That’s a very depressing story.


South of England. The town is also known as the worst place for cycle commutes outside London, which probably will single it out. We've probably got about 2k people across design, HR, head office and the factory floor, but of that I don't see more than maybe 50 people cycle, and of that only 20 or so regulars (mainly because it's just too dangerous). I bet you can imagine how fun that is with everyone trying to get out of work.

The local council (local government in the UK) have had a massive drive to get new cycle lanes in place - problem is, they're also completely inept so have put them in places where nobody cycles anyway. I've been told they are where they are purely to fulfil a quota so they don't look so statistically bad when compared to other municipalities, which honestly wouldn't surprise me. They painted road markings for nigh-on 10km of unused road, whereas all of the roads leading to the major industrial and office estates where people travel to daily have been completely neglected. It's beyond infuriating.


Pompey?


I won't say where exactly, but it's not there!


Greatly depends on the drivers around you. Here it'll definitely shorten your life expectancy if you're lucky, and will leave you with a nice whole-body paralysis, if you're not.

You know how motorists sarcastically refer to cyclists over here? "Crunchies", or something like that.


Also depends on the type of infrastructure available. I lived in the city until about 5 years ago and cycled everywhere. Out in the bush where I am now, with only narrow windy unshouldered roads (& many stoned drivers), I'd be dead in a week.


I don't have to drive on the road.

My work trip is 5 km and all the way is bike roads and pedestrian paths. One of the advantages of living in the nordics, I suppose.

I don't even wear a helmet in the summer - I just pedal intentionally slow.


> I just pedal intentionally slow

Anecdote: I was with a group of tourists and we were about to rent bikes for a guided tour. We were offered helmets, but only some were taken. Before we even departed, a girl managed to fall of her bike and injur herself. A second offer to use helmets was met with much more acceptance.


I cycle through the year. I put on my downhill skiing helmet at the first sign of autumns freeze.

Statistically speaking, dutch don't wear helmets and they don't get much injuries. It's as much about how you cycle and what the routes are like than having or not having a helmet.


Statistically, it depends.

In some cities it can be quite dangerous to ride around.


It's going to depend entirely on the city, and even the location of an office. For ANYONE to get to my office, at minimum you have to cross at least one highway, and likely travel down the narrow shoulder of it for several miles, to get to our building. For most you have to cross under interstate as well on said highway. There are virtually no bike lanes in Indy outside of a handful of neighborhoods.

Never mind we had it rain nearly every day for like a month and that this week it's in the 90Fs with air quality alerts and 60%+ humidity every day and just walking to your car gets you sweating and NO ONE wants to smell you all day because you biked to work... and then come winter it'll get below 0F many days with varying amounts of snow and ice. I think we had -35F windchill this past winter on a day or two it was -12F.


Depends on the place.

I happily biked for years in London (considered a dangerous cycling city).

I gave up in fear of my life in Fiji (tiny and sparsely populated).

I wouldn't even consider it in Dublin (which has a lot of cycle lanes).


FWIW I cycled for 10+ years in Dublin without incident


Maybe because people actively avoid biking on dangerous roads ? It's easy to say that bike is safer than car when being safe is the number one concern for a vast majority of people cycling, while it's pretty obvious it isn't for automobilists. It's _because_ people like quickthrower2 don't go on dangerous roads that bike is safe.


Depends where. Some routes in NYC are downright suicidal. I was knocked off my bike on one occasion in a roundabout. Injured my knee and swore off cycling to work. There are unfortunately plenty of jerks driving out there.


N00bs go through a period of being extremely prone to crashes. Folks need time (year or two) to swap their 'driving eyes' for their 'cycling eyes'.


If you mean accidents, then maybe. There were studies showing that it is still beneficial to bike to work even when the air is really bad from traffic. Or was it about jogging?


This idea always appealed to me in theory but I sweat so easily that it never made sense unless I want to show up covered in sweat and feel sticky all day. Maybe if there's a locker/shower I can use and go directly to work and shower there it could work for me.


I sympathize. My solution is a bit "much" but if you're looking for things to try:

I wear my gym shirt while bicycling which I sweat into profusely. I get to work and lock myself in the family bathroom, where I take my gym shirt off. Then, I take out a linen towel I bought that packs super tiny, get it wet, and wipe down. I stand and cool and dry off for a bit, then put on the shirt I packed. The linen towel gets a soapy wash in the sink and then wronged out. Then, towel and gym shirt get hanged on hooks in the office near a window (as far as I can tell there's no bad smell and I have explicitly asked others in the office) and both are dry within a couple hours.

Change into gym shirt after work and bike home, take a shower.

It's a process but it's worth it, I've lost 7 pounds without much else lifestyle change.

The linen towel is fairly critical - packs small, light, dries quick and is odorless (allegedly linen is anti bacterial). They're also great for travel in general.


Great ideas. I also have started bringing in an extra pair of shoes - loafers. I sweat into my hiking shoes that I wear into work, take them and the socks off so they can dry, then wear loafers around the office. At the end of the day I reverse the process.


Really depends on the climate - I commuted to my last job via bike, and it never would have worked in the summer without a shower at the job.


Get an ebike


That avoids much of the exercise (but has its own benefits).


I've heard it makes you more likely to actually bike around since it is easier.


Exactly. eBiking > not biking


From what I've been able to gather, on average you exercise about a third as hard. If it makes you bike three times more often, it's worth it. It also means you will be bothered significantly less by wind or other variability in travel time (maybe you are tired that day, for example).


Even a third might be being generous. I have never once really broken a sweat riding an eBike even in hot summer weather. I've actually had to put jackets/jumpers on to stop the wind chill on hot days - this never happens on normal bikes due to the effort exerted.

This however is precisely why I have some ebikes in addition to human steam powered ones - its so nice for commute or journeys when you want to arrive feeling refreshed but not need a shower or change of clothes.


Avoiding much of the sweat of exercise would be the point, no?


A lot of people pretend it is the tour de france. I just ride slower and take my time.


Something is triggered by there being a bike just in front or (much worse) just behind. The more dressed up and the better the opposing bike (somehow they are in opposition) the greater the effect.


I would still sweat. I sweat just getting out of the shower or standing in a warm kitchen too long with the oven on.


Biked to work for years and loved it until I crashed. No car involved just a stick or rock or something that allowed my front wheel to slip out from under me. If there’s some brilliant MEs out there, build a safer bike! Lower the center of gravity, improve traction, stability, whatever it takes!


What you desire exists: it’s called a recumbent tricycle.

I replaced a pretty good road bike with a Greenspeed GT3 Series II five years ago and have happily used it ever since, including three multi-week trips (two and a half weeks mostly through California, USA in 2014 before the Strange Loop conference; three weeks from St Louis, USA to Philadelphia, USA last year after Strange Loop; and a couple of weeks around this Easter in western Victoria and South Australia). Until I moved from Melbourne out into the country two years ago, cycling was my primary means of getting anywhere, augmented sometimes by public transport. Now I don’t cycle so often because I live in the middle of nowhere, 40km to the nearest town that I go to for church. For the last two long trips, I was essentially not fit beforehand (e.g. not having ridden at all for two months in one of the two cases), and doing something like that immediately on an upright bike would be murder on the buttocks, back and hands, but doing it on a recumbent trike was completely fine. I would not have done any of these solo cycling trips on an upright bicycle. Since this last trip I’ve even started vaguely planning to cycle around Australia at some point.

Recumbents tricycles are much safer. For example: they’re inherently stable; they’re closer to the road; they’re wider, so cars can see them better from behind despite them being lower, and so they can’t sneak by in such dangerous ways as they do in many parts of the world with bicycles; when riding one, it’s easier to be watching the road (especially compared with a road bike where you’re constantly craning your neck up); your mirror (necessary, since you can’t look over your shoulder) will be well-mounted and clearly in your stable field of view, you can constantly keep an eye on upcoming traffic, too; and as they’re unusual, cars pay them more attention and act more carefully.

On a good surface, a trike is much more comfortable than a bike. On a low-quality surface, such as many cycling paths, it can be less comfortable, since the seat and frame are providing suspension and not your legs as they can on an upright bike.

I personally like to go fast, and am not afraid of roads on my trike; I didn’t worry much about roads on a bike either, but in high-traffic scenarios I definitely feel happier with everything on my trike than on a bike. I generally just ignore cycling paths and ride on the road.

Another negative point on the recumbent tricycle: having three wheel tracks instead of one is occasionally troublesome: highway shoulder often has corrugation at the edges (the Australian style of adding <15cm-wide bumps on top is unpleasant to ride over; the US style of ~40cm-wide gouges is intolerable and dangerous to ride over at even 20km/h, and it’s so wide you can’t even straddle it properly), and a 90cm wheel base sometimes doesn’t fit on narrow country highway shoulder, and so I sometimes have to go in the lane where a bicycle might not. Also dodging thorns growing in the shoulder can be more difficult—with the slick Greenspeed Scorcher tyres I had in my first long trip, I gave up counting how many punctures I had (it averaged more than one a day—I became skilled at repair!); I haven’t had any punctures other than the ones on that trip (I’ve only ever had two punctures since adulthood in Australia), and for subsequent long trips I’ve used Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres.

One more: trikes take more space. Greenspeed specifically pioneered and uses a folding frame, which is great for transport. I’ve taken my trike to the US twice now, just folding it in half and wrapping it up in a tarp, no extra cost with Qantas since it’s sporting equipment (otherwise it’d incur an oversized baggage fee).

But back to the positives: a recumbent tricycle is much more fun than an upright bicycle.

Why aren’t they more popular? They’re generally more expensive: in part because there actually is a bit more to them, but mostly because they’re less popular so the cheap junk category doesn’t exist, which will skew price perceptions. And not many people even know about them. This may be in part because of UCI’s ban of recumbents in 1934 (a sordid tale of political intrigue, commercial interests, wounded pride, and arguably bribery and corruption), which basically crippled the recumbent industry. http://www.pjrider.com/BentHist.htm has some details of the history and story. (For racing, you’re talking about recumbent bicycles, but recumbent bikes and trikes exist in the same “human-powered vehicle that isn’t an upright bicycle” category.) But recumbent trikes really should be more popular, because in most ways they’re just better than trikes.


For what it’s worth, you get better at falling the more you do it but this seems to be offset by age making falls worse. Slick concrete parking garages and road tyres are a very bad combo.


Sounds like you have a really short commute! That’s a great way to do it.


I try to live 5 miles or so from work. 10 round-trip a day, plus a little extra for errands (I never learned to drive) is enough cycling for me. I can do it in about half an hour at an easy and relaxed pace and during the winter it’s short enough to just walk if it’s snowy/icy.

But I know people who do 25 miles each way by bike for their daily commutes. Just depends how much you care about it and what you’re willing to sacrifice to do it.


I bike to a co-working space where I work remotely :)




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