The evidence clearly indicates that bike ridership follows continuous bike infrastructure. When a city builds more and better bike lanes - especially protected cycle tracks and neighbourhood greenways - the rate of cycling shoots up.
I'd imagine it also has a lot to do with climate. Where I live is too hot and humid to bike most months out of the year without having to take a shower when I get where I was going. Not really practical.
I don't buy that at all. I think you are making excuses. Life was feasible before air conditioned automobiles.
If you shower before you ride then you have twelve hours or so head start on bacteria - it takes them that long to multiply, excrete and cause a stink. So even if you are glistening with sweat at work then you can change your clothes, wash your hands and face, sit at desk, work, no smell needed. If you do stink then maybe it is because you lack fitness and basic hygiene, which is nothing to do with there not being a shower at work.
When was the last time anyone washed a seat in a car? Never! A car seat is one of the most disgusting places to sit. Would you not change the sheets on your bed for years? No. Yet sit in the same seat in a car, year after year, with a greenhouse around it, sucking in carbon monoxide from the tailpipe in front - no idea why people think that is hygienic.
Hah, right. I'll gloss over the number of assumptions about me that you make and we'll just address the real crux of the issue.
Biking 15 miles to work is not practical in 100+ degree weather with humidity averaging between 60 and 90 percent. Moving to be within biking distance of work is not practical when jobs change every few years and there are two of us living in the house which is fairly central to both workplaces.
And I wash the interior of my car yearly - your phobia about 'dirty car seats' is fairly silly.
I'm curious. Isn't the breeze you get when biking enough to cool you down? I live in Denmark and we don't often have that kind of weather, but the breeze that you get when riding your bicycle can be really nice in the summer.
I've only experienced Dallas summer heat, but no the breeze doesn't help. I would leave work and it would be ~105 F (40.56 C). I'd get in my car and roll down the windows until the A/C started working. The air that came in while driving would feel like the same temperature as the air in the car, like a hair dryer or something. It was like an omnipresent inescapable oven. Imagining THAT with 80% humidity sounds unbearable.
I'm going to assume that's 100 degrees fahrenheit, right?
That's around 37 degrees celcius for us non-US people =).
I'm from Sydney, and we often have low 40's (Celcius) during summer. We currently have raging bushfires over here in some areas =(, and it's easily 40 degrees.
I bike to work (and also for fun on weekends) during that sort of temperatures, and I've never been worse for wear...
I also jog regularly during that weather (although I find that harder than biking - less breeze).
Mate - you're not going to get heat stroke from riding your bike a few Km at 37 degrees, seriously...
As your fitness improves, you'll probably find it easier.
Just stay hydrated (you do carry water, right?), apply sunscreen, and you'll be fine. Sure, it's harder work than driving a car, but exercise is hard work (despite what those late-night TV ads tell you).
Yes, you are right. I live in Houston and I bike for 12 miles round trip almost through out the year except when it is cold and windy. And if you are commuting for work, you are not going to face the peak heat in the middle of the day during summer. But the roads are not completely bike friendly in here and there is problem of stray dogs.
I'm not exactly disagreeing with you, but humidity makes a HUGE difference. I've been in 100+ degree heat with low humidity (115, actually (46.11 C)) and it's downright pleasant. I've also been in 100+ degree heat with high humidity and it's almost unbearable. The difference is, in low humidity your body does a fantastic job of cooling yourself, while high humidity prevents your body from dissipating as much heat since your sweat doesn't evaporate. I'm not saying you're wrong, but temperature does not describe the entirety of a climate, nor its safety.
First you call this guy out then make the declaration that people don't wash car seats because obviously you do not. I have the interior of my car washed thoroughly no less than twice a month and my commute is only like 4 miles round trip so it is always thoroughly clean. Stop making assumptions based on your own warped view of reality.
With a higher level of fitness you sweat less. Cycling at lower speeds is easier than walking and and at higher speeds produces it's own wind.
> Where I live is too hot and humid to bike most months out of the year
That's such a defeatist statement, "too hot and humid to bike most months". I have a lot of faith in you. You could probably think of a way! It's not literally impossible! Maybe you could ride in the morning, before or just after sunrise. Maybe you could ride in a set of clothes, wipe yourself down in the bathroom, and then change into a fresh outfit to work in. You should try those things and three other strategies that you think of and then maybe I'll accept that statement "it's hard to bike during the summer".
I'm not out of shape, and I sweat "too much," as in by the time I finished an hour of bike-riding in sunny FL, there would be no part of my clothing that was not wet. (I'm not exaggerating, and I have spent a lot of time on my bike in FL). This has been true for my entire life, including as a teenage boy who spent an average of maybe six hours per day playing basketball...certainly in shape. I read once that some percentage of people naturally sweat excessively compared to others. I feel very certain I'm in that percentage.
What is appropriate clothing for my example? I'd guess most appropriate would be naked, though I'd still be drenched. There is no clothing that can fix this.
I love riding bikes, but it has never been a feasible solution for my transportation to work, given that I don't want to arrive looking and feeling disgusting, drenched in sweat. I could handle your cold, though. Perhaps you've never experienced extreme humidity coupled with high-90s.
Ok, so you sweat a lot =). That's alright, we're all different.
However, I'm a bit confused here - you're claiming you do cycle a lot - but you don't like cycling?
I have to agree with scarlson - most people who live less than say, 35 km (21 miles) could easily bike to work, if they wanted. With a reasonably level of fitness, you could do such a ride in under an hour.
Is it work - absolutely. But come on, you save money, you get to see the outdoors, and you get exercise.
Beyond 35 km, yeah, I'd probably think twice, if it was every day. However, I know of people who bike from Penrith to Sydney CBD here, a distance of around 56 km (35 miles) - each way.
And by appropriate clothing - I think he means bike clothes (i.e. lycra). Sure, you can't wear it around the office - but I just get changed in our bathrooms at work.
That's a common cop-out. It's too hot, it's too cold, it's too windy, it's too hilly, etc., ad nauseam. The evidence tells a different story: where high quality, continuous bike infrastructure exists, you have a high rate of cycling regardless of climate, geography, demographics or whatever.
Imagine if more workplaces had a small shower stall one could use after commuting in? Or a bike locker area with secure parking?
I have the luxury of being not only 2.5 miles from my workplace (I ride in daily), but I can bring my carbon fiber race bike into my office and lean it against my desk. I am very lucky.
I've gotten very good at doing a mild cleanup upon arrival at the office if I go for a longer training ride before work: a damp washcloth, reapplication of deodorant, and I'm usually good. I do shower and shave before leaving my house, though, so I am starting things off fresh.
That's not to say you can't bike for significant parts of the year, but there are definitely days where it wouldn't just be uncomfortable, it would be unsafe, to bike to work in Texas. Add to that that certain cities, like Austin, are also fairly hilly.
but this one day, or one week, or maybe perhaps two weeks of not being able to bike means I should never ever touch a bike!
Not to start about hills... but boy those hills sure are a challenge. Men are made to be going uphill in car, not on bike. I also live in a place where there are no downhills just uphills no matter where you go.
-- Sorry! but I had the urge to use large amounts of sarcasm just to make a small point, there are people -not necessary lazy- that don't want to change their easy comfy ride into a bike ride.