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That actually seems like a reasonable difference considering that outside of cities biking is only a hobby (and sometimes quite a dangerous one depending on infrastructure). And in America many commuters drive for over 20 minutes.



> outside of cities biking is only a hobby

I know what you're saying, so I'm sorry for being a little pedantic, but I just have to jump in and point out that there are MANY bike commuters in suburban and rural areas. I lived in Bloomington, Indiana for two years and biked 3 miles into town every day. It was incredible for my health and the countryside is just gorgeous. In many ways it was vastly preferable to my various urban commutes since then.

You're right that the infrastructure is often lacking, but you learn the tricks you need to get your errands done, and there are many of us out there every day building the critical mass to change that.

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I would say that nowadays, if you live 3 miles from "town", then you really are not living in suburbia. Most commuters live at distances far greater.

From the second result in Google: "The average commute in miles for Americans is 16 miles and 26 minutes for one way"

http://www.reference.com/motif/sports/average-commute-in-mil...

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This seems to be the usual retort anytime someone dares and propose a change in the insanity that is car driving in America. It is as if god personally swept down, laid out cities and then continued to crush their public transport systems.

In reality of course, these commute times are all of your own making. Just because politics in the 20th century designed cities a particular way doesn't mean it is now forever set in stone in the 21th.

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These commute times are not your own making they are based on your salary, your priorities in housing (neighborhood, safety, price), and your work location.

There are plenty of times when it is too expensive to live near work.

There are plenty of times when housing near work is low income or unsafe.

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To be fair though, there's nothing particularly difficult or slow about a ~20km commute with a good public-transport infrastructure.

Until recently I lived about 20km away from my work, and my commute took about 25-30min: 10min walking and 15min on the train. I found this a very nice and relaxing commute; being on public-transport means you can read / browse the web / zone out, and indeed it's a valuable unwind time for me (the walking time is also hugely beneficial in this respect). [The same trip by car takes about 30min with no traffic, or an indeterminate amount of time in typical rush-hour traffic...]

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I wish Calgary had better public transport. As a Calgarian, my commute is 20 minutes by car, 58 minutes by bike, or 75 minutes by public transit.

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Calgary is just silly large and special. My commute to the university is 30 minutes in good traffic by car. Mass transit implies about one and a quarter hours on the ctrain and twenty minutes on a bus. Plus waiting time.

In all honesty Calgary is a hopeless city. Consider Tokyo: https://maps.google.ca/?ll=35.637209,139.744034&spn=0.502803...

Now compare it to Calgary: https://maps.google.ca/maps?ll=50.988692,-113.841705&spn=0.3...

Keep in mind Tokyo is only the center of that metro area. Tokyo itself is 13M people. The full metro area is 35M! Meanwhile calgary is a mere 1M!

Calgary is just not scaling. If we tried to fit 35M people in Calgary the city limits would start hitting the Rockies! Just as CPUs are hitting limits on the speed of light Calgary is hitting limits on safe highway speeds. Mass transit could be improved but it cannot shrink the city.

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I used to cycle 15 miles or so each way to work a few years ago. That place did have a fitness center w/ showers on campus, so it worked out ok (except having to get up an extra couple hours early). My current job just moved into a new building with a small fitness room and showers, so I may try it again next summer (about the same distance).

The best part was actually looking forward to my commute -- even though I only cycled about once or twice a week. Now I'm so far out of shape, it will take a few months of working out in the gym to get back to what I was doing (and hopefully my knees won't go out again).

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I lived here: https://www.google.com/maps/preview#!q=rolling+ridge+way%2C+...

You can make of that what you will. I would call it rural.

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I would not call that rural at all -- it's within the city limits.

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The thing with Bloomington is that it's very bike friendly compared to most cities of similar size and there is a substantial cyclist population considering half of the town consists of students that have nowhere to park their cars.

Your average noncollege town isn't like Bloomington.

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The numbers in the US are certainly dominated by people who don't bike. I imagine that's true in Europe also.

(40 km is not a particularly long ride for a recreational biker...)

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Right, even the European average of 188km isn't very much, half a kilometer per day annually). Between commuting and running errands, I am riding about 500km per month (Portland, OR).

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