Author Topic: Question for long term bike commuters  (Read 3393 times)

rocketman48097

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Question for long term bike commuters
« on: August 02, 2013, 01:22:19 PM »
I have only been bike commuting full time for 3 months, 3.5 miles each way but decent hills where I live. 

1.  How long did it take you to lose weight, and how much?  (I have only lost a few pounds so far)

2.  At what point did you stop getting excited about it?  (I still have that new smile on my face about it)

3.  Any other advice?  Did you ditch your car, or your second car if you are married?  What other changes did this bring about in your life for you or your family?

4.  What does your employer think about your choices, if they think about it at all?  Supportive, indifferent?  Think it's weird. 

As I am still new to this compared to others, I want to see what you thought. 

ThatGuyFromCanada

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Re: Question for long term bike commuters
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2013, 01:53:01 PM »
I've been riding to work for nearly 3 years now and I still get up every morning with a smile - the bike to work is one of the best parts of the day for me. Last summer I lost 15 lbs, but I also did ~3,000km of cycle commuting that year. I like to "race" against myself and each day I try to beat my old time, I find it helps drive me each day.

Everyone at my small company gets a kick out of the fact that I cycle 25km to work and 25km back home and now I get funny looks when I don't ride!

NinetyFour

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Re: Question for long term bike commuters
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2013, 02:03:42 PM »
My commute is just over a mile, if I take the most direct route.  I either walk or bike, and have done so for 15 years.

Mostly, I absolutely love it.  But I have to say that it gets tough to stay excited about it in the dead of winter.  Like when I leave the house at 5am in the dark and it's 10 degrees.  Yowser.

As far as losing weight--since my commute is pretty short, it's not really helping me lose weight.  (But considering all the exercise I have gotten by commuting by foot or bike for 15 years--I'd imagine that it has had a huge (positive) effect on my overall health.)  If I am in walking mode, I will often choose a longer route, just to get more exercise.  (Several years ago, I lived across town, and mostly walked to work.  It took me 45 minutes each way.  It helped me stay very trim!)

If I were to be wimpy and drive to work, I would have to buy a parking pass for the day, which recently went from $2 to $3.  To a non-Mustachian, that wouldn't seem like much, but to me, I HATE spending that money!!  (I could buy a parking pass for the academic year for $110, but I haven't purchased one of those since my first year of employment there--before I knew any better.)

I am lucky, in that I have several options for commuting to work.  I can walk, choosing from about 5 different routes, most of which are combos of roads and trails.  I can mountain bike, choosing from 3 different routes, involving roads and trails, or I can road bike, choosing from 2 different routes.  Sometimes, if I have time and extra motivation, and if I am on a bicycle, I will dump my backpack in my locker at school, and then head back out on my bike for more time in the saddle before I hit the shower.

It's quite a solitary experience, but I am single and live alone, so I am kind of used to that.  Occasionally, I feel a desire to chuck all of this craziness and just commute by car (stopping for a great cup of coffee on the way) like all of the other "normal" people.  I also get a bit tired of all of the packing and unpacking that goes with creative commuting.  (In the early years, it took me a while to get my system down.  I now have lots of school clothes and school shoes in my office, a stash of fresh towels and undies in my gym locker, etc.)

Another frustration I have is that more of my colleagues don't creatively commute.  Instead, most of them buy their parking pass, drive their clown cars--most often, with just the driver in it--stop and buy coffee en route, and then stress out about when to find time to go (by car, of course) to the gym for their exercise.

I have a fantasy that one day, instead of my campus consisting of 95% cars and 5% bikes, that the opposite would be true.  Just trying to picture that is really amazing!

Back to your questions--I did not ditch my car.  I have a 4WD Toyota Tacoma that has been paid off for several years.  I use it mostly to drive me and my hockey gear to the ice rink in the winter, and to access the mountains for camping and hiking in the summer.  (I am considering getting a trailer for my bike so that I can bike to and from the ice rink.)

Sorry if that was more than you wanted.  I hope you stick with it for many years to come!!

calskin

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Re: Question for long term bike commuters
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2013, 02:03:47 PM »
I have only been bike commuting full time for 3 months, 3.5 miles each way but decent hills where I live. 
1.  How long did it take you to lose weight, and how much?  (I have only lost a few pounds so far)

Don't expect to lose weight from exercise.  Exercise will help you to gain muscle if you're doing it right.  That will cause to to gain weight if anything.  Eventually the extra muscle will help metabolize the fat. 

Actual weight loss comes from changing diet.  It's not an eat less thing, but if you want to lose weight, don't eat grains (wheat, corn, etc (breads, cereals, etc)) with the exception of stove top (not instant) oatmeal in the morning.  Look up the recipe for "Holy Crap".  Couple tablespoons on your morning oatmeal is great.

I can go into much more detail about this if you want, but that's not really with the post is about.

2.  At what point did you stop getting excited about it?  (I still have that new smile on my face about it)

I can't commute anymore because my bike is broke at the moment, but I loved it.  I love being able to take pathways that cars can't take and then ride past them while they're stopped in traffic.  My happiness is way higher while I'm on my bike than when I'm in my car.  I miss it every time I drive.

3.  Any other advice?  Did you ditch your car, or your second car if you are married?  What other changes did this bring about in your life for you or your family?

I didn't get rid of my second car because my job requires me to have it, and my wife works too far to commute. (She likes her job so this isn't negotiable.)

4.  What does your employer think about your choices, if they think about it at all?  Supportive, indifferent?  Think it's weird.

My employer was fine with it until the client I was working for was bought out and we lost them.  I used to be a full time placement at that client and so I didn't need a car.  Now I'm working for multiple clients and riding to work is going to take a bit of arm twisting.  My boss is an idealist (like me) though, so inside he really wants to be okay with it.

mpbaker22

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Re: Question for long term bike commuters
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2013, 02:08:03 PM »
I'm loving the plethora of bike posts recently.
I do it more sporadically, and only for the past month, but I used to ride in the country side for exercise in college.
1)Haven't lost any, but I'm 15 pounds lower than last year because I started training for a half marathon about exactly 12 months ago.
2) I'm usually more excited to go home than ride in. 

I'm going to need lights when the days get shorter, and you probably will too if you keep doing it.

calskin

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Re: Question for long term bike commuters
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2013, 02:14:44 PM »
Everyone at my small company gets a kick out of the fact that I cycle 25km to work and 25km back home and now I get funny looks when I don't ride!

That's great!  How long does that take you?

rocketman48097

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Re: Question for long term bike commuters
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2013, 02:28:14 PM »
I have already bought bike lights, ones that reviewed well on Nashbar and I bought them from Ebay.  Heck, even my local walmart, which does not have a bike rack, has a LOT of different bike lights to choose from.  I just bought a rack today at said walmart and intend to install it this weekend.  I have already bought groceries on bike via backpack with no problems (publix is only one mile from home AND has a nice bike rack, no parking hassles), but I would like to be able to carry greater amounts without having anything on my back.  Since I already commute in the rain, I see no reason not to do this everyday this year.  Glad to hear I won't get bored with it, I had to drive my wife's car today since she stays at home with the kids to get some new tires, but I figured since I did a lot of walking that partially made up for my lack of bike today. 

ThatGuyFromCanada

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Re: Question for long term bike commuters
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2013, 03:43:26 PM »
Everyone at my small company gets a kick out of the fact that I cycle 25km to work and 25km back home and now I get funny looks when I don't ride!

That's great!  How long does that take you?
Thanks! I actually hit my personal best time on Monday, 48min to work and 55 home (there is a giant hill back up to my house)

ThatGuyFromCanada

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Re: Question for long term bike commuters
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2013, 03:44:39 PM »
Glad to hear I won't get bored with it, I had to drive my wife's car today since she stays at home with the kids to get some new tires, but I figured since I did a lot of walking that partially made up for my lack of bike today.

On [the rare] days that I do have to car-commute to work I often find myself wishing that I were riding (c: