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#1 2008-09-15 18:38:13

bikinpolitico
Member
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-09-04
Posts: 78
Website

Most important thing about getting started

I think the most important thing is making the commitment. If you want to succeed, you need to develop the habit. I think only comes with making a timed commitment. I recommend anyone wanting to commute by bicycle to commit to doing it for 2 weeks. This is enough time to allow yourself to get used to biking regularly, seeing what works and what doesn't, and developing the habit. The best part is, if it doesn't end up working, you know you've given it a real shot and there is an exit plan for you.

If anyone is interested, I've written more for beginner bike commuters in a Getting Started series at my blog here: http://austinbikeblog.org/?page_id=352.

What does everyone else think is the most important thing to help someone get started bike commuting/biking for transportation?

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#2 2008-09-16 08:17:55

Jason
Member
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-31
Posts: 48
Website

Re: Most important thing about getting started

Lack of car and a ways to go, or a sense of moral superiority. For me it was mostly the latter, with a bit of the former due to being in 2 car crashes in rapid succession and a bout of not really wanting to drive for the following year. Had to get to work somehow, and it feels good to be better than everyone else.

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#3 2008-09-16 09:19:26

rmonsees
Member
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 39

Re: Most important thing about getting started

I don't think it requires *complete* commitment, but certainly there must be a strong desire (or necessity) to commute via bike before it will happen.  Once the decision is made to try it, some unfamiliar logistics must be gone through.  What type of bicycle to get?  What other equipment is needed?  What's the best route?  How will I get home (or to a kids school) quickly in an emergency?  How will I handle changes in weather?  Don't know if your blog covers it, but it might be helpful to have a list of the types of questions people have when first considering commuting by bicycle, and some practical answers from people who actually do it.

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#4 2008-09-16 13:14:44

bikinpolitico
Member
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-09-04
Posts: 78
Website

Re: Most important thing about getting started

Those are all good questions to tackle when getting started. I think we do cover many of them at AustinBikeBlog, but it is not comprehensive by any means. Things to think about . . .

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#5 2009-02-04 10:40:16

chuckthomas
Member
From: Far NW Austin
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 76

Re: Most important thing about getting started

......like his shoes,his bicycle tube,his hamlet........

Yes. One's hamlet is vitally important to happy cycling.

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#6 2009-02-04 19:20:23

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 549

Re: Most important thing about getting started

He's just a spammer trying to pump his web page.

Edit:  As suggested, the spammer I'm referring to is Roccker, not bikinpolitico.  No that I mind people getting snarky, snippy or bitchy! :)

Last edited by dougmc (2009-02-07 13:24:48)

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#7 2009-02-06 11:41:06

bikinpolitico
Member
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-09-04
Posts: 78
Website

Re: Most important thing about getting started

No, I'm a cyclists who wants to encourage more people to get out and cycle. That's what I thought this thread was about. Do I run a website that tries to do that too? Yes. I don't believe there are limitations on posting links to relevant to threads on this forum. That's all I was doing.

(Judging by the number of posts on this thread and the forum in general, I'm not sure there is a whole lot of pumping going on!)

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#8 2009-02-06 12:20:02

bikinpolitico
Member
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-09-04
Posts: 78
Website

Re: Most important thing about getting started

That response was a bit snarky. Sorry folks!

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#9 2009-02-06 13:24:34

bikinpolitico
Member
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-09-04
Posts: 78
Website

Re: Most important thing about getting started

Tom Wald pointed out to me that the spammer criticism was point at another posting, not mine. Sorry again for over reaching. It was out of character for me.

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#10 2009-04-03 09:55:50

chrispy
Member
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2009-04-03
Posts: 5
Website

Re: Most important thing about getting started

When I talk to people about bicycle commuting, I think that the things that stop them are:

* Fear of getting hit by a car.  If you can show them routes through developments, you may be able to alleviate this fear, but big roads that they have to be on (e.g., 620, 183, Anderson Mill, Jollyville, 360, Lamar, etc.) to get to the quiet routes may still intimidate them.

* Logistics:  How to get clothes and lunch to and from work?  Beginners don't think about racks and tail trunks, and there's also the notion that it's OK to take the car once or twice a week to transport your stuff.  A week's worth of business casual fits into a large desk drawer.

* Getting to work sweaty:  Yeah, that can be overcome in a number of ways (chief among which is leave really early, while it's still cool out, and take your time--added benefit is that there's less traffic to worry about), but people still think about it, especially if there are no showers at the office.

* Bad weather:  Fenders and warm, breathable, windproof fabrics if you're hardcore, but it's OK to take the car when it rains if you're just not that into it.  Bicycle commuting a couple of days per week is better than not bicycle commuting at all.

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