So why DO you cycle?

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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jan19
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So why DO you cycle?

Postby jan19 » 3 Oct 2009, 10:08pm

I've been following a post on this forum called "parking". On it we've been joined by a gentleman (I assume its a man) from Bristol who is very much of the opinion that the rights of the motorist are paramount. He's been perfectly polite, and his website has afforded me and others much entertainment (which is probably not his intention) Assuming he's for real that is. It occurred to me however that if such a person existed he'd probably be completely baffled as to why some of us cycle, and I wondered what I would actually say to him should he be standing in front of me now instead of being a remote Internet figure. So I wondered what does motivate me and others to cycle.

We have a nice car, two years old and pleasant to drive. Its also reasonably economical.
We both have parking places at work - mine free, Malcolm's subsidised.
We are not rich by any stretch of the imagination, but rising petrol prices don't raise more than a mutter of discontent. They certainly wouldn't stop us driving.
We are both five miles from work, but in opposite directions. Traffic is busy but not usually gridlocked.
I would say we are both environmentally aware but not fanatical. Again, not enough to stop us driving if we wanted to.

Yet we both cycle. By choice.

I think my main motivation is probably health - here is an hour of exercise which I probably wouldn't otherwise do. But I actually ENJOY cycling. To go across the woods in the morning and see the mist rising over the fields, or listening in the spring to the woodpeckers in the trees is an incalculable pleasure.
Not to mention the fact that I arrive at work alert, awake and ready for the day. When I drive I arrive sleepy, grumpy and stressed with having to queue and annoyed at the behaviour of other drivers.

What do other cyclists find as their motivation?

Jan
Last edited by jan19 on 4 Oct 2009, 12:48am, edited 1 time in total.

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Swizz69
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Re: So why DO you cycle?

Postby Swizz69 » 3 Oct 2009, 11:19pm

So why DO you cycle?

Because its enjoyable, driving in general isn't. Its also good, free exercise. Riding into work the other night I got drenched after misjudging the conditions and wearing the wrong top. It didn't matter though - still enjoyed it, arrived thoroughly refreshed & knew from the forecast that the ride home in the morning would be blue skies all the way 8)

Our family car is an appliance - white goods like the fridge or washing machine - that now gets another couple of weeks out of a tank of fuel than it did 18 months ago. Speaking selfishly, a raise in the price of fuel would be a benefit for me if the last time prices soared are anything to go by, when people chose to drive less and drive more carefully - although when riding to work, it is nice streaming past lines of queuing traffic :twisted:

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rbrian
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Re: So why DO you cycle?

Postby rbrian » 3 Oct 2009, 11:33pm

An overwhelming sense of smug superiority!
Cynic? No, an optimist tempered by experience.

martinwf5
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Re: So why DO you cycle?

Postby martinwf5 » 3 Oct 2009, 11:42pm

Swizz69 wrote:
So why DO you cycle?


To try and encourage my family to cycle, we have been car free for nearly two months, and we were a 2 car family 7 months ago, and believe it or not i commuted to work on cycle leaving my car at home ! now what a waste of money that was,
Since redundancy money was tight, but now pennies in the bank due to two wheels !!
Enjoyable, keeps you fit, feel smug as people look at you thinking "i wish that was me" and i know they think that, as i have heard comments.

M

cjchambers
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Re: So why DO you cycle?

Postby cjchambers » 3 Oct 2009, 11:54pm

jan19 wrote:I've been following a post on this forum called "parking". On it we've been joined by a gentleman (I assume its a man) from Bristol who is very much of the opinion that the rights of the motorist are paramount.

Are you sure?! I fear everything may not be as it seems. It's not for me to blow his cover, though, so I'll keep my mouth shut!

Philosophically speaking, I like cycling because it is transport on a human scale - it can transport (usually) one person and a reasonable amount of goods, at a speed not much faster than the fastest sprinters can run, and over distances similar to those which the best endurance athletes can run. Unlike a car, it doesn't do anything a human can't do alone, it just makes it a lot easier. On a personal level, as Swizz says, I do it because it's very enjoyable. Probably a combination of the exercise and simple satisfaction at being able to power oneself around at great speed!

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jan19
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Re: So why DO you cycle?

Postby jan19 » 4 Oct 2009, 12:29am

Are you sure?! I fear everything may not be as it seems. It's not for me to blow his cover, though, so I'll keep my mouth shut!


:D

Yes, you're right, it was all too outrageous to be true. But it really was fun to watch and the bit with the 4x4 driver trying unsuccessfully to reverse her huge vehicle was hilarious. Please don't disillusion me by saying its a put-up job by a cyclist as I'd like to visit it another time when I need a laugh.

I suppose I should have been alerted by "Bristol". We had a few jokes a while back on the genetic makeup of Bristolians....

Doesn't detract from thinking about why you cycle though.

Jan :D

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Re: So why DO you cycle?

Postby eileithyia » 4 Oct 2009, 8:30am

I enjoy it.
Always have and (hopefully) always will, whether it is iding down a dual carriageway as fast as I can feeling like I am flying, or appreciating some lovely scenery/wildlife as I pedal along. Or riding an audax that extends into and through the hours of darkness, seeing the sunset and/or sky lightening and the sun rise is something beyond description.
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Manx Cat
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Re: So why DO you cycle?

Postby Manx Cat » 4 Oct 2009, 8:43am

For the same reasons as you Jan.

Both hubby and I work at the same place, both wiht free parking. He drives each day either by motorbike or car. I cycle every day except when there is a hard frost or snow.

I also choose to cycle to work taking the longest possible direction with all the hills that this involves.

Why? Cos I feel fabulous when I arrive either at work or home. I get a proper gym workout twice a day for 40 minutes. I have gone from a puffy unfit person to someone who is a much better work performer as well as a more energy bound wife and mother.

The fact that this is saving me nearly £60 per month in fuel is always nice, as that pays for any bike maintenance with a bit besides. (Fuel on the island is £1.20 litre for diesel).

I have even told hubby that when my 10 year old car coughs and splutters for the last time, that it will not be replaced. I simply hate having to drive it anywhere at all. Its only used for Tescos these days.


Always have and (hopefully) always will, whether it is iding down a road (no D.C. here) as fast as I can feeling like I am flying, or appreciating some lovely scenery/wildlife as I pedal along. Or riding an audax that extends into and through the hours of darkness, seeing the sunset and/or sky lightening and the sun rise is something beyond description.


This is why! (Although Ive still to experience the last part). :D



Mary

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Cunobelin
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Re: So why DO you cycle?

Postby Cunobelin » 4 Oct 2009, 8:50am

I live about 8 miles from work and have everything I need within about ten miles... there is therefore no need to drive. Anything I want to do can be achieved by bicycle / tricycle.

I am lucky in that I can use a mode of transport I enjoy to do all my travelling.

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squeaker
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Re: So why DO you cycle?

Postby squeaker » 4 Oct 2009, 8:56am

Addicted to the pleasure it gives :D
"42"

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ferrit worrier
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Re: So why DO you cycle?

Postby ferrit worrier » 4 Oct 2009, 9:22am

We are also a two car family the second is my 1964 Landrover, It's off the road at the moment as the MOT expired and I'm not in a rush to renew it. Why, because I use my bike to go to work. Just over two years ago I started using the bus to save a few bob on petrol, then March 2008 and following a few unsavoury incidents on the bus, I was tidying out our shed where I'd got an old mountain bike. I cleaned it up and used it for work. unfortunatly it couldn't take the punishment and bits started failing. Mrs FW and I had a chat and decided that a new bike was in order. The old MTB was replaced by a new road bike. I used to ride all over the place as a lad. It wasn't long before I did my first 100 miler on the new bike. My new bike arrived in June 2008 and by September I was starting to think about a LEJoG!

I personaly like being out as early as possible just as dawn is breaking Sunday mornings with just the sound of the tyres on the road, birds in the air sun coming up over the fields. Sometimes I can even smell a coal fire, not very often I might add! There is a sense of freedom and adventure. On my first rides out I would ride out and back following the same route. Now I will quite happily ride a circular tour.

Health wise, I've not felt as fit in years. I treat every commute to work as a training session 5.25 miles in 15 min 57sec thats my best time actual riding. And I don't RLJ :D . I've lost over a stone in weight. Just like Manx Cat and Jan19 I feel more relaxed, alert, and ready for the day ahead. I used to suffer from back ache (doc thought it was stress induced) don't get that any more. :D :D I'm saving money from fuel bills but the health benefits ------Pricless :D

And not forgeting, getting to know lots of really nice people on the forum :D

Malc
longendale res1w.jpg
longendale reservoir about 6am
Last edited by ferrit worrier on 4 Oct 2009, 5:33pm, edited 1 time in total.
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mill4six
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Re: So why DO you cycle?

Postby mill4six » 4 Oct 2009, 9:34am

I've always cycled since I was a snotty kid building ramps to do jumps etc. As a kid the bike made me independant, now it keeps me fit and is fun. I've had motorbikes and been daft enough on them when I were younger and got away with it . It's been a revelation that a bicycle can be just as much of an adrenaline kick as a motorcycle but you zoom round the corners at much lower speeds so if it does go pear shaped my survival chances are much better. You also get endorphins afterwards! The motorbike has gone now and the car is for days when I can't face the early morning 15 miler, although if I force myself I nearly always feel better once I get going. Leaving rush hour traffic for dead does make you feel rather smug doesn't it?!

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Mick F
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Re: So why DO you cycle?

Postby Mick F » 4 Oct 2009, 10:14am

I've cycled ever since I could turn the pedals and steer! Pavement cycling on my old three-wheeler, then roads on two wheels from the age of 6 or 7. I rode to play, then rode to school as I became older, then commuted as an adult.

I commuted by bike because it was easier than fighting the traffic. As we moved further and further out from work, my cycling prowess increased. By the time we were living in the West of Scotland, I was cycling 14 miles each way, although in some of the wettest/coldest parts of the winter we bought a second car, but I still cycled at least once or twice a week even then.

Moving down to Cornwall meant a 17 mile each way commute, and I embraced the ride like a good 'un! Still, the winters were a problem, so a second car came into the equation every now and again, but cycling to and from work was my passion.

Since retiring, cycling is still my passion, and I have to plan my rides around life not having the commute to look forward to, but I get out when I can. Sadly, busy later and tomorrow also, so Tuesday and Wednesday will see me out pedalling up the hills!
Mick F. Cornwall

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mark_w
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Re: So why DO you cycle?

Postby mark_w » 4 Oct 2009, 12:23pm

This morning's quick 20-miler was an example of why I do it.

Up at 7am and out the door. The sun was peeping over the horizon. It was cold but one of those crisp autumn mornings that reminds me of being a child again. Yesterday's high winds had blown away the cobwebs and blown itself out, and it was still, and when the sun came up, bright :)

Riding across alongside the abandoned airfield I stopped to sit on a big concrete block by the side of the road, and take in the panoramic view, munch on a banana and have a drink out of my bottle. High wispy clouds were slowly moving in the deep blue sky, hardly any noise at all, nobody seemingly around for miles, the odd bird flying past, super tranquil.

This is what life's all about, I thought.

Here's a picture taken last week on a different route but at about the same time with a similar atmosphere;

Image

(This is taken on the Naburn bridge in York on NCN65)
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patmac
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Re: So why DO you cycle?

Postby patmac » 4 Oct 2009, 5:43pm

All the usual reasons, fitness, fresh air, scenery etc, but also time. If I leave the house at 7:30 am weekdays for work in the car I could be there at 8 am, or it could be 8:30 or 8:45 or 9am+, who knows, depending on the traffic . However, if I leave at 7:30 am on the bike I'm sure to be there at 7:50 on the dot, with time for that first cup of tea before the daily grind begins. Coming home, of course, I can choose my route and time as I please, back on the straight route as in the morning, or any number of 'scenic' routes to wind down on. I always arrive home in a good mood if I take the bike, not always so with the car.