Cyclists' Obsession

"Wherever I Go, There's my Bicycle!"
Encouraging Daily Bicycle Use for Recreation, Commuting and Travel

I would not dream of claiming the wisdom or experience to lead anyone along the cycling path. What little knowledge I have gained has been through my own trial and error, a few books, and the many wonderful resources here on the web. Throughout the web of cyclists' sites it is impossible not to detect a common thread - the freedom cyclists enjoy with their pedals underfoot. Humorous stories, bashing of fossil fueled transport (some serious, some light-hearted), and numerous revelations and tips regarding the cycling obsession are to be found at each click of the mouse. If one weren't driven to maintain time in the saddle, it would be easy to lose oneself in this world of cyclists' loves, rants and raves. The miles lost on road or trail would be many. Fifteen minutes here and there, however, allows us to pedal (or click) our way through the world with images, stories and insights by the site full. Oh... to travel the web by cycle!

One of my favorite books is "Wherever You Go There You Are," by Jon Kabat-Zinn... in expanding on this approach to life my goal is to honestly be able to say,  "wherever I go there's my bicycle!" That I save approximately $25.00 a week on transportation costs is just an added benefit and just one of many. Following are resources and links exploring these benefits and to encourage others in daily bicycle use for recreation, commuting and travel.

Drew Bryden


Commuting / Using a Bicycle
 for Everyday Transportation

 

                CONTENTS

                Financial Benefits

                Environmental Benefits

                Health Benefits

                The Bike

                Essential (and
                non-essential) Gear

                Safety

                Additional Resources

 

 


I. Benefits:

  
Economics (financial benefits)

Road Kill
How Solo Driving Runs Down the Economy

Author

Stephen H. Burrington

"We have become a nation of car potatoes. Americans don't walk, bicycle, ride trains or buses, or car pool as often as they did just a few years ago. We drive more. Alone. Nearly everywhere. It is not just that there are more of us, or more of us going to work - increased driving has far outpaced growth in population and jobs."

"Throughout New England and the rest of the nation, a treacherous gap has opened in recent years: a gap between our day-to-day perception that driving costs almost nothing, and the reality of the enormous cost we actually pay to drive"...
read more





    
Ecology (the world around us, environmental benefits)

                * Related Link:
                  It's time to get rid
                  of your automobile
                  (a car-free home page)


    
Physical Fitness (health benefits)

              * Related Link:
                 A few health benefits of cycling 

II. Bicycle Transportation Basics:
   
Selecting a Bicycle and Essential Gear

     The Bike

 

 


      Gear


Several items are necessary to making the bicycle safe for transportation:

       1. A helmet
          
(not required by law in some states, but I recommend it) 
       2. A tire patch kit (and/or spare tubes)
       3. A bicycle mounted or easily carried air pump
          
(or CO2 tire kit)
       4. Functional lights and reflectors
          
(if traveling at dawn, dusk or after dark)
       5. A water bottle and cage


Several items that I have found very useful, but not absolutely necessary:

       1. A bike lock
       2. Fitness and/or bicycle-specific clothing:
              
* bicycle shorts (I wear long underwear or spandex
                  under these when cold)
              
* wind & waterproof layers for foul weather
              
* breathable layers for all seasons
                  (one layer in warm season, more layers when cooler)
       3. A backpack
       4. A small, insulated lunch bag with ice packs
       5. A cycle-computer
       6. Fenders in rainy weather
       7. A rear rack
       8. Panniers, a rear rack trunk or bags


Some items I keep at work:

       1. A bar of soap in a plastic case
       2. Anti-perspirant, deodorant
       3. A wash cloth and towel
       4. A spare change of clothes (in addition to my normal
           weekly clothes)
       5. Extra snack foods (fruit, nuts, granola bars, etc.)
       5. Emergency funds (in case I forget to pack my wallet)
       6. A spare tire tube and patch kit
       7. A spare water bottle


Some tips you may find useful for commuting to work:

       1. Make a trial run of your route on a day that you don't
           actually have to work so you have an idea how much
           time you will need when you make the trip.
       2. Add fifteen to twenty minutes to this commute time
           for unexpected emergencies (flat tires, etc.), clean-up
          and clothes-changing when you arrive at work.
       3. Check the weather forecast before you leave.
       4. If you work somewhere that does not always have the
           cleanest bathroom facilities (i.e. high-traffic public
           restrooms, a garage, machine shop, etc.), keep a large
           piece of cardboard stored to stand on when changing
           socks and/or shoes.

 

Gear (continued)

 * Related Links:

 

 

 

III. Common Sense / Safety when cycling:

 

IV. Additional Resources - 
     These links cover the above topics and more:

V. Suggested Reading (books):

VI. More Resources / Links

VII. Senseless Ramblings of a Cape Cod Cyclist


Home Up

This Page Last Updated: Saturday, July 30, 2005

Drew Bryden * Cape Cod Cyclists' Escape * 2004

 

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