An orange flag on a whip may look dorky, but bike commuting is cool enough to balance it out.
On the other hand, I have made the trip by bicycle more than a few hundred times, and I feel this gives me useful experience to share. I have yet to see the kind of information in this FAQ made available for local bicycle commuters; in fact, I've found very little of this kind of info. I have found that bicycling makes me feel more aware, interested, and motivated from the moment I arrive at work, compared to driving. People are very quick to assume, based on the relative mass of a car or truck as compared to a bicycle, that cycling on roads is too dangerous.
Much of bicycling safety comes from preparation, alertness, being properly equipped, and knowing the correct way to respond to changing traffic conditions. A rack and a pair of light panniers are very worthwhile if you intend to commute regularly.
I assembled this commuting road bike when I had a 16 mile commute into RTP for a year or so. The second best thing you can do to avoid flats is to learn how to rise up out of the saddle briefly, and absorb the road shock with your legs when you can't avoid an obstacle such as a pothole or a patch. People where I've worked have been quite surprised when I bicycled in on some of the hottest Summer days. During the Winter I drive a car more often and bicycle recreationally, but there are many who'd say I'm wussing out (and deservedly so).


I have less Winter commuting experience to share, but here's a little of what I've learned. Bicycling Magazine usually runs an article or two in the fall on how to prepare for riding in cold weather. On the other hand, there are some very good bicycle shops in the Triangle, and a nationally recognized mail order supplier. I've never taken the bicycle clothing market seriously; the technologies, designs, and styles change every year. There are actually places in the US that have secure bicycle racks, or even (gasp) fully enclosed bicycle lockers to keep your machine safe. There's a totally different way to bicycle for people who don't mind a different looking, attention getting human powered vehicle. I have a recumbent bicycle that I've used for commuting to work in RTP; in the Winter, I put it on a mag trainer in order to get exercise in comfort while watching television. Even if your daily commute is just five miles each way, you can still save $4 a day or $80 a month.
And if you bike at a slow-moderate pace of 10-12 mph, your short commute could burn over 300 calories a day. Choosing a commuter isn’t as straightforward as buying a bike for road racing or riding single track.
Consider this bike if: You’re a first-time bicycle commuter, have a short distance to travel or are on a tight budget.


Buy this bike if: You dabble with commuting by bike, but want a bike for long and fast weekend road rides.
Buy this bike if: You’re a dedicated commuter, have a long commute or are looking for a more comfortable option.
Pros: A more upright position and the option for a suspension fork make this bicycle more comfortable than a road bike. I'm not out to prove anything here; I just want to encourage more bicycle commuting, and to help those who are already trying it. If you feel like learning even more, Commuter Services has other classes and webinars available.
Consider how long your commute will be, how much stuff you’ll need to haul and if the bike will have a safe storage area once you get to work. An instructor from the Cascade Bicycle Club will present information on how to select a bike, find a comfortable route, and keep yourself and your bicycle safe. But for folks who live in a congested city, getting people to bicycle is so much better than the filth, death, noise, cash cost for roads and healthcare for overweight drivers, and general mayhem that cars introduce into our daily urban lives.




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