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If you commute to work or school, we want to hear from you! Tell us how far you go, the routes you take, why you choose to ride, and your tips for beginners.
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Name: Stacy Lynn
Commuting For: 8 years
Reason: To maintain an active lifestyle, avoid/reduce commuter traffic, enjoy the outdoors, and stress reduction/anxiety management.
Length/Frequency: Daily commute is about 9 miles each way - weather permitting!
Primary Route: Norwood, Leesville, Sandy Grove Rd., Acc Blvd.
Observations: Unique house, two-lane country roads, traffic on I-540 while I pedal across the overpass.
Improvements: More bike lanes and "share the road" signs, drivers to better understand commuter rights.
Bike(s): Trek road bike, Two mountain bikes, single-speed road bike, and my favorite - a classic Schwin.
Tips: Always assume that cars don't see you! Have plenty of blinky lights and/or bright clothing. Stay as close to the side of the road as possible. Be aware of your surroundings. ALWAYS look before going through a light or stop sign - a driver may try to run through it without stopping.
Interested in being a Raleigh BikeBuddy?: Maybe!
Anything else? I would like to start a group of local bike commuters so we can help promote this as a lifestyle; offer education to the community on cyclist's rights and the essence of "share the road."
Name: John Adams
Commuting For: 7 years
Reason: Exercise and ease of parking downtown.
Length/Frequency: 15 miles round trip, two or three times per week.
Primary Route: Blue Ridge Rd, Reedy Creek Greenway, Clark Ave, Cameron Park Neighborhood
Observations: The greenway paths are usually interesting and there are some nice gardens in the neighborhoods.
Improvements: More lanes and paths dedicated to bikes and pedestrians.
Bike(s): Bianchi Bergamo, Fuji Club, Fuji Suncrest.
Tips: Avoid the more direct, but busy routes in favor of side streets and paths.
Interested in being a Raleigh BikeBuddy?: Yes
Name: Kurt Arehart
Commuting For: Just started this year
Reason: Child carting duties have subsided and my employer, Genworth Financial, provides shower and locker facilities and covered bike racks. Bike commuting injects some fun into my day, improves my base fitness and keeps the air a little cleaner.
Length/Frequency: 17 miles round trip. I ride 2 days a week, when weather and schedule allow.
Primary Route: I tend to avoid major arteries by connecting the neighborhood roads of Bedford, Falls River, Durant Trails, and Summerfield North.
Observations: I've come across deer on the greenway between Cub and Hiking Trail in Durant Trails.
Improvements: Looking forward to the opening of the multi-use path along Falls of Neuse Road in from Dunn Road. Will make for a flatter cruise on days when I want to take it easy.
Bike(s): A steel frame light touring bike by All City, with fenders and pannier bags. Butter-smooth with 33mm tires.
Tips: Always carry good lighting in case your day runs long. Be thoughtful about your routing and avoid being where drivers don't expect you. Stay off the heavily traveled, higher speed roads where drivers may be tempted to check a text while on the roll. Example: I won't ride on Strickland Road.
Interested in being a Raleigh BikeBuddy?: Interested in learning more about it.
Anything Else: Would love to see Raleigh rise among the cities with a true cycling culture so that cyclists on the roads are the norm.
Commuting For: 2 years
Reason: It's a great way to get exercise and save money at the same time.
Length/Frequency: 16-20 miles round trip. I ride during daylight savings as long as there isn't a downpour when I leave in the morning. I try to ride 5 days a week. Some days, my son and I cycle together and I drop him off at school.
Primary Route: Hammond Rd, Rush St, Wilmington St, Walnut Creek Greenway to NCSU.
Observations: I see a lot of hedgehogs and deer on the greenway.
Improvements: A safer way to go north/south would be great. I spend too much time on the sidewalk down Wilmington St. Hammond Road collects a lot of debris on the north bound shoulder. It's a pain dodging all the pieces of trash.
Bike(s): Giant TCR road bike
Tips: Ride your route several times on the weekends before you start commuting. Leave plenty of time for the trip. Get a bike that can run at least 32mm wide tires. Smaller tires get more flats. Enjoy every minute. Don't let anyone discourage you.
Interested in being a Raleigh BikeBuddy?: Yes.
Anything Else: I'm very thankful to have the opportunity to ride every day. I hope more people get to experience commuting as the infrastructure and safety improves.
Commuting since: In my adult life, just the past year.
Reason: I felt like I needed to get more exercise, but didn’t have the time or desire to go to a gym. I originally started by simply having a bike at my office for riding around during lunchtime, but soon fell in love with cycling all over again and quickly realized how easy it would be to simply ride to work as well.
Length/Frequency: Depending on the route, between 14-20 miles, round trip 2-3 times a week.
Route: I have two routes I take regularly between the Caraleigh neighborhood and the Six Forks/Wake Forest area. The first I call the “West Approach” involves going through Dix Campus to Boylan to St. Mary’s then across Glenwood at Harvey through the neighborhoods at 5 points over to White Oak/Oxford and then a short ride on the greenway out to Six Forks. The second route I call the “East Approach” involves cutting across Saunders at Maywood to Fayetteville into Downtown, over to East St up to Boundary/Brookside and then North Blvd for a short time before taking Dennis over to Raleigh Blvd, then up to the greenway all the way to Six Forks.
Observations: A lot of the routes seem very disconnected. Dedicated bike lines (such as the one on Brookside) are often hard to ride in since there’s so much debris in the bike lane itself. The greenways are wonderful, and seem to be kept up remarkably well. The route from Raleigh Blvd over to Six Forks is pretty breathtaking, with its elevated platforms weaving through marshes, above creeks, etc. I can’t imagine a better way to start the morning than experiencing that!
Improvements for your bike commute: Having a North/South “artery” of either Greenway or a bike-friendly route would be tremendous. There really is no “easy way” to get form North to South and vice-versa, unlike West to East, which has many good options. This means a pretty steep learning curve of looking at maps and getting lost a few times before hitting your stride, and even then it means a longer commute than would be necessary with a better artery.
Bike(s): A variety of single-speed bikes, including a bike I ride exclusively with my 3 year old son (in a seat on the front), a mountain bike I keep at work, and a couple of fixed gear bikes for fun and commuting.
Tips: Don’t get too frustrated by the lack of direct routes when viewing maps. At first I had a very “straight line” mentality and wanted the shortest path between A and B, but I’ve found with time that even though I may have to go out of my way here and there, it’s only so much of a “waste” when you’re having fun on a bike. Learn the bike routes, and the key points where they link up with the Greenways.
Interest in being a Raleigh BikeBuddy?: Absolutely.
Anything else: I’d like to invite everyone to get involved with their local bike clubs and the growing number of regular rides. Benelux Café Cycling, Slow-Spokes, Berger Hardware Bikes, etc. Riding in a group is fun and brings greater visibility to cyclists as a diverse community in Raleigh!
Commuting For: Off and on for at least 10 years.
Reason: I'm frugal, for my health, and for the enjoyment of the ride. Compared to some of the alternatives it's relatively free to do so. I sleep better, have more energy and strength and you meet people and experience things you wouldn't otherwise in a car.
Length/Frequency: It's 3 miles one way. Five days a week. Rain, sun, 105 or 25 degrees.
Primary Route: West on Glascock, south on Blount, west on Peace, and north on Capital.
Observations: In the sidewalk on Capital there are two NCGS land survey markers.
Improvements: A designated bike route on Capital Blvd. It's illegal to ride on the sidewalk and I'm not able to ride in the road there. Also, I don't enjoy how I am treated by most automobile drivers. I don't have an answer for that one. But that is at the top of my list.
Bike(s): A touring bike that I commute on and a mountain bike that I play on.
Tips: In terms of the distance you go, the equipment you use, and the clothing you buy it does not need to be all or nothing. Start off riding on days with ideal weather. Wear what is comfortable, not necessarily what you see others wearing. I commute in my office clothes. And if you think that you can only ride a half mile, drive to your destination all but the last half mile.
Interested in being a Raleigh BikeBuddy?: Sure.
Anything Else: Studies show that ridership goes up proportionately to how safe the riders feel. Also, cyclists are obliged to obey the same traffic laws as automobile drivers. Bikers who do not respect the law or other drivers contribute to the animosity between the two modes of transportation.
Commuting Since: Since I was a kid.
Reason: Seventh grade (walked before that)
Length/Frequency: Seven blocks. Everyday.
Primary Route: East Lane Street
Observations: Governor’s Mansion, N.C. Legislature
Improvements for your bike commute: It’s great already. When the streets are too dangerous, I get up on the sidewalk and nobody bothers me and I don’t bother anybody. I hope that there is not a push to get bicycles off the sidewalks because that will mean that only athletes can commute by bicycle. I can’t keep up with car traffic.
Bike(s): Trek hybrid
Tips: Cars do not look for you, so they don’t see you. They pretend you are invisible and never get where a car can run you down. They will turn right on red and not look to see if you are trying to cross. If it is dangerous on the street, get up on the sidewalk. The cops don’t mind. They would rather see you ride on the sidewalk than pick your carcass off the street.
Anything Else: Below is a letter I had published in the N&O last year, in response to another letter saying that bicyclists should follow the same rules of the road as cars: My chief method of transportation is the bicycle. My goal while riding is to stay out of the way of automobile traffic, for the sake of safety and courtesy. I would rather run a red light than sit there until it turns green, and then hold up the line of cars. (I’m not Lance Armstrong; I’m just a middle-aged office worker.) Of course I will not run a light if a car is approaching on the cross street. And I do not expect cars to yield to me, ever. The fact is, traffic laws and traffic lights are designed for cars. If I “do what I’m supposed to do,” i.e. follow traffic regulations and expect cars to do the same for me, two things will happen: 1) I will slow down traffic, and 2) Eventually I will be killed by a car who does not see me, like the guy in Cary who used to give lessons on how to ride a bike in traffic legally. The police understand this; that is why they don’t expect bicycles to follow the same rules as cars.
Commuting For: 1 year as a more steady bike commuter.
Reason: I think it was around 2007 when I tried riding from Raleigh into RTP. Leaving early in the morning works, but there are no good routes returning home with the heavy motor traffic conditions. Change of jobs allowed me to find better bike commuting options.
Length/Frequency: It's a measly 2.3 miles one way (10 minutes). Sometimes I head the other way to pad the mileage. I bike commute 3-4 times a week, weather permitting. I won't ride in the rain.
Primary Route: Trenton Rd to SAS campus (1 mile). The rest is on campus. Not much to brag about.
Observations: Riding over I-40 on Trenton and looking down at the intense motor traffic is fun. I also take a greenway along a portion of the route, which is nice.
Improvements: Adding about 10-20 minutes to the route.
Bike(s): Trek 4900 hard tail mountain bike. Replaced the knobby tires with a slicker tread (Michelin CityTrekkers). Makes for a good urban style bike.
Tips: Rear view mirrors are crucial for riding in motor traffic. Also, know your route and follow the rules of the road. You are a vehicle in traffic.
Interested in being a Raleigh BikeBuddy?: Sure.
Commuting Since: About 1 year
Reason: To reduce my carbon footprint, to save money on gas, and to save money on parking.
Length/Frequency My commute is a little over 20 miles if I drive. My non-car commute includes 2 legs on my bike (a little over 3 miles in total) and 2 legs on the TTA. I commute this way about 4 out of 5 work days, year round.
Primary Route: On my bike, I take Lynn Rd., Creedmoor Rd. and Millbrook Road in Raleigh and then Chapel Hill Street, Duke University Drive, and Chapel Drive in Durham.
Observations: I’ve loved smelling the honeysuckle the last week or so!
Improvements for your bike commute: Bike lanes in Raleigh and drivers actually stopping before turning right on red.
Bike(s): A Specialized, Globe, Carmel 3-speed commuter bike with an aftermarket metal basket on the front.
Interested in being a Raleigh BikeBuddy?: Sure.
Commuting For: Over a month, at least 4 days a week.
Reason: I love riding. It is a win win situation for me. I get my workout out of the way because I have to go to work. I also get to save up some gas money.
Length/Frequency: Over 13 miles per a trip; about 27 miles per a day. Currently, it takes me about 1 hour and 15 minutes with an easy pace.
Observations: Deer, bunnies, other small animals on the greenway. I love Raleigh's greenway and I cannot wait for all of it to be completed.
Improvements: More bike lanes please. Most drivers are pretty good, but some still think that a bicycle should not be on the road regardless of what the law said.
Bike(s): I have a road bike Giant OCR2 for regular day. I use my old steel frame Schwinn mountain bike for rainy days.
Tips: Just get out and do it. Invest time in finding out your route before you start.
Interested in being a Raleigh BikeBuddy?: Yes
Commuting For: 1 year, since my husband and I relocated from Chicago.
Reason: To stay in shape and condition for the annual Cycle Oregon event in September and because the greenways in Raleigh are fantastic (75% of my commute does not involve street traffic).
Length/Frequency: 30 miles to work 3 days a week. Planning to start round trips in 2 weeks.
Primary Route: I start on New Bern Ave. in East Raleigh and take Sunny Brook to Worthdale Park. I then follow Walnut Creek Trail, to Rock Branch Trail, to Reedy Creek Trail, through Umstead and past Lake Crabtree.
Observations: I have the best commute. Not only do I see creeks and lakes and horses, but I also ride past Pullen Park, through NC State's campus, across a cool bridge over I-440 and through an outdoor sculpture garden at the NC Museum of Art. Additionally, I get to ride through Umstead Park and past Lake Crabtree all before 9 o'clock in the morning. I cannot think of a better, more scenic workout to start my day.
Improvements for your bike commute: I really love riding on the greenways in Raleigh - a beautiful alternative to contending with traffic. There are a couple of planned greenways that would make my commute even better. Connecting Crabtree Creek Trail to Umstead Park and also completing the House Creek Trail (connecting Reedy Creek Trail to Crabtree Creek Trail) would allow for more varied routes to and from work.
Bike(s): I have a Specialized Road Bike and a couple of mountain bikes.
Tips: Get a Raleigh greenway map and don't be afraid to explore. Admittedly, I took some wrong turns when trying to connect the greenways that now serve as my morning commute.
Name: Timur Ender
Commuting For: 3 years
Reason: The unmatched enjoyment from riding a bike is my reason for riding. Riding a bike enriches my daily experience.
Length/Frequency: 5 mi, 3 days a week.
Primary Route: Blue Ridge, Beryl, Hillsborough, Dan Allen.
Improvements: Huge sharrows on Blue Ridge and reduce speed limit to 40 mph. Also making the intersection of Beryl & Blue Ridge friendlier. Finally, making Hillsborough St. from Gorman to Pullen bike friendly (sharrows) would be good.
Bike(s): Full suspension mountain bike & Giant Defy 2 road bike.
Tips: Start with a small trip, don't just jump right in. Bike commuting is fun but it's also a big step. Get used to riding comfortably off-road before you transition on road.
Interested in being a Raleigh BikeBuddy?: No thanks, I don't spend as much time in Raleigh as I used to.
Anything Else: It's great to see all the changes in Raleigh over the past few years. I'd like to see bolder initiatives like bike boulevards. We've done an outstanding job with the greenways and off-road trails but sometimes I feel like there's hesitation with the on-road striping and a reluctance to engage in traffic calming.
Commuting For: Approximately 4 years
Reason: I've been riding bikes for many years. One day, while commuting by car to class at NC State, it occurred to me that driving down the road was actually an inferior form of transportation in downtown. Riding my bike proved to be faster, healthier and, of course, tons more fun. From that point on, I've solely commuted by bicycle, with two of the past four years being completely car-less. Riding bikes is the best thing in the world.
Length/Frequency: To work, 30 miles round trip. Every day if possible.
Primary Route: Anywhere that is not a major highway.
Observations: Ridership in Raleigh, especially in the downtown area, has increased by leaps and bounds. That is the most exciting observation we, as a city, can make. The more riders on the road the better!
Improvements: Of course, more bike lanes will make commuting much easier. Also, extending the greenway system by making new paths and connecting existing paths would also be a great help for those interested in commuting by bike. Ultimately, if the city can support cyclists with sensible infrastructure and community nurturing, Raleigh will grow to be one of the best cities in which to ride our state and hopefully country.
Bike(s): Really tall ones.
Tips: Be confident! The less confident you are on the road, the more likely you will find yourself in a harmful situation. You ARE a vehicle, thus you have the right to be on the road. If there is more than one lane, feel comfortable in taking up one. If you treat yourself as a vehicle, you will be treated as one. Use signals when riding with traffic. Obey laws. If you're riding at night, ride with a front and rear light. And for God's sake, wear a helmet, even if you're just going down the street! You make my girlfriend sad when you don't.
Interested in being a Raleigh BikeBuddy?: Sure!
Anything Else: Support cycling! Support cyclists! If you're driving and see a rider, give them space! Support your local community! Ride with friends! Support your local advocates! They want to make our city a better place. Support your local bike shop! We are fortunate to live in area with a plethora of bike shops. They are great resources and places to be! They are your advocates, they maintain your trails, they maintain your bike and they are the ones who are helping our city grow to be a great place to ride. The internet does not.
Name: Sherri Henderson
Commuting For: Over one year.
Reason: The joy of biking and to avoid vehicular traffic. The completed greenway from Shelley Lake to Meredith College was a big factor!!
Length/Frequency: 8 miles one way and I try to commute at least once a week to work.
Primary Route: I take the Mine Creek Trail, Crabtree Creek trail and House Creek trail. I only cross two roads to get to Meredith College.
Observations: When commuting home in the afternoons on House Creek trail, the traffic on 440 can be at a standstill, but we are just cruising along with no delays! I have often wondered why the greenways aren't a part of the traffic reports!
Improvements: More greenways and safer bike lanes. I live off Creedmoor Road just south of 540 and there is no safe way for me to bike to Shelley Lake so I take my bike with my car to Shelley Lake and ride from there. More safety education for bikers and drivers.
Bike: I have a Giant hybrid.
Tips: Try it, you'll love it! What a greater way to start your day than being outside enjoying the beautiful greenways! Go Sig Hutchinson!
Interested in being a Raleigh BikeBuddy?: I would need more information about this program before committing but it sounds interesting.
Anything Else: Please have the local TV/Radio stations report on traffic conditions on the roadways and the greenways as well. Maybe this would bring more attention to the greenways and people sitting in traffic might actually start to think about alternate ways of transportation. We need to make biking more prominent in Raleigh like Portland, OR and Wisconsin.
Commuting for: 8 years
Reason: It was faster than walking or driving.
Length/Frequency Over the past it has varied between 2 miles and 23 miles, depending where I've lived. In Raleigh, I work from home and use my bicycle for errands around the city (between 5 and 10 miles).
Primary Route: Mostly greenways. The streets are pretty unfriendly.
Observations: The greenways and boardwalks are always scenic, but pretty short.
Improvements for your bike commute: Connected bike lanes and greenways. The longest route you can take in Raleigh that has bike lanes or greenways is only about 10 miles. It is impossible to traverse the city without riding in traffic, without bike lanes or appropriate signage. There needs to be a bike thoroughfare north/south and one east/west to at least get close to the greenways and disconnected bike lanes.
Bike(s): I currently have a Trek 5200 road bike and a Surly Traveler's check that I use when I'm traveling for work (Road Bike and a Cyclocross bike).
Tips: Wear a helmet and ride and learn about bicycle laws in North Carolina. Bikes have the same rights and responsibilities concerning roads as any other mode of transportation.
Interested in being a Raleigh BikeBuddy?: Yes.
Anything Else: The bicycle/cycling community in Raleigh is quickly growing, however there are mostly isolated pockets growing around specific institutions. There needs to be a better way to disseminate information between the different groups.
Name: Meghan Jones
Commuting For: On and off for the past five years.
Reason: To save money, exercise more, and drive less
Length/Frequency: About five miles. I would like to bike everyday, weather-permitting.
Primary Route: Subdivision roads to avoid Wade Avenue and then Hillsborough Street into downtown.
Observations: Saw a semi-truck attempt and fail to make it around a smaller roundabout on Hillsborough Street.
Improvements: More bike lanes and/or more considerate drivers.
Bike(s): An old road bike.
Tips: Build up to it and have fun.
Interested in being a Raleigh BikeBuddy?: I am interested in learning what the program is.
Name: Bob Leker
Commuting For: 30 or more years
Reason: Exercise and conservation
Length/Frequency: About 7 miles each way
Route: From North Hills, Lassiter Mill, Greenways to Kiwanis Park, Wake Forest sidewalk, Atlantic, Mordecai, Downtown
Observations: Greenways and Crabtree Creek
Improvements: Dedicated bikeways - there are none in Raleigh! And we need routes from North Raleigh to Downtown
Tips: Pick routes carefully avoiding busy streets, wear bright colors, use blinking lights front and rear, use hand signals, make eye contact w/ all drivers at intersections and assume they will turn into your right of way
Interested in being in a Raleigh BikeBuddy mentor program?: Yes, I would participate - I also have clothing tips for year-round commuting
Anything Else:Raleigh is not a particularly good commuting city - the greenways are nice but don't go anywhere useful for commuting. There is a big need for dedicated bikeways separated from streets. Drivers have definitely gotten more accepting in the last 20 years, though I am not sure how useful the sharrow streets will be.
Commuting For: 5 years
Reason: To ride more, stay in shape, conserve gas, reduce air pollution.
Length/Frequency: My commute is about 30 miles round trip and I average about 4 days/week.
Observations: I enjoy riding past the swamp on Raleigh Blvd that is often filled with waterfowl and older homes in Oakwood.
Improvements: Traffic light sensors that will detect bicycles. Many of the red lights will not change to green unless a car comes along and trips the sensor. The sensors can be adjusted and I wish Raleigh would make this a priority.
Bike(s): I mostly commute on steel sport touring bikes equipped with large seat bags to carry my gear.
Tips: Choose a route that avoids busy and dangerous roads, even if it makes your ride longer. Wear bright clothes, such as neon yellow, to make yourself visible. Get a good headlight and taillight. Fenders are great because you never know when it might rain around here. Don't ride on sidewalks unless trying to avoid road obstacles; it is actually more dangerous than riding on the road.
Interested in being a Raleigh BikeBuddy?: Sure
Anything Else: Just try it and you'll get hooked on bike commuting. I started out planning to ride on Fridays and was soon riding to work almost every day. It is a lot more enjoyable to driving in traffic.
Commuting Since: Ever since becoming poor.
Reason: Kills 3 birds with 1 stone.
Length/Frequency: Depends on my destination; everyday.
Primary Route: The back roads of ITB neighborhoods.
Observations: Impatient drivers and construction.
Improvements for your bike commute: Higher gas prices.
Bike(s): What kind of bikes don't I have?
Tips: Practice, practice, practice.
Interested in being a Raleigh BikeBuddy?: Of course! Sounds like a fantastic idea.
Anything Else: "Those who wish to control their own lives and move beyond existence as mere clients and consumers - those people ride a bike." Wolfgang Sachs
Commuting For: 5 years. First to school and now to work.
Reason: To save money, but mainly because it's fun and healthy.
Length/Frequency: 6 miles round trip. 98% of the time I commute by bike.
Primary Route: Clark Ave, Woodburn (AM)/Oberlin (PM), Hillsborough St, W Morgan St, St. Mary's St, W Hargett St, Fayetteville St
Observations: The view of the city from the intersection of Hargett St & Boylan Ave in the morning.
Improvements: Bike friendly infrastructure and more bike lanes.
Bike(s): Trek Earl with fenders, rack, panniers, and lights.
Tips: Take your time, don't be in a hurry. The most direct route is not always the best route. Take side streets and non-arterial roads to avoid traffic. Obey traffic laws, disobeying them doesn't help people become more accepting of bikes on the road. Give parked cars some space, don't get doored! It gets easier with time, don't get discouraged. Have fun!
Interested in being a Raleigh BikeBuddy?: Yes.
Anything Else: Riding a bike around Raleigh (especially the downtown area) has gotten much better in recent years.
Commuting Since: 1995
Reason: I live less than a mile from work, makes no sense to drive.
Length & Frequency: Commute to work 5 days a week and to the gym 7 days a week. About a mile or two.
Primary Route: North Person Street, Pace Street, East Franklin Street, North Blount Street, East Peace Street, Halifax Street, West Franklin Street, Seaboard Ave, North Salisbury Street, North Wilmington Street.
Observations: Pretty Oakwood neighborhood, the potentially nice Blount Street Commons (if ever finished), Seaboard Station, State Government Complex.
Improvements for your bike commute: Bike racks in North Person commercial area, bike racks in the state government areas, more bike lanes, of course. Also, Peace College is a huge obstacle between Seaboard Station area and Oakwood area, especially since they closed off West Franklin Street from East Franklin Street. Perhaps a pedestrian & bike path through the campus to make up for it?
Bike(s): A Raleigh bike.
Tips: If you value your life, on most Raleigh streets, stay on the sidewalks. Sad to say.
Commuting For: About a year
Reason: So I don't have to buy gas for my Jeep!
Length/Frequency: Now it's only about 8 miles to work, so roughly 16 round trip. It depends on how lazy I feel in the morning.
Primary Route: All the way up to Duraleigh, then only a small segment on Duraleigh or any road downtown.
Observations: Lots of people walking dogs!
Improvements: Smarter people.
Bike(s): Raleigh road bike, fixed gear.
Tips: Ride more bikes!
Commuting Since: September 2011
Reason: I've been riding bikes for most of my life, but I started commuting again to save money on car expenses, stay in shape, and help out the environment. What keeps me commuting by bike is the additional color and enjoyment it gives me for two hours of my day.
Length/Frequency: 23 miles a day, 4 days a week, rain, frost, or shine.
Primary Route: Morning commute from MacGregor Downs, Cary: To Wimbledon, Cary Pkwy, Tryon Rd, Centennial, Dorothea Dix, Boylan Heights, Downtown. Afternoon commute from downtown Raleigh: To Boylan Heights, Dorothea Dix, Centennial, Avent Ferry, Athens Dr., Fort Sumter Rd, Buck Jones, Rd, Nottingham, Beaver Pond, Hillsdale Forest, MacDonald Woods Park, Wimbledon, MacGregor Downs.
Observations: It gets my day off to a good start when I see deer along Centennial Campus, and I see them often. I appreciate the older architecture in Boylan Heights, the sound of birds at sunrise, the pockets of fragrances from plants, the sun, wind, and even the damp morning air. In the afternoon, I take time to appreciate the great job people do in their gardens. When riding through downtown in the early morning, a warm "good morning" to a homeless person will most often lift their spirit and mine too.
Improvements for your bike commute: Several miles of Tryon became a pill in the afternoon commute because of high traffic and so I created a northerly route between Raleigh and Cary that includes more subdivisions. I bridge a couple of subdivisions in a couple of places by taking a 20 foot or more walk through woods. Anything that could be done to provide better pedestrian and bicycle crossing from one neighborhood to another without entering major roads would be of great help.
Bike(s): My main commuter bike is a Surly Long Haul Trucker with red panniers on the back and a red front bag. I have a Lemond Alpe d'huez road bike I use as a backup.
Tips: In the age of texting and driving it's best to stand out on the road as much as possible. Do this by wearing bright colored clothing. And, if your commute is in the dark, purchase the best lighting you can afford. Get a rear view mirror for your helmet. It takes a little getting used to at first, but like a cell phone; I'm not sure how I ever lived without one. Know and obey the traffic laws.
Interested in being a Raleigh BikeBuddy?: Sure.
Anything Else: I feel sidewalks are for pedestrians, smaller children on bikes, and beginner bicyclists. I just can't imagine the dangers of entering and exiting traffic at every little intersection, for mile after mile, riding on a sidewalk. Besides taking me at least twice as long to get anywhere, the sidewalk itself would drive me crazy. I have legal rights to use the road and that's where I feel most safe and comfortable. I feel that if there are significant numbers of competent cyclists riding on sidewalks then it will foster misconceptions among motorists. I don't want motorists to look at me on the road and think, "Why don't you get on the sidewalk where you belong!!!" I encourage all bike commuters to use the streets. That's where municipalities want us and that's where we really belong.