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Author Topic: Taking the bike to work?  (Read 1660 times)
gbill2004
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« on: June 08, 2018, 12:17:13 PM »

I live in the south end of Winnipeg and currently I take the bus to work downtown.  I am seriously considering buying a bike and cycling to and from work every day.  It's abut a 10km bike ride, which I figure will take me 30-40 minutes.  The building I work in has a secure area to store bikes.  I'd be leaving in the mornings at 6:00am and leaving work shortly after 3:00pm so would miss most traffic in the mornings. 

Does anyone here have experience biking to work downtown?  What is your experience?  Is it safe?  Any tips for a newbie? 
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Jesse
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« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2018, 12:26:49 PM »

I was in the middle of writing a negative post about my poor experiences, but it started coming off a little whiny and is really just me complaining.

It?s totally worth it to cycle, there are all kinds of benefits to it. Yes, drivers are ******** and you have to make sure you know the signals and make sure you plan your route (especially turns). But it just takes a little effort.

Let us know how it goes!
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The Zipp
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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2018, 03:12:16 PM »

did it for a couple of years a while ago...the big hassle and is worse if you have to wear a suit is the showering in the morning (my location had facilites), changing clothes, carting these clothes in a back pack or bringing a weeks worth in the car on the weekend...then when you get home if you are all sweaty you need to shower again.  the ride to work is always way nicer in the morning than going home in the afternoon when you just want to get home as fast as possible...errands on the way home are limited as well..

If you can make it work it is a great way to get some exercise, save money on gas and feel good about doing something healthy.  I would always avoid the busy streets by taking side streets and paths as much as possible even if it was a bit longer...no desire to ride my bike down a major road like Henderson hwy, main street etc...some folks don't mind - not for me though.
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gbill2004
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« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2018, 03:42:22 PM »

did it for a couple of years a while ago...the big hassle and is worse if you have to wear a suit is the showering in the morning (my location had facilites), changing clothes, carting these clothes in a back pack or bringing a weeks worth in the car on the weekend...then when you get home if you are all sweaty you need to shower again.  the ride to work is always way nicer in the morning than going home in the afternoon when you just want to get home as fast as possible...errands on the way home are limited as well..

If you can make it work it is a great way to get some exercise, save money on gas and feel good about doing something healthy.  I would always avoid the busy streets by taking side streets and paths as much as possible even if it was a bit longer...no desire to ride my bike down a major road like Henderson hwy, main street etc...some folks don't mind - not for me though.
Thanks.  I don't have to wear a suit, but am expected to dress nice, with a dress shirt and dress pants.  No shower in my building, but I don't think I'd get THAT sweaty on the way to work at 6:00am.  My parents, who are in their late 60's, are quite concerned with me doing this, from a safely perspective.  I think if I take the side streets and am cautions, there should be no issues. 
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Stretch
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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2018, 04:06:53 PM »

I'm in my 12th year of biking to work downtown from southwest Winnipeg. My commute is also about 10km, and you're pretty much bang on about the time it will take if you go at a decent pace. I'm a fair weather cyclist: I can't wait to start in the spring once the snow melts, and I can't wait for it to be over in the fall so I can start taking the bus again.

As far as how safe it can be, that's partly on you. If you follow the "same road, same rules" mantra then you shouldn't have too many issues. The key thing to watch out for is cross traffic (either at street intersections, back lanes, or driveways). They may not always be looking for cyclists so it's almost safer to take caution assuming they'll do something stupid.

Try to plan a route that stays off main thoroughfares as much as possible, and take full advantage of any bike paths or dedicated bike lanes. You may end up tweaking your route as you go.

I highly recommend getting a bike rack and saddle bag (or "panier" as the purists call it  Wink). That way you avoid having a backpack-shaped sweat stain on your back. Don't assume that you won't get too sweaty at 6:00am. Even if it's not that warm the humidity can still get you (depending on how hard you're pedaling and if there's a headwind).

Lastly, if you don't have shower facilities at work at least bring a small towel and a "shower in a can" (e.g. Axe). That's as long as your company doesn't have too many people who are sensitive to that kind of stuff.
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bluengold204
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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2018, 06:34:17 PM »

I have been biking to work for about 4 years now and I work around City Hall, so the exchange district.  I come in from Transcona so its to the east rather then the south but it is about a 10.5km-11km ride.  You are pretty bang on about times, depends how fast you are going but I can usually do the trip in less than 30mins.  Regarding safety, as others suggested learn your hand signals and follow the rules of the road as if you were driving a car, I honestly haven't really had an issue with cars passing by you will get the odd guy that's a bit too close but whatever.  Biggest thing I found is planning a route that works best for you.  I would suggest not so frequently traveled side streets and bike paths if possible, even if it does take a bit of a longer route it is worth it IMO.  As for your parents concerns, well mine are about the same age and my mom fears for me all the time but really I do not find it very dangerous at all.  I personally do not wear one but I would suggest getting a helmet if you are really concerned and want to appease your parents.

As for cleaning up for work, first couple years I did not work in a building that had showers and cause I am a bit of try hard I would work up a sweat going to work.  Obviously your situation will be a bit different but what I did was once I got to work (I work in an office) I would sit at my desk do a bit of work in my dirty bike clothes while I cooled down.  Once I cooled down and stopped sweating I went to the washroom and used some baby wipes to get most of the sweat off and then changed into my business casual dress ware.  I now work in a building with change rooms and showers I don't have to deal with this anymore.

One last thing I would suggest is to learn to change the inner wheel tube if you do not already know how to do so.  Eventually you will get a flat tire will be annoyed that you have to either lock up your bike in a possible sketchy area or carry it back with you and walk home.  Best to carry spare tubes, a hand pump, and whatever tools you need to get the wheel off your bike so you can just change it right then and there.

Hope it works out for you, it really is a lot fun and good exercise. 
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gbill2004
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« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2018, 02:30:16 PM »

Thanks for all of the great feedback and advice guys...very much appreciated!

I bought a bike over the weekend, so I am now just waiting for access to the secure bike storage area in my building, which I'm expecting to receive today, before taking my bike to work. 
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Pigskin
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« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2018, 01:24:48 AM »

What are the bike lanes from you house to downtown like. The diamond lanes in my area are great until some fat head thinks diamond lane means drive fast like it's Indy.
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gbill2004
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« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2018, 02:04:01 PM »

What are the bike lanes from you house to downtown like. The diamond lanes in my area are great until some fat head thinks diamond lane means drive fast like it's Indy.
I live in Royalwood and I plan on not taking St. Anne's, but rather back streets that are less busy, but will take a few minutes longer, but I prefer safety.  The plan is to go through Southdale, then take the bike path down Fermor to Des Meurons.  Then go down Des Meurons to Eugenie, then Tache and finally Provencher, which has a bike path completely separated from vehicles by a concrete barrier. 

Good to know diamond lanes are for bikes too...I thought they were only for buses. 
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Old Rusty
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« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2018, 02:22:32 AM »

I've been biking to work (St. B) from the southwest corner of Wpg for 25 years.  No crashes, close calls or problems.  Sometimes its the best part of the day.  Beats the bus by 8 miles.  The corridor to the east of the midtown rail lines has been a boon for erstwhile bikers.   Helps to burn off the extra calories.  St. B hospital has lots of access for lockup. 

My bike is an old Japanese Norco roadie - the frame is great, and its modded, basically put really good wheels on, and stripped off all the excess garbage, added panniers.  Light and tough.   It looks crappy but functions, fun to work on.  I have about $500 into it.

Glad you made the decision to join "us" - you will like it.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 02:31:39 AM by Old Rusty » Logged

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New_Earth_Mud
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« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2018, 03:06:20 AM »

I respect all you bike riders.  But remember stayout of the way of people driving. People on Pembina are stuipd. I followed traffic 15 min because 1 guy on a bike.

I respect you but i also have **** to do. I cant be driving at your riding pace.
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buckzumhoff
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« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2018, 11:47:59 AM »

Taking the bus and walking is better than biking. Biking is a hassle. And shouldn't be on the road during rush hour traffic. If they are on the road they should have a license like they did at one time. Walking is better exercise than biking in my opinion..
« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 11:49:44 AM by buckzumhoff » Logged
bluengold204
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« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2018, 01:04:19 PM »

I respect all you bike riders.  But remember stayout of the way of people driving. People on Pembina are stuipd. I followed traffic 15 min because 1 guy on a bike.

I respect you but i also have **** to do. I cant be driving at your riding pace.

Then switch lanes and pass us like you would for a car driving slow.
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bluengold204
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« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2018, 01:21:54 PM »

Taking the bus and walking is better than biking. Biking is a hassle. And shouldn't be on the road during rush hour traffic. If they are on the road they should have a license like they did at one time. Walking is better exercise than biking in my opinion..


Curious why you think it is a hassle?  Are you talking from a bikers perspective or motor vehicle?
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buckzumhoff
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« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2018, 02:54:26 PM »

It?s a hassle. Why would you take your bike and take the chances with pot hole city and ride to work when you can catch a bus . I think most bike riders figure the bus is too expensive. Well most companies even credit you for your bus pass.
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