Bikes, Busses, Cars, and Trains

Mixed mode commutes might be just the ticket to get you commuting by bike. Some people are able to bike to a train, ride the train to work and return the same way. If you can manage this in all weather you might even be able to completely give up one car in your family. Getting rid of a car is hitting the jackpot. Not only do you save on gas, but the cost of the car, insurance, inspections, tires, oil changes and other maintenance. You not only save money, but you save all the time spent on keeping your car going as well.

Some people are able to combine a bike with a bus. Many places, the bus can also carry your bike allowing you to ride from home to the bus stop, and from the bus stop to your workplace on the other end. This is another scenario that has the potential to let you give up one car in your family.

The final combination is the one I still use, car and bike. For me I drive about 4 miles and park at a neighborhood club house. From there I can bike about 12 miles to work on a round about path that avoids most traffic. There are two reasons I drive the part closest to my house. One is that it would be pretty far to ride both ways every day. But the most important reason is that the roads closest to my house are narrow but heavily traveled. There is not much shoulder and gravel driveways often spill onto the shoulder. The traffic is not very patient when you drive your car the speed limit, 45 mph. In one stretch I get passed by impatient drivers who can’t go the speed limit at least once a week. I worry about what these drivers would be like if I was on my bike. One good thing about driving and riding is that you can vary your distance. This makes it a good way to get started. You can pick a shopping center or other good parking that is nearer your work. Ride that for awhile until you are ready to ride farther. Of course this flexibility comes at the cost of not being able to get rid of a car.

These are just some of the ways you can find to include biking in your commute. I hope it will spark some imaginations and encourage people to give it a try.