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    Alright, I don't know about everyone else on here, but i'm getting tired of the same old threads over and over again, and I thought this would be a topic a lot of folks could contribute on.
    So lets get this thing started, what has the greatest challenge been for you with living via bicycle? what are your favorite moments? how do you haul your groceries, supplies, whatever you need to get from point a to point b?
    I've been curious lately about how other people handle the day to day on a bicycle. I myself love having racks, panniers, and a handlebar bag, the handlebar bag never leaves my bike, so that handle most of the day to day, with the panniers coming out whenever I need to haul some shit. But I know a lot of people are happy with just a messenger bag, or backpack. what sort of gear do you find vital? I find generator lights to be essential, only because they never need to be removed, or stop working, which is great when you find yourself out after dark. Full coverage fenders are great out here in the rainy PNW, but obviously not needed where it hardly rains. what sort of tool kit do you guys ride with? Lately i've been working on sliming mine down, to just a spare tube, patch kit, tire levers, security key for my front wheel, some tire boots, and a few bungie cords. For those with longer commutes, do you mix public transit into the mix?
    Alright, I think thats enough to start with, Velospace! what say you?
    Well.... I still drive a car but I commute over 7000kms a year on my bike. That should keep me out of hell I think.
    • CommentAuthorper.k
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2012 edited
    On the 1st really rainy day I found out somehow I have lost one of the zippers on my shoe cover. I almost went to look at new ones, but honestly my feet get wet either way so I may just wear it as is with the velcro around my ankle doing all the work and my heel exposed slightly...

    I have considered being classy and getting panniers, racks, and full fenders. But I just haven't....and I have some nice big bags(one backpack, one messenger) for my grocery/hauling needs. I usually can ride anywhere I need, but I occasionally use the light rail since it is fast, reasonably cheap, and reliable(unlike the metros here in Seattle).

    I finally put a flat kit together, just patch kit, levers, tube, and co2 carts. It's not really hard to live by bike, at least not most of the time as long as I don't allow myself to be a baby about it. I would like to live in a flatter warmer city, but I would really like to live in Holland where I would sacrifice warmth for quality of life/biking ;)
    Oh and hard to double my kids with their hockey gear to games on my bike.
    I currently don't commute only by car (I'm getting back to it though and putting my car up for sale within the month), but until this past year, I commuted by bike only since 2008. I loved it. It slowed life down a bit and made me appreciate things a little more. It made me more efficient. I think the hardest thing at first was the winter commuting and rain. But I soon learned that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing and preparation. I can't wait to get rid of my car and just get back to a comfortable, slow paced life (something very hard to come by in todays world).
    I don't have a car. I have the usual panniers etc, but I also picked up one of those tow-behind baby carts. I couldn't live without it, especially for doing laundry and hauling really big stuff.
    • CommentAuthorZovelo
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2012
    Yes! I got a Burley trailer a couple of months back when Mrs Zovelo went back to university, leaving me to do the school run in the mornings. Kids love riding in the trailer and it's going to be the best winter training for me, hauling the two of them up the hill from our house every day.
    Still own a car, but car-free for the commute and school run, so greener than most folks!
    • CommentAuthorveggie
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2012
    Its kinda not hard to have a car in houston(at least for me), everything is so spread out and I dont pay for my own gas(that will change Nov 1)

    I also plan on buying a small trailer for grocery runs when i move out in the next month or so
    I never did the whole trailer thing. I liked just having my track bike and a bag. Grocery runs were done with a my 60L hiking pack and same with laundry. It kept thing minimal for me. I don't have kids or anything, so I'm sure it's much easier for me than you folks with families.
    • CommentAuthorveggie
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2012
    its cheaper for me and i feel a trailler will be easier for me.
    • CommentAuthorosopardo
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2012
    My commute is 13 miles to work and 13 back. Riding in Dallas is not too bad. People hate that cyclists have to share the road, but that's is anywhere in the US, I imagine. Crossing the Trinity River bridges is the only hassle, reason being the speed limit is 40 mph and drivers, of course, drive 60 MPH. Also the amount of hit-and-runs is insane and rising, but that is anywhere in the US, I imagine. I also start work at 0600, so to leave room for error I leave at 0430. Ride normally takes about 40-45 minutes.
    • CommentAuthorMANNY E
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2012
    In Chicago it's faster than the bus or "L" train and way cheaper than a car. I ride almost everyday of the year. I get on the bus sometimes in the winter when it's 20 below and windy as shit. I have multiple routes I can take to and from work. It's a nice little 6 mile commute. Never a dull moment in the AM rush. It wakes me up before I get to work. .....And it's a great way to stay in shape.
    That seems odd having a name like Veggie in Texas with all the beef...
    • CommentAuthorveggie
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2012
    There are a lot of nice veggie friendly places in houstin/austin
    Posted By: MANNY EIn Chicago it's faster than the bus or "L" train and way cheaper than a car. I ride almost everyday of the year. I get on the bus sometimes in the winter when it's 20 below and windy as shit. I have multiple routes I can take to and from work. It's a nice little 6 mile commute. Never a dull moment in the AM rush. It wakes me up before I get to work. .....And it's a great way to stay in shape.

    the CTA(chicago transit authority) is really inconvenient time to time, but it is faster than driving. and i bike between 5 to 10 miles (back and forth)
    • CommentAuthorcg3288
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2012
    I bike to work about three times a week. It's a nice 8.5 mile ride each way that is pretty flat. I just ride with a bag because i just haven't got a rack for my peugeot yet. I'm sure i'll enjoy it much more when I dont have a heavy bag on my back. I'd love to ride everyday but with a wife that works nights and a son it's not very logical to be car free. I do bike alot with my boy in the kid trailer. It's fun for me and he loves it too.
    • CommentAuthortypeDvorak
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2012

    This was a costco run last winter. Haven't done anything quite documentation worthy recently though.
    • CommentAuthorMancha150
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2012
    You and I both know that bag of dog food ways 50 pounds...

    In any event, that is awesome, I strive to be you.
    • CommentAuthorMancha150
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2012
    So I had a car when I was in DC, and everyone here knows that if you have a car that runs, and need to go to the supermarket, you look at your bike, then your car, then your bike again. Its a no brainer. That actually happened quite a bit. I would have rather liked to ride my bike literally everywhere (I commuted everyday on bike, but when I went places with the wife it was drive or die). I think I also had this worry all the time that even if I locked my bike up like a pro, something would still happen to it. Since my office building had a garage, one lock and I was worry free.

    Now that I am in Mexico and have no car, its 1000000% more frustrating because on the one hand, traffic probably travels at a speed of 10km per hour average for 20 hours of the day, it is an absolute nightmare straight out of hell to go anywhere in bus or taxi. The only thing that resembles even the slightest bit of order here is the metro, which is absolutely amazing and probably the greatest transportation investment this or any major city has ever made. On the other hand, you end up walking much further distances than is optimal when you need to be somewhere. So when I am not on my bike, I am miserable. Two days a week I work on the "outskirts of the city" (up a "mountain") -as if the city ever ends whichever direction you go -, and my commute on bike is 45 mins each way (its brutal on the way there, but it feels so good when I make it to the top with my absurd gearing). Compare this to 2 hours each way on metro and bus. Thats 4 hours of the day I could be doing something better. So unless I am functioning on 2 hours of sleep, I force myself to ride to work no matter what happens. I think I finally found a commute that would be impossible on a single speed fixed gear bike unless you had a 39X26 gearing.

    As for getting around town, as much as I would love to ride everywhere, my wife isnt a big fan of just strolling on her bike in this city (I dont blame her), and on top of that unless I protect my bike with a shield, leaving it locked up somewhere for more than a few mins is bound to get massive attention. And people around here always have a few allen keys and wrenches in their pockets. So while I work from home and get distracted from what I am doing, I look over my shoulder at my bike and dream of the day that I will be like TypeDvorak...

    As for packing things up, I have been meaning to get a rack but never used one, so its been backpack heaven for me. I actually commute with a laptop, which is the stupiest thing you could ever do for many reasons. Whatever this thing weighs it feels like that bag of adult husky dog food after 10 mins uphill. My wife swears by her front rack, and would throw her huge bag in it all the time and say it felt like it wasnt there. Maybe I should get something at some point too.
    • CommentAuthorlatron
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2012 edited

    Got my license at 16; by age 29 I was commuting 90 minutes each way by car to work. Did it for a year and said the hell with it. Got a new job five blocks from where I lived, sold my car, and that was that. Since then -- a good fifteen years now -- haven't had or wanted a car. Just don't give yourself any choice: You'll be amazed at how resourceful you can be. It also helps that bikes are just so damn capable. Above I'm getting some party supplies for about 30 people (food, drinks, etc.); I could have doubled my load with panniers and not even noticed. Have gotten lumber, crates of books, all kinds of crazy stuff without problems. Other piece of advice: Don't depend on good weather, just ride. It's best to look, suit up, and get out the door.

    I now live about a half mile from work (different home, different job), but it's actually too close, so I do a five-mile loop every morning just to get some exercise. It's fun every day -- always something to look at, particularly drivers stuck in endless traffic jams. "Get a bike!" I call out nicely to the ones who seem potentially receptive. Who knows; maybe one of them will someday -- I did.

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