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Just because it went over so well the last time.  I don't know if I can subjugate my bile and bad attitude and make it friendlier -- but I can at least address the best of your comments individually.  I've taken the liberty to combine some that were similar.

1. You're too mean and insulting.  The reasons given for not bike commuting are valid.
Perhaps they are valid.  The problem is, everyone talks about driving as if it is a foregone conclusion, and will always be a good option.  Those days are done.  The price of gas is back up again, despite flagging demand.  If we're to the point where we're taking over countries and killing millions to ensure a continuing supply [for a few more years only], we should be aggressively pursuing alternatives.  
2. I have a service vehicle and am hauling heavy equipment and tools.
Not much to say there, except that's a small minority of the vehicles that are clogging our roads on a daily basis.  Stand at a corner during morning rush hour for a while and make notes on the vehicles passing -- you'll agree.
3. Bike-car conflicts concern me.  I have been in an accident with a bike or know someone who has.
The fear of traffic is worse than the traffic itself.  A little know-how and experience goes a long ways.  There will be more and more bikes mixing with cars in the future.  More than anything else, this gets better the longer you're out there and get accustomed to timing, technique; and build confidence.
4. Existing transportation and land use patterns where I live don't support bikeways.  The only route is an interstate.
Obama's Transportation Secretary Roy LaHood is the first person in that position in a long time [or maybe forever] that is saying we need to build our transit corridors for ALL USERS.  It is a sea change -- but a limited window to build advocacy.  If we're going to allocate money for 'complete streets' and forge real improvements, we're going to need a groundswell of demand.  Just saying 'screw it, it will never work' isn't helpful, at all.
5. Any commute longer than five minutes isn't reasonable for bicycling.  It's easy for you because you have ideal conditions.
A distance of three to five miles can be easily biked in most US locations in about the same time it takes to drive, with minimal exertion.  Five to ten miles, it will take slightly longer than driving.  Up to fifteen miles is still quite feasible, with a little contingency planning.  I don't have ideal conditions, but I did find that everything I thought would be problematic didn't amount to anything significant.
6. I sweat too much.
By week three, you will be in much better shape.  If you need to, carry a change of clothes and deodorant in a pannier or pack.  You will cool off soon after your arrival and can clean up in a bathroom.  A shower is overkill in most circumstances.
7. I'd telecommute before I bike commute.
If you can, great.  If not, there are other reasons to ride and other places besides work to go.
8. A motorcycle or hybrid car saves a lot of gas.
Yes, but I am talking about a way to use none at all.  Or use it for vacations and out of town trips only.
9. Driving a car is a lot safer.  When biking, your fate is dependent on the kindness of strangers.
The analysis doesn't consider the cost of driving wholistically.  Where the oil comes from, the consequences of air pollution and carbon buildup, the various toxic legacies -- lead, MTBE, spills, etc.
10. If you were more positive and uplifting, you'd make us WANT to try it.
Bike commuting will change a person forever.  You'll become acutely aware of the ridiculousness of automobile hegemony.  You will be treated to a daily sensation of sights, sounds and smells you somehow missed.  You'll know your town, its topography, people, traffic and daily routines intimately, as never before.  If you like where you live, you'll like it a lot more.  If you race to the car, go straight home and draw the blinds and turn on the TV, maybe you'd just find it extra annoying to be right out there in the streets?
11. I'm afraid I'd become a self-righteous prick in a funny-looking spandex costume.
Not any more than you're a road rager with a booming system and a blaring exhaust pipe, just because you have a car.  The gear fetish seems to be a peculiarly American phenomenon.  In a lot of other places in the world people ride in their normal clothing [that's what I do, too].  You can deal with light to moderate rain with a rain cape, that fits loosely over the top and keeps everything but the shoes and bottom of the pants from getting wet, and doesn't cause extra perspiration like full raingear does.
12. I won't take the extra time [30 minutes more that would be needed for a 12-mile commute].  
You can cancel the gym membership [and the time to drive to the gym and back] that you will no longer need.
13. I would be exposed to muggers and serial killers.
But no longer vulnerable to carjackers.  If we all try to take back our towns, and get out there on the streets and sidewalks, we will never lack assistance when we really need it.

The best bike commuting tips on the web, by Paul Dorn.
Dorn's Bike Commute Tips blog.

Originally posted to Dear Friends on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 02:24 AM PDT.


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