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So most of us in the west tend to laugh at this idea, but why? In some cities (eg Amsterdam, Copenhagen) a majority of local trips are done on bicycle.

What would it take for you to commute on a bicycle?
 

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I do commute on my bike sometimes. My partner commutes on his bike every day. My city is slowly getting better at building bike infrastructure but it's been slow, which is unfortunate because I live in a very flat, even grounded city. I biked in Berlin, Amsterdam, and Barcelona last year and my city would be perfect for a mix of how Barcelona and Berlin set up their bike lanes and bike lights. The amount of cyclists who commute has increased hugely in the last 10 years here, but drivers have a lot of animosity towards bikes and I would feel a lot safer if real, separated bike lanes were set up but instead most of the bike "lanes" in my city are simply painted on the road next to the curb (about a meter out) and many cars drive right in the bike lane, and the bike lane often doubles as a bus lane. It would make so much more sense to put the bike lanes over some of our old railroad tracks or to create a lane on some of our huge boulevard's or to actually put a concrete barrier between the road and the bike lanes (this has been done on one single street in my city).

So to answer your original question, better bike routes with proper, safe lanes separated from motor traffic. The fact that it's snowy and -35celcius in the winter doesn't help either.
 

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I live in a very bike friendly city. But my job is in another city, so I walk a mile, ride the bus, and walk another mile to my place of work, then reverse the trip at night.
 

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A totally different city where the places I go to shop/run errands/etc. aren't so far and there are FAR fewer nasty hills.
 

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I have to take the interstate to go almost everywhere around here, so traveling via bike would not be practical or safe.
 

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Chatterbox, MOTM August 2013
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So for you all who don't have a local job, what would it take for you to do regular shopping, errands etc by bicycle?
I work from home. If I had a job that was close(ish) to home, I would cycle there.

I cycle for exercise - have for a long time. I actually just got a new bicycle a few weeks ago. The streets all around my home are striped with bike lanes. It's hilly where I live so I get a great work out.

Whenever possible I try to incorporate a trip to the market into my workout. I fitted my bike with a large handlebar basket so that I can hit the store on the way home. Rather than leaving my outgoing mail for my letter carrier or driving to the post office, I bike them to the post office. I try to use my bicycle whenever possible for short errands. Sometimes, I'll pack a lunch and a book and cycle up to my local Starbucks and read there outside under the patio umbrella, and then run errands.

I love cycling. It's environmentally friendly, saves me money and keeps me fit.
 

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If it was impractical to commute by car, such as if I didn't have one or it was prohibitively expensive. I spent a year with only a bike, but there is so much that has to be done in a short time frame that I need the speed of motored transport. I would switch back if the bus system was more regular (some busses come very ten minutes, some every fifteen, some twenty, thirty, fourty... every hour and a half? How am I supposed to keep track of that!?) Plus I feel disgusting everytime I take the bus; smelly and goo on the seats and floors even when they are just starting a route. Maybe if there was more genuine respect for bike/bus commuters. There is a gas station on almost every block, but only a dozen bike shops in the whole city.

I worry about being on my way to work and realizing that my tires are not properly inflated or something else is slightly out of tune... well that's going to be an hour and half expedition to and from the shop, more if I need to leave my bike there, and it's not like they are going to give me a rental while my bike is in the shop, and I can't wait till tomorrow morning to take care of it like I probably could with a car.. so if I don't have some alternative I'm just stuck.
 

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I would love so much to do this and I've done it for a previous job, but...currently I would need some less-dangerous roads. There is a bike lane for part of the commute, but not for the part that probably would benefit most from it. I live less than 3 miles away from my office, so I'd love to do it, it's just too dangerous right now.


Also my job requires me to go on home visits pretty often to see clients. I do need my car for those, as I have to bring a ton of paperwork with me, look presentable, and sometimes bring children with. Also sometimes the travel time to those visits is over an hour - even in a car!
 

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I've been considering this lately, for my health, for recreation, and for transportation. Thing is, I need a sturdy, reliable bike that can hold my weight. Those are usually hella expensive and I be broke. I hope I can have one by the end of the year, though.
 

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I'd ride a bike to school if I didn't feel like I was going to be killed by a lorry or a car every three seconds.

Also, I have to wear a skirt for school. It's awkward riding a bike in my uniform. And there's nowhere to keep the bike when I'm in school.

Also, I don't have a bicycle...so if you give me a free one, I might use it? Although I walk most places anyway, so it wouldn't really make a difference to the environment if I opted for a two wheeled death trap rather than my two feet.
 

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Riding a bike home at 11pm for 20 miles on a street with a 1/2 inch shoulder, lots of blind curves and no street lights while already being sore from running back and forth over my 1/2 mile area for my 12.5 hour shift just doesn't sound sustainable. Or safe.
 

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All it takes is pressure to your local government representative. Get bike lanes installed and watch as road fatalities drop sharply. (I say that as if it's an easy thing! haha) But living, as I do, in Sweden where bike lanes are standard on almost every road I find it hard to imagine not being able to cycle somewhere.
 

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I feel for bikers, growing up in the sprawling South auto traffic rules. However my city is slowly urbanizing and is requiring more bike lanes for new road construction or when a road gets reconfigured. Charlotte, North Carolina where I live just started a new bike sharing program, however the tourists don't seem to know traffic laws either, almost running people over on the sidewalks and such. The thing about a city finally embracing bikers is the new influx of bike lanes aren't well connected to each other. The older parts of city lack bike lanes still, and not every street can be widen or reconfigured for them for cheap.
 

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+Being able to fit everything I'm departing with/ will be returning with on a bike.
+Destination under 3 miles away.
+Area that's safe for cycling .
+Nice weather (If I'm going to work, I don't want to be all sweaty and gross from heat by the time I get there).

I was able to bike ride/walk to one of my jobs, and I much preferred it.
 

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It would take someone paying me to move somewhere else to ride my bike for commuting / everyday purposes. The closest grocery store is about 15 miles away and would require me to bike on the shoulder of a major US highway for most of the ride.
 
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