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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From the local news station this morning; The outer loop of the Capital Beltway is shut down after Old Georgetown Road after a tractor trailer hauling fencing panels overturned, spilling its load onto northbound Interstate 270.

At least one person is dead and three others injured, according to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesman Pete Piringer.

The accident happened around 8:50 a.m. near the spur with I-270.

In addition to the outer loop, all northbound lanes of I-270 are closed. Traffic in the southbound lanes also is partially blocked, and debris is scattered across several lanes.

Drivers should expect the shutdown of the Beltway between Old Georgetown Road and I-270 to last for hours.

"It's going to be awhile," Piringer said of the cleanup.

Piringer says when the material spilled from the truck, motorists trapped in their cars had to be rescued.



If you think about it cyclists rarely get killed in an accident unless an auto is involved. Cycling commuters really don't have to worry about traffic affecting their commute time (when DC evacuted on September 11th cyclists had few problems getting out of town, auto traffic OTOH was gridlocked for hours and hours).

Think about the accident reported above, a cyclist could just pick up their bike and carry it around the mess until it was safe to ride again. Total time lost for a cyclist-a few minutes; drivers are going to be stuck for hours and hours in fairly nasty weather too.

My commute as a cyclist is not stressful at all, as a matter of fact (in spite of how much I may moan groan about how busy the MUTs are in the summer) I am usually in a pretty good mood by the time I reach my destination.

Not so drivers.

Your thoughts?
 

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Anyone getting hurt or killed in an incident like that, you'd have to be callous to not feel for them.

However motorists generally is another matter. F*** em!

Most car drivers do not need to drive, and most are sole occupants to boot. Is it any wonder there are so many obese people around? They drive everywhere.

I commute 12 miles each way.

Car - 1.5 hours at least cost unknown
Tube - 1 Hour @ £26 per week
Bike - 45 mins & FREE!!!! :D

That said, I have been tubing it for a fortnight and am turning into a JFK (Johnny Fat Knacker!) So the bike next week onwards.
 

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There are always accidnents in the SPUR.....I use to live around Ft Meade, and I could not commute by bike, so I often times sat in traffic on 95, or when that was backed up RTE 29. I then moved into the city around Logan Circle and only had to ride 7mi to work. I have since moved back to Pa and enjoy the country roads commute to work. Traffic is awful in the DC area, I dont have to tell you that. I dont miss it and I often get calls from my friends when they are stuck in beltway traffic.
 

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Accidents on the Baltimore Beltway

The first five miles of my commute parallels the northwestern part of the Baltimore Beltway and the following nine miles of my commute parallels a spur from the Beltway into downtown Baltimore (the dreaded JFX). I can tell whenever there is an accident on the Beltway or the JFX -- the traffic on my commuting route increases exponentially and the drivers are a lot less respectful of me than the usual drivers on my route are. Of course, the Baltimore Beltway is minor league compared to the Capitol Beltway -- I have been in traffic jams on the Capital Beltway at even the most unlikely times of day or night.
 

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When i used to commute from Broolyn up to 168th in the city, I'd take the West Side Greenway, which puts you right next to traffic in the West Side Highway.
In the mornings I would be facing traffic, and seeing the looks on all of the drivers faces. I would feel bad for those drivers moving at less than 5 mph. I'd smile & even wave occasionally while riding by, but somehow, I don't think it made them feel any better.
:eek:
 

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Polka Power
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I think it's crazy the amount of time/money people will spend driving to work....especially in traffic, even without the accidents.

That said, I work from home a bunch and when I do go out for jobs I have to take the car because of the amount of gear I need to bring. Usually go out right in rush hour traffic...both ways. It sucks! I don't see how anyone could or would want to do that every day. Even if I didn't ride the bike...the train option is so much more relaxing. I do hate the bus though.

However, back when I lived in the middle of nowhere I actually enjoyed driving....in the city it's not so much fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
How often do you drive to work?

MarkS said:
The first five miles of my commute parallels the northwestern part of the Baltimore Beltway and the following nine miles of my commute parallels a spur from the Beltway into downtown Baltimore (the dreaded JFX). I can tell whenever there is an accident on the Beltway or the JFX -- the traffic on my commuting route increases exponentially and the drivers are a lot less respectful of me than the usual drivers on my route are. Of course, the Baltimore Beltway is minor league compared to the Capitol Beltway -- I have been in traffic jams on the Capital Beltway at even the most unlikely times of day or night.
I know that sometimes most cycle commuters drive to work once in a while (I haven't since moving to DC (I have walked in a time or 2 and once I took a bus)). How do you feel about driving as compared to the days you ride in?
 

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My commuting "patterns"

MB1 said:
I know that sometimes most cycle commuters drive to work once in a while (I haven't since moving to DC (I have walked in a time or 2 and once I took a bus)). How do you feel about driving as compared to the days you ride in?

My commuting pattern is as follows: (1) if the weather is OK and I don't need the car during the day for some reason, I ride my bike; (2) if the weather is not OK, but I don't need the car, I drive 3 miles to the end of Baltimore's one line Metro and take it to work (there is a Metro stop one block from my office; and (3) if I need the car, I drive. The breakdown in Winter is about 3 days per week on the bike, one day on the Metro and one day in the car. In Summer, the breakdown is about 4 days per week on the bike (sometimes I have to drive during the school year because my wife, who usually drives the girls to school, cannot do the driving and one of my daughter's school is a substantial part of the way between my house and work).

The answer to your question is easy: I feel a lot better when I ride my bike than when I drive. During rush hour, my drive is about 45 minutes (the bike ride is about 55-60 minutes). When I drive, I usually am so stressed by the time I get to the office that I need a break before I can get to the task at hand. Recently, I have had long stretches where I have had to drive (my wife now has a lot of work-related travel and is out of town for two and three days at a time). When I have had to drive for three or four days in a row, both my family and my work colleagues can tell without my even having to tell them that I have not been commuting on the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Do you help other workers to commute by bike?

I've helped a couple of folks here begin to commute by bike (and I guess I pushed Commuter Guy back into cycling to work just by being here).

Do you think there is anything we as cyclists can really do to free others from their exclusive dependence on their cars?
 

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MB1 said:
Do you think there is anything we as cyclists can really do to free others from their exclusive dependence on their cars?
I don't know that I actively "push" but I'm always glad to answer any questions my co-workers have. Several who are former cyclists/runners are asking more and more questions about commuting, so I may be making a dent. I also really enjoy riding my bike, so perhaps my good mood and "hellos" when I arrive on a wet/windy/cold morning send a message beyond the fact that I may be crazy.

The answer to the question, "don't you own a car??" might also support bike commuting. I say yes, my wife has a new car and I have a truck that's 34 years old, I love it, but it gets 10 mpg and it's just for yard/house work while my bike is for transportation.
 

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No sympathy for the woman from the morning.

I have no sympathy from motorists stuck in backlogs. Especially the fat cow who laid on her horn as she drove past me this morning whilst I was safely in my bike lane. I hope she sits in a ten hour traffic jam this evening and gets four flat tyres.

Man, that was like therapy. I have being pi$$es off all morning over the incident and now I feel no animosity. Actually that's a lie, I hope she still gets stuck in her traffic jam.
 

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Lead by example

MB1 said:
I've helped a couple of folks here begin to commute by bike (and I guess I pushed Commuter Guy back into cycling to work just by being here).

Do you think there is anything we as cyclists can really do to free others from their exclusive dependence on their cars?
My partners and immediate co-workers are pretty wedded to their current commuting modes (or, I should say, mode -- all of them drive). My former secretary took the Baltimore light rail system to work (another one-line transit system that only works if you live in the right place). During the winter months, we adjusted her work schedule (at her request) so that she could catch the light rail before it became dark downtown. She ultimately quit because the light rail line was closed for a year and she wanted to work closer to home.

I get a lot of questions about my riding on the elevators in my building (I take the bike up to my 21st floor office). I always try to paint a positive picture of riding, even if it is on a day when some crazy driver has almost killed me. I don't think that I have convinced anyone to ride a bike to work, but at least some people now know that it is possible to commute by bike. During the summer, I have tried to get some people who work downtown and ride on the weekends, to commute to work. Two years ago, I convinced one guy to ride to work on Fridays ("casual Friday") in Summer. However, last summer, he seemed to have an excuse every time I called to see if he wanted to ride downtown on a Friday.
 

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I haven't helped anyone, but I've been driving lately and a woman who commutes 99% of the time has been so annoying in trying to get me back on my bike that once this snow stops I'll be back again. She's a true commuter fanatic while I'm a little more nervous of the shoulderless roads and nutcases that live here in Carson City so I'll admit that I don't always find joy in the ride. But, my commuter bike is no longer useable so I'm switching to my MTB which is better on the bad roads. I'll be changing up my route to take advantage of less travelled roads if I can. The weakness of the MTB is I'm afraid to leave it locked up outside due to the high cost and therefore high attraction to thieves. Oh well.
 

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MB1 said:
I know that sometimes most cycle commuters drive to work once in a while (I haven't since moving to DC (I have walked in a time or 2 and once I took a bus)). How do you feel about driving as compared to the days you ride in?
I usually drive in on Monday mornings with clothes etc and then ride home from there. I don't have any problems leaving my car where I work. I commute by bike the rest of the week and then ride back to get my car on Saturdays. Saves having to fight traffic etc. I don't do that every week, but on a best case week - thats what my commute looks like. If I'm not feeling like riding (44 miles round trip by bike daily)- I'll drive home, and most of the time, its during off traffic hours so its not too bad.

My commutes by bike are by far the best times for me. Riding is like therapy - gives me a chance to relax.
 

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MB1 said:
I know that sometimes most cycle commuters drive to work once in a while (I haven't since moving to DC (I have walked in a time or 2 and once I took a bus)). How do you feel about driving as compared to the days you ride in?
I try to avoid situations where I would need to drive to work as much as I possibly can. When I drive to work I always feel sluggish and usually at least a little cranky (with rush hour traffic around here, who wouldn't be cranky?)

As to your original question, I only feel sorry that they can't imagine that anything other than single occupancy vehicular commuting is even possible.
 

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MB1 said:
I've helped a couple of folks here begin to commute by bike (and I guess I pushed Commuter Guy back into cycling to work just by being here).

Do you think there is anything we as cyclists can really do to free others from their exclusive dependence on their cars?
I have influenced several people including my boss to commute. He only has a 2.5 mile commute, but we feel a certain unity. As you know, traffic is bad on Oahu. My commute is 45 minutes each way no matter what. In Hawaii, if a traffic accident involves serious injuries or death, the freeway is shutdown until an accident investigation is completed. Sometimes this is two to three hours. On several occasions I have raced coworkers who live near me to see who could get to a certain intersection near home first. I have yet to lose. There are about 15 people in my building who commute, about twice as many as when I started here.
 

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yup. i feel sorry for them, esp. when i am one.
but sometimes it's worth it.
in a few hours i will be a driver on his way to sedona.
 

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They make the choice 2 drive

when they have other options. maybe out of convience or pure laziness. What gets me is that when there is a big wreck or something on the freeway drivers divert to the very roads i use on my commute making them alot more dangerous when you factor in frustration and axniousness that drivers experience when there delayed by wrecks and things..
 

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MB1 said:
If you think about it cyclists rarely get killed in an accident unless an auto is involved. Cycling commuters really don't have to worry about traffic affecting their commute time (when DC evacuted on September 11th cyclists had few problems getting out of town, auto traffic OTOH was gridlocked for hours and hours).

Think about the accident reported above, a cyclist could just pick up their bike and carry it around the mess until it was safe to ride again. Total time lost for a cyclist-a few minutes; drivers are going to be stuck for hours and hours in fairly nasty weather too.

My commute as a cyclist is not stressful at all, as a matter of fact (in spite of how much I may moan groan about how busy the MUTs are in the summer) I am usually in a pretty good mood by the time I reach my destination.

Not so drivers.

Your thoughts?
While I think it would be quite fantastic if more people commuted, it only seems easy now because so few people do it. But as this niche fills there will be more competition for this space. I think about China in this respect.

Couldn't find any pictures that represent what I have seen before, but you get the point.

ff

PS. Don't get me wrong... I would trade our current auto-driven society in a second for more bicyle commuters. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
What is that, about 120 miles?

YuriB said:
yup. i feel sorry for them, esp. when i am one.
but sometimes it's worth it.
in a few hours i will be a driver on his way to sedona.
Wouldn't it be so much nicer to ride there, spend the night then ride home?

When Miss M and I started riding big miles together we always rode to the ride start. That got old although we thought it was the only way to ride in all those neat far away places (this was about the time I started to post ride reports on RBR).

Then we started to ride from home every so often.

Then we began to realize that we could ride to most of those neat far away places from home. We decided that it is really nice to not have to get into a car and drive home (and/or stop to eat) all hungry dirty and tired from a long ride.

Then we realized that almost every neat place we like to ride (Southern Maryland, West Virginia, Gettysburg, Harpers Ferry, Antietam, South Mountain, the Shenandoah and Frederick Valleys and on and on) is actually within reach of home in a single days ride.


MB1
Not driving much any more.
Life is good.
 
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