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Thread: The Convenience Of Commuting On A Motorcycle

  1. #1
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    The Convenience Of Commuting On A Motorcycle

    Since I am new to riding motorcycles I gave myself a rule that if the weather was "bad" I would not ride. On those days I take a bus and train into DC (actually just outside of DC). It changes my commute from 35 minutes on the bike to 1 hour and 15 minutes using public transportation.

    So yesterday morning it was raining and I'm thinking to myself, I don't want to ride the bus but I guess I have to. So I finish getting ready and damnit if I didn't miss the bus. Now I would have to wait at least another 30 minutes for the next bus in addition to the 1 hr 15 min.

    I look around, its only lightly raining, so I figured the heck with it I have to learn to ride in the rain sooner or later. I suited up, got on my bike, and was at the office in 35 minutes and was only a little wet. I even pulled a suit and tie out of my backpack that didn't get too wrinkled. Had the same experience on the way home too.

    The point of the story, for me at least, was that riding a motorcycle has saved me an incredible amount of time and money over the past 6 months. About an hour a day. And it costs the same to ride public transportation for one day as it does paying for gas for a week on the bike. Not to mention, I can now leave whenever I want rather than being bound to a bus/train schedule. And when the weather isn't that "bad" I can still benefit from the convenience of riding.

    Riding a motorcycle has been one of the best decisions of my life. If my wife asks, its the 2nd best decision


    Anyone else have a similar experience?

  2. #2
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    I had a 'company car' for years but I always made it a point to ride to work on Fridays. I could get home much quicker through the traffic by taking the high occupancy vehicle lane (M/Cs allowed)...plus I saved my employer 20% on fuel expenses!

  3. #3
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    That's a very interesting story Greenex, and very coincidental. I also commute from northern VA to DC. I usually have no problem riding in the rain, but yesterday I decided to take the commuter bus since I had just washed the NC, cleaned and lubed the chain, and just didn't feel like having to do it all over again after just one ride. So I'm sitting on the bus as we head up I-95, and I glance out the window and guess what I see....an NC riding up the road. Only the second time I've seen one in the wild. I wonder if it was you.
    Paul

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pconn View Post
    That's a very interesting story Greenex, and very coincidental. I also commute from northern VA to DC. I usually have no problem riding in the rain, but yesterday I decided to take the commuter bus since I had just washed the NC, cleaned and lubed the chain, and just didn't feel like having to do it all over again after just one ride. So I'm sitting on the bus as we head up I-95, and I glance out the window and guess what I see....an NC riding up the road. Only the second time I've seen one in the wild. I wonder if it was you.
    Yes, very coincidental indeed! I take the Fairfax County Parkway to the 395 HOV. At one point I was riding next to a metro bus, I think it was a 7W, and I looked at it and was glad I wasn't on it

    Good to know there's another NC up here. I saw one a while back on the FFX parkway but I was in a car going the opposite direction.

  5. #5
    Commuter Extraordinaire The Convenience Of Commuting On A Motorcycle
    The Convenience Of Commuting On A Motorcycle
    SergeantChuck's Avatar
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    I've only driven a car to work once since February 7th. No BS. I ride my bike everyday. The last time I drove a car was March 4th so it has been almost 3 months since I've driven to work.

    I don't really ride to work because it saves time. It would take me the exact same amount of time to drive as it does to ride. I just prefer to ride. My family has an odd schedule so there are lots of times when the wife and kids will not be home until 5pm and I get off at 3 to 4pm. I have a tendency to take the long way home on these days. If I were in my jeep I would most likely head straight to the house. I also am a very active geocacher which is much easier on a motorcycle. The biggest plus in my situation is moving through heavy traffic. It is definitely easier to get through thick traffic on the bike. The hard part is not getting hit.

    Gear is a key factor when riding in the rain. The guys from the Pacific Northwest can attest to that. I don't wear suits at work. I’m required to wear Business Casual so I can wear my clothing under my suit. A very good suit with good boots and gloves will keep you dry. The only place that has a slight chance of getting wet is the neck area and that is if the rains are horizontal. Maybe the crotch area. I have not been wet once in the last year and have ridden in 30 minutes downpours.

    The last thing I would say is if you don’t feel comfortable riding in the rain don’t do it. The more nervous you are the more tense you are. If you are to tense you wont ride well. Try riding your bike in the rain on the weekend where there is less traffic so you can get used to the way she handles and become more confident and trusting of your machine. Your tires grip the pavement better than you think on a wet surface. That doesn’t mean to go out and take corners at the same speeds you do when it is dry. Riding in bad weather is one of those things you get better at with time.

    Good luck and Be Safe.

  6. #6
    Senior Member The Convenience Of Commuting On A Motorcycle dduelin's Avatar
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    Great post Chuck. There is no such thing as bad weather just bad clothing. That's an over simplification of course...there is weather that should and does prohibit riding but cold and rain don't have to be in that classification. I can't ride to work but for one week during the year but I look forward to that one week.
    Dave

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  7. #7
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    I can echo Sergeant Chuck. Gear is the biggest thing and being smooth and a bit more gentle on everything to do with riding technique is the other part. It takes me a few minutes longer to ride to work than driving due to putting on and taking off gear, but I save a lot of money by riding and enjoy myself a lot more. The more miles you put on, the more confident you will be with varying weather conditions.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Old Can Ride's Avatar
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    I road my bike to work 6 days a week come rain, shine, cold or heat for over 50 years. Over all those years only one close call while going to work, that sent me and the bike to the middle of a rice field. Sure stopped fast in the mud, but not a scratch. Being that the closest I ever lived to work in any of my jobs was 50 miles (over 100 miles everyday), that is about 1,500,000 miles just going to work. Believe it or not, retirement means I am riding less now. Was riding about 30,000 miles every year, now only riding about 25,000 miles per year. I really need to get out more and Ride!
    Why not seize the pleasure at once? -- How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, and foolish planning? Just do it. Shut the frunk up and Ride !!!!!!!!!!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Brillot2000's Avatar
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    I ride to work everyday, except when it rains or boys have a doctor's appointment or basketball game.

    I do not like to venutre out into the rain or when the streets are wet in the early AM. Here in SoCal, it does not rain much, when it does a lot of oil comes up from the roadways. Also people seem to think that they can still driver over 80 MPH on the freways in this weather. I saw a car merging onto the freeway hit a puddle off the edge of the entry ramp and got pull into the wall in front of me. Likely for me I was driving in my car and far enough away to react to it. I would not suggest riding in the rain in the Los Angeles Area to anyone.

    If you went out for the day and got caught out in the rain, that's entirely different. Ride within your means and according the conditions you are in. Take your time when breaking and turning. Try to make yourself visible to all around you, I've found tapping the horn helps in limited visibility.
    Last edited by Brillot2000; 30th May 2014 at 14:29.
    Bruce B.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member The Convenience Of Commuting On A Motorcycle dduelin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brillot2000 View Post
    .....snipped...... I saw a car merging onto the freeway hit a poodle off the edge of the entry ramp and got pull into the wall in front of me. Likely for me I was driving in my car and far enough away to react to it......
    The root of the phrase "raining cats and dogs".
    Dave

    GL1800
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