Otherwise, I get by just fine by bike. It's a definite lifestyle change, one I choose to live. It makes me a little more patient, slows life down a bit because you can't just hop in your car and be somewhere in 5 minutes, it maybe takes 10 instead. I don't mind it. It also makes me think about what I'm doing. Sure I can I drive to wherever, but do I really need to? I don't feel like biking that distance right now in the rain, I'll stay home. Simple lifestyle choice.
I suppose so. 60 minutes to work instead of 40 by car (that includes a walk up a hill though, which takes 10; on the bike I just ride up the hill, oddly it's easy even though it's the LAST hill in a long series
). And this is "dead most of the way" riding, even coming downhill I ride my brakes trying to stay somewhere under 15mph (oh, yeah, I have 24 gears and hit 15 on level ground in FOURTH, wtf mate?). On level ground I cruise around 6mph-9mph, on hills it's 3-4mph up if not a tad slower.
This is not "serious pedal-pumping." If I'm actually pedaling more than 20% of the time, I'm not
going 9mph; I'm going like 15, easy, on level ground and yes, even up gentle hills. I just can't sustain it, don't have the stamina at all. It's a lot more work; that bike has so very little rolling resistance though, my God it's fast. If only the seat was more forward; but then, I'm scared enough doing 15.
TBH I spend a lot of my time pulling off the road to let cars pass, or getting hit by cars (or state-funded buses...), etc. No kidding, 6 people bumped me on the way home the first time, and I had a bus run me right into the gutter (I was 3 inches from the curb, with one hand trailing along the side of the bus, trying to stay perfectly straight so I wouldn't hit it). They blare their horns while approaching at full speed--without slowing down. They go around me by moving 6 inches left in their lane. Hell, they run stop signs--I'm right at the intersection already, and they pull through and force me to stop (I stop for signs, but if it's not an all-way stop I pass through if I have right-of-way).
Bicycles are legally considered road vehicles here. I have to stop for traffic signs and signals and school busses, I have to ride on the right side close to the edge of the lane OR in a dedicated bike lane OR on the shoulder if the shoulder is smooth and debris-free (yeah, if it's not convenient, I'm allowed to ride in the road). I have to have safety equipment-- a bell/horn, reflectors or lights, the only thing I don't need to have is a mirror and I'm buying one today. I pull off the road to let cars pass, but really there's no law that says I have to yield to traffic; they kind of have to not hit me, it's in the law.
Maryland actually is a pretty crappy state; but there are laws
that require bicycle lanes to be preserved by construction (bicycle lanes, sidewalks, and shoulders!), they require all public education institutions and state institutions to provide bicycle parking, and the text of the law even says "drivers of motor vehicles must exercise due care when near bicycles. (Note: Fear of being sideswiped limits full access to roads with narrow lanes.)" Maybe they should have passed House Bill 143
... (you gotta love Section 1-C)
Some of my coworkers are telling me to abandon bicycling because people will hit me and eventually injure me or kill me; yeah, okay, and their insurance company is going to love that one. I try to stay out of the way of traffic, but really, it's not my fault people want to be dicks.