Bike Parked on Corner of Cobblestone Street

Bicycle Commuting: Eco-Friendly or High Risk Behavior?

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With the beginning of Fall and the soon to be drier and cooler weather, my thoughts have been turning to bicycle commuting.  It seems like such a simple thing to get on your bike and ride to work, saving gas, saving on pollution, getting exercise and saving money all at the same time.  Bicycle commuting has the promise to be the ultimate eco-friendly form of transportation unless, like me, you live in South Florida.  My area has repeatedly made the news for being in the top 5 most dangerous cities for pedestrians and bikers.

For the past week I have been taking different routes to work so I can scope out the sidewalks and traffic patterns to try and identify a safe biking route.  So far all of my options have come up short, ranging from “flat out suicidal” to “risky at best”.   The trip itself is not unreasonably long, it is 4.5 miles each way, and I am in good enough shape to be able to make the ride and still be ready to work but I need to find a relatively safe way to get there.  Another roadblock is that my husband is dead set against the idea because he is well aware of the dangers on our roads for pedestrians and bikers.

Somehow despite all of the very good reasons not to bike to work, I still want to try it out.  I think I will try to find alternate routes on Google Earth that minimize my interactions with main streets and busy intersections.  I would be very interested to know about my readers’ experiences in bicycle commuting.  Does anyone ride to work? Have you had any problems or close calls?  If you have any tips, tricks or advice I would love to hear it. Please feel free to comment below.

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3 Comments

  1. I ride to work almost every day on my folding bike – which is great in case I need to take the bus home or (or if I get a ride), I can take the bike with me on the bus, even during rush hour. Anyway – yes, i would say there are close calls on my ride in, but no more really than when I am driving. A lot of drivers just don’t pay much attention, and no matter what kind of transportation you’re in/on you have to be on the look out!

  2. Riding a bicycle to work could be a lot less dangerous if the city you live in supports that type of activity. Here in Denver riding bicycles is very common during good weather, the city supports and encourages bike riding; however, Miami is another story, people there don’t commute to work in bicycles as much, therefore you could put your life in peril; weekend bicycle riding as a sport with the whole family crew is a lot safer, I would encourage you to keep it like that, unless, the city provides some safe bicycle lanes that motorist respect, until that happens stay safe and advocate with your City Officials for safe bicycle lanes.

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