Over the last 6 years I have been commuting to work exclusively on a bike. Over these years I have found my perfect commuting bike but it took me a few tries to get it right. This may not be your perfect commuting bike but it works for me and may give you some ideas if you are thinking about bike commuting. In fact you may prefer a mountain bike, hybrid or even an electric bike. We each have our own preference. Right now mine is a conventional road bike.
I hope this video helps tip you over the edge and entices you take the plunge to get on your bike and ride to work or school. I researched what bike is best for what distance; how to carry clothes and lunch or even groceries; what to do when it rains and what accessories are best for commuting bikes.
If more people would use bikes to commute, there would be a lot less cars on the road reducing congestion and cost.
Take a bike ride with me from the UCF Student Union to the Tivoli apartments on McCulloch Road and hear how a few improvements on McCulloch might get more students onto bikes and out of their cars which will relieve congestion on the roads as well as the parking garages at UCF.
Bikes are a very convenient and economical way of commuting and in a short distance work better than cars. I should know, I have been commuting to UCF from my home every day for the past six years no matter what the weather. I am not alone. In other place, it is the preferred way of travel and if other places are successful with this, we should be too.
We not only can make this work but we must make this work.
I had the opportunity to talk to the Orange County Board of County Commissioners about an initiative I am starting during public comment. The initiative is to make the area within 5 miles of UCF bike and pedestrian friendly. Here is my public comment. Watch the whole video as you will also hear Commissioner Edwards talk about plans to improve the roads as well as Mayor Jacobs talk about bike commuting.
There is already a project underway between Orange County, UCF and MetroPlan focused on bike and pedestrian safety on University and Alafaya and that is wonderful. It is a great step in the right direction. I would like to take this one step farther and not only focus on those two roads but all the roads surrounding UCF. And with that enhance the roadways to provide better connectivity for bicycle commuting.
The whole purpose of this is to get people out of cars and onto bicycles. It seems monumental but I really think with a few people focused on this, it can be done. The initial focus audience would be UCF students. Can you imagine if only a fraction of the students would choose a bike over cars? It would reduce congestion on the roads as well as parking issues at UCF.
So how do we get people out of cars and onto bikes. You certainly can’t force them and there is nothing more convenient than walking out your front door, getting into your car and having the freedom to go wherever you want. In addition, it is just not considered “cool” right now to ride a bike. Why would anyone choose a bike over a car? It really makes no sense when you have the convenience of cars. The way I see it the only way to solve this problem is to make bike travel more convenient than cars.
Then another issue is where does a student who lives in an apartment put a bike. Space is a premium. Many don’t live on the first floor so they would have to carry a bike up stairs which isn’t going to happen. And if they leave the bike on a bike rack it will be stolen or parts stolen. How does this problem get solved?
Believe it or not all of these problems are solvable and have been solved in other countries and even in other states. A university setting such as ours is perfect for these innovative ideas and can pay huge dividends if implemented. We just have to roll up our sleeves and get to work. More to come on this.