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Every day commuting as a beginner

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by beno cbr, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. Hi all, ive just started a new job which unlike my previous one, doesnt include a company car. So here's my dilemma....

    Im booked in for my L's in a few weeks, but ive only got enough coin for a car, OR a bike.

    Is it a bad idea to commute every day in peak hour with no experience? I dont need to go to the city or anything, just from frankston to braeside.

    Interested to know everyones opinions


  2. I will be on my L's hopefully this sat. so I would like to know too, I had a car.... only got a bike now to commute around.

    I have heard plenty of people commute full time on a bike, but only way to get experience, is to ride more :p
  3. if your company only requires casual attire it should be ok
  4. Its really your choice i think!

    I have a car but i have only used it 3-4 times in the past 1.5 months since ive had my bike.

    Having said that its coming up to winter very soon and i don't fancy getting wet and cold twice a day for the sake of getting to and from work so ill start using the car again.

  5. Most, if not all, of my initial experience came from going to/from work, however I also live in Adelaide and the traffic I'm in is relatively slow and/or steady. I think a lot of people on here have had a bike as their only transport, and they all had to learn at some point.

    Also, with respect to what you wear, either get yourself some boots that are comfy enough to wear all day or decide not to wear boots. For pants, I either take pants to change into at work and wear jeans, or I wear my Walden Miller pants which aren't jeans - they're just a bit too paddy in the bum to wear too often cos I feel a bit funny in them all day ;) Sometimes I even just wear the pants I'm gonna wear all day and forego leg protection for the day. Under my jacket, I either wear my normal work shirt or I wear a tshirt and change.

    I found that everything wasn't fitting in a backpack every time so I also have an Oxford tailpack to chuck stuff like shoes into. Basically means that even tho I am meant to be wearing corporate clothes, I don't always forego safety. Having said that, a guy at my work rocks up in his suit pants, ankle high dressy boots and business shirts with his bike jacket over the top.

    Clothes wise, it just depends on how much protection you want day to day. Riding wise, it'll boost your confidence faster if it's your only transport but if you're not keen to ride in cold and wet conditions, then a car's for you for the time being cos it's only gonna get colder and wetter.
  6. I jumped in sydney peak hour traffic a few weeks after getting my Ls. If you're sensible and cautious you'll be fine - just dont skimp on safety gear.
  7. i'd also recommend to commute with bike if you want to progress faster than ever ! :cool:
    once your used to it, get earplug, and feel the comfort of a car :LOL:
  8. Agreed. Commuting does make you a different rider. Not sure if it makes you a better rider, but certainly different :LOL: .. Well I'd say it trains you to expect anything and prepare for such , which can't be a bad thing.
  9. It can be done. It's pretty darn scarey if you're new to it all and trying to learn to ride as well as deal with traffic, but you don't have to split straight away. Just leave yourself double time at the start so you can pull over to take a breather if you need... takes the pressure off a bit.
  10. I did probably an hour or two in the backstreets near my home before my first ride to work - it took the edge off a little because I had enough confidence to know that I could corner and get up to 60 before I had to corner and get up to 60 with impatient drivers all around me. If it's gonna be your only form of transport, that's probably the only other recommendation I'd make from my own experiences. Use the backstreets like there's no tomorrow in between commutes - it's a great way to get on the road with minimal traffic so you can just learn and experience things at a slower and less stressful pace.
  11. I do it regularly. Peak hour's busy and very pushy, so wait a few weeks to get your confidence up in quieter times... but its well worth it when you go sailing past all the cagers :cool:
  12. frankston to braeside you'll be right man. not too many trams and shtuff :)
  13. You have to bite the bullet sooner or later :) Why not borrow a bike and do the ride on the weekend to get an idea of how it will be.
  14. you should be right... like everyone said ^ just take ya time and dont rush anything... i had only 1 ride before i started commuting to and from work everyday.... live and work just outside of the city so pretty crap traffic (bris) and that 1 ride was along the freeway just after peak hour to get the bike home.... nothing like jumping straight into it :)
  15. I jumped straight on a scooter with no training and started riding in heavy traffic straight away. Had a few moments while I was learning, and I wouldn't recommend that to anyone else, but by the time I had my license and got a real bike I was commuting every day.

    For the first few days while I was getting used to the bigger bike I just left myself plenty of time and took it easy. After a few days I found a more suitable route to the city and started lane splitting.

    The only way to get experience is to ride, and you'll get a lot more experience riding somewhere that you have to go rather than just picking the roads you like the look of. Just leave home early and don't look at the clock so you're not rushing.
  16. I only have a bike and not a car. 3rd day i was riding ever i was in peak hour traffic, and have been riding in it basicaly ever since. First couple of days obviously iwas nerous and i pretty much stayed in the one lane and took it pretty easy, but after about a week i was fine with it all. IMO quickest way to learn is to chuck yourself in the deep end and just go for it.
  17. Commuted from FTG to Kew for 5 yrs.
    Tip1. Store a change of clothes at work! especially shoes!
    Tip2. Just do it!
    Tip3. Rain is not your enemy. Cold can be though. Take extra care, and winter can be fun.
    Tip4. Join the ambulance fund. One day you will need it!

    Leave earlier for the first week, and plan to leave work later to miss the extreme peaks until you get some street smarts.

    You will do this easily!
  18. It has been done by alot of new riders, me included. I've survived 17 months of daily commuting. Allow longer time for the commute in the beginning. Get as much practice as you can. Take it easy and don't be pushed to ride beyond your comfort/skill level. Better to pull over and think it over for a couple of minutes than push or be pushed. It will all come in time.

    Good Luck.
  19. Sure. Just take your time, don't be rushed, and ride to your skill level.
    As you improve, you'll know when you are ready to lane split or whatever.
    If you plan to commute in winter, buy some waterproof gear and some GOOD winter gloves.

    Regards, Andrew.
  20. Thanks for all the comments guys, its much appreciated.
    My other concern is, as people have mentioned, its gonna be winter soon. Is that gonna be a nightmare? Especially if its raining? Am i gonna end up at work drenched? Or does the water proof gear actually work?