Best solution for ~3 mi professional commute: Electric Bike, Touring Bike, Scooter/Moped, Car, Shuttle, etc.?

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Olaz
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Best solution for ~3 mi professional commute: Electric Bike, Touring Bike, Scooter/Moped, Car, Shuttle, etc.?

Post by Olaz » Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:37 pm

Currently placing my three bikes up for sale (vintage road, vintage mountain, and a vintage touring bike that doesn't fit me). I'll probably get ~$700-1000 for them.

I'm trying to determine the best solution for a 3 mi commute in year-round New England weather, with the requirement to wear business casual at the office (I don't need to arrive in it I don't think). Some solutions I've been thinking about include:

1. Finding an apt. within very short walking distance of a shuttle that runs to the firm
2. Getting a nice touring bicycle with the option for studded tires + full fenders + a rack
3. Getting a nice electric bicycle for the option to not work up a sweat and longer distances
4. Buying a used motorized moped or scooter (the latter requires a motorcycle license)
5. Buying a used small car

All options would be bought with a "fancy" aesthetic in mind considering the finance job. Thankfully there isn't much crime in the area I'm working in (though there would definitely be in NYC).

Of note, is there an option to get a motor that one could quickly attach and detach from a manual bicycle - maybe a motor mounted on the down-tube braze-ons where the water bottle cage would be? That might be the best option: a nice manual touring bike with a light-weight and attachable motor. : )

------------------

Preliminary research has me leaning on a winterizable and convertible electric touring bicycle, or a moped. Both can be combined with a trailer for hauling groceries or even furniture. I do wonder how quiet these motors are, and how far the charge will last.

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Re: Best solution for ~3 mi professional commute: Electric Bike, Touring Bike, Scooter/Moped, Car, Shuttle, etc.?

Post by sky » Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:36 pm

Use the mountain bike. Don't get a bike with a motor, just use the pedals.

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Re: Best solution for ~3 mi professional commute: Electric Bike, Touring Bike, Scooter/Moped, Car, Shuttle, etc.?

Post by Dragline » Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:48 pm

Yeah, any of them will work for 3 miles. I would just keep one and then reassess when you get there and start working, and can assess your other needs for transportation besides going to work and back.

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Re: Best solution for ~3 mi professional commute: Electric Bike, Touring Bike, Scooter/Moped, Car, Shuttle, etc.?

Post by ellipsis_has_expired » Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:53 pm

I've been car-free for 3 years now, with a 2 mile commute by bicycle. At 3 miles or more, it would be nice to have something with an electric motor. It's a luxury that would be nice if you get hot summers. I hope you don't get a car or gas powered scooter, though. Seems a wasted opportunity to save money and keep healthy in the meantime.

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Re: Best solution for ~3 mi professional commute: Electric Bike, Touring Bike, Scooter/Moped, Car, Shuttle, etc.?

Post by George the original one » Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:10 pm

Even if you walk, it's probably less than an hour. Do have a mass transit backup plan, though.

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Re: Best solution for ~3 mi professional commute: Electric Bike, Touring Bike, Scooter/Moped, Car, Shuttle, etc.?

Post by Fish » Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:46 pm

With the same professional constraints, I do a 2 mile bike commute (one-way distance) every day, rain or shine or snow. Any bike works for this distance. I also have 6 months' experience walking it. I much prefer the simplicity and experience of walking but have other priorities for my time.

Of the options you listed, #1 sounds best since you will have an extra solution for getting to work. The others seem overdesigned. You could get some practice now by changing your current commute to a less direct 3 mile bike ride. Maybe look into mass transit and carpooling as well?

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Re: Best solution for ~3 mi professional commute: Electric Bike, Touring Bike, Scooter/Moped, Car, Shuttle, etc.?

Post by Ego » Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:48 pm

Get the motorcycle license during your gap time just for the heck of it. The more options the better.

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Re: Best solution for ~3 mi professional commute: Electric Bike, Touring Bike, Scooter/Moped, Car, Shuttle, etc.?

Post by Eureka » Sat Apr 01, 2017 2:22 am

Walk.

If part of your web of goals is to maintain health, walking is the obvious solution. You will be sitting or being otherwise inactive for most of your day, young man, so take advantage of this great opportunity to include some natural movement in your life for free.

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Re: Best solution for ~3 mi professional commute: Electric Bike, Touring Bike, Scooter/Moped, Car, Shuttle, etc.?

Post by Olaz » Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:25 am

I'll be asking for a standing desk : P

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Walking is an option, though the biggest hurdle is figuring out how to most conveniently carry a business casual outfit to change into.

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Re: Best solution for ~3 mi professional commute: Electric Bike, Touring Bike, Scooter/Moped, Car, Shuttle, etc.?

Post by jacob » Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:06 am

+1 for walk. You can walk in business casual. Chinos and polo or shirt stay on. Change from sneakers to oxfords. Done.

This will cost you 2 hours per day. If New England winters and snow shoveling practices are anything like Lake Effect snow around here (I figure the former is worse), winter biking is going to suck because you're going to lose the road shoulder (they pile all the snow there). Also, if it's sufficiently suburban, people might not clear the sidewalks for walking either ... and if there are no sidewalks, you'll be fairly screwed, because you can't walk on the street (barely cleared for cars).

IOW, is 3M distance really the best you can do in terms of where to live? Is there no public transport in the area at all?!?

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Olaz
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Re: Best solution for ~3 mi professional commute: Electric Bike, Touring Bike, Scooter/Moped, Car, Shuttle, etc.?

Post by Olaz » Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:24 am

I might be able to get closer. I haven't seriously started looking for housing yet considering classes, but the closest city to the firm is ~3 mi away on avg.

-----

Perhaps I should consider adding chinos and polos to my dressy repetoire.

Thus far I have 6 button ups and one charcoal merino wool suit. I was thinking of simply getting a dark navy suit and a few more shirts and calling it good.

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Re: Best solution for ~3 mi professional commute: Electric Bike, Touring Bike, Scooter/Moped, Car, Shuttle, etc.?

Post by bigato » Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:46 am

Just make sure you get an waterproof backpack so that you'll have dry clothes once you get there. I did it for years, also working on the finance sector. Wearing your work clothes from home is not a good idea unless you're walking in dry, mild weather. Please do not waste the chance of doing some exercise.

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Re: Best solution for ~3 mi professional commute: Electric Bike, Touring Bike, Scooter/Moped, Car, Shuttle, etc.?

Post by halfmoon » Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:52 am

Your post about the job offer said it comes with a free gym. Is that onsite, or just a free membership at some distant location? If it's onsite or close, you could just keep office clothes in your gym locker and take a shower before changing. I would have killed to have an on-site shower back when I walked 3 miles to work (and arrived sweaty, only to don a polyester waitress uniform; yuk).

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Olaz
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Re: Best solution for ~3 mi professional commute: Electric Bike, Touring Bike, Scooter/Moped, Car, Shuttle, etc.?

Post by Olaz » Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:52 am

Sadly the gym is off-site. I could see myself leaving my dress coat and jacket on my chair though.

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Re: Best solution for ~3 mi professional commute: Electric Bike, Touring Bike, Scooter/Moped, Car, Shuttle, etc.?

Post by OTCW » Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:10 am

I'd try to find something a mile or less away and walk or bike it.

Stash one of the bikes at work if you walk in and don't want to walk home. Or you want to bike home and back for lunch. Or want to run an errand. Etc.

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Re: Best solution for ~3 mi professional commute: Electric Bike, Touring Bike, Scooter/Moped, Car, Shuttle, etc.?

Post by Crazylemon » Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:23 pm

Do they have any shower facilities on site? Even if the Gym isn't Or is this a uk thing where pretty much everywhere does if you ask about it.

Then bike and problem solved

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Re: Best solution for ~3 mi professional commute: Electric Bike, Touring Bike, Scooter/Moped, Car, Shuttle, etc.?

Post by Campitor » Sat Apr 01, 2017 1:42 pm

I live in the New England area. I've walked to/from work in all types of weather; 2.5 miles. No snow = 39 minutes. With heavy snow = 1hr+.

When I walk to work I wear golf pants/shirts that totally pass as business casual: khaki looking pants and solid color shirts. Golf clothes are super breathable and shed moisture fast. As long as you wear layers and take it easy walking TO work, you should arrive without a sweat. Peel off layers as you warm up; a backpack comes in handy for storing the layers you peel off.

I've also biked to work but I don't recommend it during snow/sleet season.

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Re: Best solution for ~3 mi professional commute: Electric Bike, Touring Bike, Scooter/Moped, Car, Shuttle, etc.?

Post by SustainableHappiness » Sat Apr 01, 2017 2:32 pm

I do this exact situation everyday. I use a mountain bike and once a week I have to do a 10K ride on longer roads so I use my road bike because it is fun to go fast. I live in a place in Canada where it goes down to -30 and up to +30, I bike 75% of the time and walk more when it is nice. I have a company car (with paid gas, insurance, etc.), so get a lot of weird looks when I don't use it...I just tell people I sold it and this joke gets me out of the conversation 9 times out of 10.

My advice based on adjustments I have made since moving from long distance car commutes to biking/walking:
- Have a nice pair of business shoes at the office and change into them at desk (preserves life of all shoes)
- get a comfortable backpack
- A great pair of splash pants does absolute wonders in wet and snowy conditions both for temperature and wetness and cleanliness of pants
- be prepared for swass (Sweaty-Ass), learn to embrace it, or bring a change of pants
- be prepared for funny looks and comments like "you're crazy for biking in this weather"
- be prepared to hold on to your humility when thoughts like, "god, every here has no fucking clue how much better I feel when I face shitty weather and bike in anyways, they think I am at a disadvantage when I do it!" enter into your mind because those thoughts do not make you a better person
- if you can swing a route that passes a grocery store, it is worth an extra couple kilometres to add a quick grocery trip for produce

Enjoy.

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Re: Best solution for ~3 mi professional commute: Electric Bike, Touring Bike, Scooter/Moped, Car, Shuttle, etc.?

Post by SustainableHappiness » Sat Apr 01, 2017 2:34 pm

Oh, I also bike through a cemetery as a short cut and have been attempting to master standing on my pedals and faster turns with no hands...I don't recommend this in the winter, I have a pretty epic wipe out the one day after a freezing rain and had to explain the dirty cuffs on my khakis a couple times (again slush pants over top is a glorious thing)

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Re: Best solution for ~3 mi professional commute: Electric Bike, Touring Bike, Scooter/Moped, Car, Shuttle, etc.?

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:11 pm

If these electric scooters were available in the US, that would be sweet.

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Re: Best solution for ~3 mi professional commute: Electric Bike, Touring Bike, Scooter/Moped, Car, Shuttle, etc.?

Post by Eureka » Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:19 pm

Olaz wrote:
Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:25 am
I'll be asking for a standing desk
Sitting is the new smoking.
Standing in the new sitting.


http://www.sittingsolution.com/the-trut ... ding-desk/

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Re: Best solution for ~3 mi professional commute: Electric Bike, Touring Bike, Scooter/Moped, Car, Shuttle, etc.?

Post by Scott 2 » Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:52 pm

Shuttle = networking, I'd try for that

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Re: Best solution for ~3 mi professional commute: Electric Bike, Touring Bike, Scooter/Moped, Car, Shuttle, etc.?

Post by SustainableHappiness » Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:03 am

Oh another thing. Winter eats your bike. Wiping it down every day or two quickly (5 minutes) does wonders to make it not rust implode.

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Re: Best solution for ~3 mi professional commute: Electric Bike, Touring Bike, Scooter/Moped, Car, Shuttle, etc.?

Post by Jean » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:18 am

Is it forbiden to bike on the road itself?
If not, i'de just keep one bike, and use it for commute, and change cloth on site.
An electric bike is really not needed for such a short distance.
Even running would be 20 minutes, but you might need to shower on site.

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Re: Best solution for ~3 mi professional commute: Electric Bike, Touring Bike, Scooter/Moped, Car, Shuttle, etc.?

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:23 am

I can't say if it is a better option than walking or a moped but for years I did a four mile commute on a mountain bike in all weather. I wore business casual (polyester dress pants, undershirt, dress shirt) on the ride.

Snow was no problem as long as it wasn't really deep. Rain or heat/humidity is worse because it makes it more likely that you'll get sweaty. I would go slowly to avoid getting sweaty. If it was really hot/humid out I would wear a t shirt for the ride and then switch to the dress shirt at work. Leave your dress shoes at work.

If you are not in good shape already the first ride will result in you getting sweaty. Give it a week or two and it will be easy. Don't do it on your first day. You don't want to show up at work late or sweaty (I did both).

It helps that I was in a bike friendly area. If you are going to ride on high traffic country roads in the dark in winter I would recommend against it.
Of note, is there an option to get a motor that one could quickly attach and detach from a manual bicycle - maybe a motor mounted on the down-tube braze-ons where the water bottle cage would be? That might be the best option: a nice manual touring bike with a light-weight and attachable motor. : )
I'm not sure how well they work but for a few hundred dollars you can get a front wheel with a motor built into the hub, a controller, and a battery. This will make your bike into an e bike and should be very fast to install/remove. Maybe someone who actually has one can address how easy it would be to change over.

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