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April 16, 2004

Why I Ride My Bike to School

By Byron LaMasters

It's pretty simple. Two reasons. It's faster and it's cheaper than driving or waiting for the bus. It takes me eight minutes to ride my bike from my apartment on 38th Street to 24th Street on campus. If I were to ride the bus, I'd spend about that time waiting for it most days. If I were to drive, it would take about the same time to drive, then an extra few minutes (on a good day) and $7 or so to park. It's a pretty easy choice. Now, I'm not going to junk the car (I'm from Dallas, and if you've ever tried getting around Dallas without a car - well just don't), but its nice to be able to travel via bike. It's one of the things I love about Austin.

Apparently, I'm not the only one who's realized that riding a bike is not only cheaper, but faster when commuting in central Austin. The Austin American Statesman did a test:

To the point: LeBlanc and her bicycle beat us to the finish line at 24th Street by about 5 1/2 minutes. The final insult was that when we arrived at the finish line, she was lying on the ground. It could have been more insulting if she'd been blowing on her knuckles.

They raced from from Riverside, up Lamar and to 24th Street in rush hour. The bike: 11.5 Minutes. The car: 17 Minutes. Travelling conveniently by bike is only an option available to a small minority of Americans, but for those of us with the option, it's a great alternative to traffic, parking tickets and high gas prices.

Posted by Byron LaMasters at April 16, 2004 02:31 PM | TrackBack


Let us not forget walking! I walk everywhere, campus, around campus, to 11th street. It's good excercise as well and I can make it to the south side of the capitol from 26th street in about 15 minutes.

Posted by: Karl-T at April 16, 2004 03:16 PM

Excellent topic!
Bikes are very efficient for short to medium range transportation in urban and suburban areas.
There's little I can add to Byron's testimonial. Though I can verify that even if you haven't ridden a bike for 10 years, it will take only a minute or two for you to regain your old bike riding skills.
But if you need any help getting back into urban bike riding culture, let me recommend this book.

Posted by: Tim Z at April 16, 2004 03:35 PM

I'm a University employee that drives from the Pflugerville/Round Rock area (carpool) and I throw my bike in the back of the truck. It's a short ride from anywhere I can park to my office.

I can also meet friends downtown without losing my parking place!

Posted by: Mike at April 16, 2004 04:30 PM

I'm a University employee that drives from the Pflugerville/Round Rock area (carpool) and I throw my bike in the back of the truck. It's a short ride from anywhere I can park to my office.

I can also meet friends downtown without losing my parking place!

Posted by: Mike at April 16, 2004 04:30 PM

Of course, there are also half-Canadians like me who despise the heat Austin experiences for five months out of the year and have the sweat-ruined business casual work clothes to prove it! :)

I barely live 7 car-driven minutes from where I work to my apartment. Burnet & 183 to Lamar & 183 wouldn't be that bad of a bike ride.

Posted by: Charles Hueter at April 16, 2004 04:36 PM

I wish I could ride my bike but I'm scared--drivers in this town are CRAZY!!!!!

Posted by: Andrea M. at April 17, 2004 02:58 PM

Yeah, if there weren't so many SUVs, I may actually try to use a bike.

Posted by: Jason Young at April 17, 2004 09:35 PM
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