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pepper123

Biking to Work?

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 I'm hoping to put off buying a car when I start  my articles, and bike to work instead.

 

Does anyone here bike to work on the regular? Do you bring a change of clothes (I am female and image I will often be wearing skirts)? I'm not planning on living very far from my office -- maybe a 10 minute bike ride for the neighbourhoods I'm looking at. Does it make sense to bike to work as a lawyer, or will I be carrying heavy documents with me (will be at a litigation oriented firm)?  

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It's not practical in my current job, but when I was working on Bay St I rode to work all the time in the spring, summer and fall. I didn't change at work - it's all downhill on the way to work, and I wouldn't ride if it was too hot out.  I'd just take my time and coast as much as possible and not get too hot.

 

If you're going to be in Toronto, Bixi is great for this because you can take it when you are able, and you're not locked in to taking it back home as well, or vice versa. 

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 I'm hoping to put off buying a car when I start  my articles, and bike to work instead.

 

Does anyone here bike to work on the regular? Do you bring a change of clothes (I am female and image I will often be wearing skirts)? I'm not planning on living very far from my office -- maybe a 10 minute bike ride for the neighbourhoods I'm looking at. Does it make sense to bike to work as a lawyer, or will I be carrying heavy documents with me (will be at a litigation oriented firm)?  

 

Not as a lawyer (aka not in full suit) since I'm still a student, but I used to bike to work, year round, to my office job. I think it is really a matter of day-to-day context. 

 

As JAGGERS pointed out, Toronto humidity can play a huge role in the worthwillyness [sIC*] of cycling to the office. 10 minutes is rather short in any environment and usually I wouldn't say demanding of having to change on arrival. But, some people are more prone to sweat than others so you may just have to test it. 

 

More to answer your document question: if you ride your own bike you can easily spruce it up with a basket, front rack, panniers, trunk, whatever suits your needs. But I think if you're involved in litigation, you may indeed be lugging a lot of tres lourde bound appendices around. I don't really think it is feasible to expect a daily rate, but I'm sure you can make it work when you can make it work.

 

 

* as in, super-sick spelling, yo.

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I worked on Bay St last summer and will be back in August, and I biked every day and plan to do it again. It was all downhill but still way too hot (I'm one of those prone to sweat people). I'd leave a couple of suits (and shoes) in my office and just bike down in shorts and a t-shirt with a folded dress shirt in my bag. The odd times I wanted to bring a suit either way I'd either walk/transit, or bike with a suit bag.

 

I used my own bike, which was mostly fine, but JAGGERS is right about a bikeshare for those odd nights you just don't want to be bothered with your bike (and I wouldn't want to leave it overnight outside, even by my office).

Edited by NineOne

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Cheers everyone, I will be in Calgary, not Toronto, so I'm more worried about dirt/dust and messing up my clothes than sweating in the humidity. It sounds like it's simple/doable enough, although I don't know about the logistics about leaving a bunch of suits in the office.

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I didn't really address your question about carrying files. When I was on Bay St, I didn't usually carry big files home. These days, most of your files will be available electronically, so you don't need to bring paper home, so it won't normally interfere with biking.

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I leave my suits at work and get changed there pretty much every morning and evening/night. Many people bike to work. Most change once they get to the office. We also have showers at the office. Some are members at a gym downstairs or nearby and shower there. Depends on the heat and how difficult / long of a bike ride it is.

 

Definitely doable though.

 

I've never really carried big files home during my articling in litigation. I now work in corp and the same applies.

 

Cheers,

Edited by he4dhuntr

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I used to bike to work regularly, and I know a few other lawyers who still do (including some who have for decades). Changing clothes and cleaning yourself up to look presentable is the biggest issue in my opinion. Unless you have a very clean and leisurely ride, you won't want to bike in your work clothes, and you might need to clean yourself up a bit.

 

When I biked, I would just pack all of my work clothes (suit and all) in a waterproof backpack or pannier. I never had any issues with wrinkled clothing.

 

My office doesn't have showers, so I would wash my face in the sink and pat myself down with paper towel  if I worked up a bit of a sweat. If it was so hot that I couldn't control my sweating with a lower pace, I would just bus instead.

 

I don't bike to work anymore because of the time savings. It was taking me at least an extra half hour or so every day to bike (and considerably more during the winter). The total extra time of biking versus driving was about 150 billable hours per year, which is not insignificant. It wouldn't be nearly as bad with a shorter ride though. It would also be worth it if your fitness goals only require biking, because that's a great two-for-one. The cost savings are also huge if biking means you don't buy a car.

 

I didn't really address your question about carrying files. When I was on Bay St, I didn't usually carry big files home. These days, most of your files will be available electronically, so you don't need to bring paper home, so it won't normally interfere with biking.

 

Yeah, I usually only need to take my laptop if I need to work at home. If I take paper home, it will only be the thickness of a textbook or two. This is no big deal to stuff in a backpack with a laptop and change of clothes.

 

If I was working on a file where I needed to refer to more physical documents than that, I would just work on it at the office.

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