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Just wanted to know, how many of us are drivers/motorcyclist's as well as cyclist's?

I myself don't have a driving license after being a stupid idiot almost 10 years ago and getting banned when i was 18, BUT i've just get a tax rebate from 05/06 06/07 07/08 for nearly £900, normally i'd pump that into a new bike fund, but having to rely on ever increasing public transport costs is killing me £16.50 to travel 40 miles on a bus is just OTT

I'm trying to decide between a motor bike or car as i'm not that often out of range to cycle somewhere

26 comments

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stuke [335 posts] 4 years ago
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Passed my test when I was 17 (16 years ago) and have always loved driving. Don't drive much anymore due to cycling the 35 miles a day to work and back as its quicker than taking the car. Still like a good blast in the car early morning or late at night on the weekend though when there is no traffic about. Always been tempted by a motorbike but couldn't justify another toy to the wife when there is already £3k worth of cycles in the shed

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dave atkinson [6223 posts] 4 years ago
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I drive a 51 plate citroen picasso, which i can heartily recommend as a cyclist's car. take the back seats out and you won't even need to take the wheels off...  4

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Tony Farrelly [2868 posts] 4 years ago
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We're all drivers on the roadcc team,(with maybe the exception of Simon), I don't drive that much though cos like Stuke it's quickier and easier, and more fun, to ride a bike. When I was younger I used to enjoy driving more than I do now. If roadcc users are typical of most cyclists then there should be a lot of drivers on here… one of my favourit stats is the one about cyclists owning more cars than the average for the general population.

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Simon E [2721 posts] 4 years ago
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Been cycling on and off since primary school, driving since 1983, plus motorbikes 1989-2001 (gave it up when first child due). In mid-wales you don't get about easily without a car or motorbike, but getting round Shrewsbury is easy on the bicycle. I probably clock up more miles cycling than driving nowadays, and am happier for it.

If you can avoid a car then do so, it's invariably a money pit. Motorcycles can be similarly so, though small capacity commuter bikes and scooters sip the fuel and cost less to run.

P.S. and driving lessons seem to cost an arm and a leg!

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Simon_MacMichael [2450 posts] 4 years ago
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As Tony hinted, I don't drive. Got a provisional licence when I was 19, had some lessons booked, broke my ankle, cancelled the lessons, then never got round to it again.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not what my near neighbour Jeremy Clarkson might call a sandal wearing, vegetarian, Guardian reading, bearded, car hating cyclist.

True, I've worn sandals, once flirted with vegetarianism, regularly do battle with the Guardian crossword and, working from home, it's a couple of years since I've had a proper, stubble-erasing shave.

But you know what? I actually quite like cars. I just can't drive them (although that's not an issue that seems to stop others, licenced or not).

For someone who, university apart, lived in London for decades, that wasn't a problem at all. Moving to Oxford a few years back, with a 15-minute ride to work was a breeze, too. Another house move, a further eight miles out, made things a little more awkward, but there was a bus stop outside the front door with a decent, regular service to Oxford.

Now we've moved again, to a market town that lost its railway station to Dr Beeching and where the nearest significant centres of population - Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, Banbury and even the West Oxfordshire metropolis of Witney - are a 45-minute bus ride away, it's probably about time I got round to it.

Although we manage without one, I can see why the RAC Foundation's reports always cite people from areas such as this saying they couldn't do without a car.

Don't get me wrong, the cycling's great here, but having a car - or at least, having a licence and hiring one now and again - would open up so many more options for us.

So, for now, my sole hands-on experience of motorised personal transportation remains the aged Piaggio Ciao moped I was lent for a few months when I spent a year in Italy, by a friend whose grandfather no longer used it.

To my protestations about lack of licence, insurance, helmet, etc, I was met with a shrug, a brooking-no-reply comment of 'you're in Italy now,' and handed the keys that would let me make the most of my three hour lunch breaks by pop-popping through the rice fields and vineyards of southern Lombardy in search of somewhere nice to stop.

Usually followed by a panicked search for somewhere open to fill the tank up again so I could get back to the office for 3pm.

Happy days, and whenever I return to Italy these days I tend to break into a big, wistful grin at the first sight of one.

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Simon_MacMichael [2450 posts] 4 years ago
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Just as a PS to what turned out to be a longer-than-intended post - for most of my childhood, my parents couldn't afford to run a car, so we went without one. Wonder if that in part explains my lack of rush to get driving?

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 4 years ago
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I'm totally unaware of what lesson's cost these days, i know when i was learning at 17, so over 10 years ago, i was around £17 a lessons

I did look at a little scooter and while that would work out fine for short journey's the longer ones i think i would be quicker on my bike

Being stuck in the middle of nowhere is also effecting my work somewhat as public transport is getting beyond a joke, I'm an agency chef, so i kind of pick and choose work, but with it being quite hard to come by at the moment, i'm having to just take what i can get, having my own motorized transport would just make life a lot simpler on the whole. I like to think i've quite experienced when it comes to using the road as a cyclist, so jumping onto a motor bike, i'd like to think i'd be the same, just with more power, i used to run around on a scooter when i was 16, but that was in a large city, never once had a problem, so for cost and value, i think i'll opt for something around 500cc.........now just to wait for the tax man's cheque, only 6,5 and 4 years after i should have had the tax back, i wish the included interest for it sitting in their coffers aswell

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Squiggle [403 posts] 4 years ago
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I don't own a car although if I had a use for one then I might. I walk to the shops, and only use my bikes for training and racing. If I need a car short term then I borrow a mates or hire one. I'm not exactly carbon neutral though as I usually take the plane and/or helicopter to work!

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OldRidgeback [2620 posts] 4 years ago
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My personal vehicle fleet includes five bicycles and a motorcycle. We have a family car and my my wife and kids also have bicycles, with four shared between my two kids in fact. I prefer being on two wheels to four, though I do like driving a good car and have done various track days and so on. I get the biggest kick out of riding bicycles and motorcycles though; more visceral than being inside a tin box (I'll skip the Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance quotation but if you know what I mean, you know what I mean). When we had kids we bought a car and one of the two motorbikes I had at the time was sold, but I increased my bicycle collection instead.

By the way Gkam - if you're looking for a motorbike of up to 500cc, the Suzuki GS500, various Kawasaki 500 twins and Honda CB500 models are all pretty good in terms of usability and value for money.

A car will give you more all-round versatility and allow you to take the bicycle with you. A motorbike will be more fun, and a whole lot quicker getting anywhere, as well as using a bit less petrol, producing lower emissions and taking up a whole lot less space on the road (if that's important to you). It's not that I drive my motorbike way above speed limits, it's just that as with my bicycles I don't get caught in any jams and can filter right past all the stalled cars when I'm on the motorbike.

If you don't have a family to haul around, a motorcycle is more environmentally friendly and quicker, just less versatile.

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step-hent [722 posts] 4 years ago
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I have a car, but generally use it only for journeys where I need to transport something, or when I'm too tired to cycle. But I live in London, so the public transport is good.

I don't ride a motorbike, but if you've managed so far without a car then a motorbike seems like a good option - as OldRidgeback says, it's quicker than a car and probably cheaper to run, plus you'll likely have more fun. Driving a car in traffic can be incredibly frustrating (especially when you are used to nipping past it all on the bike), and you won't have to contend with that on a motorbike, plus your journey times will be more stable and less traffic affected. Really, the main reason to get a car above a motorbike is if you need to carry stuff that you couldn't without the car - and I'm guessing that if you did, you'd have a car already.

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londonplayer [620 posts] 4 years ago
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I've got a driving licence but living in London, it really would be more hassle than it's worth to own a car. Prefer to cycle to help fight the beer gut! I passed my test in 1993 but have never owned a car. I hire a car when in Portugal or Spain though.

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SideBurn [890 posts] 4 years ago
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I think that having a bike and a car makes a lot of sense; basically you cannot chuck your bike into the back of a motorbike!! Living in a rural area as I do with rubbish public transport and a large family I cannot imagine life without my cars. All my cars have the trusty black chain mark of appreciation everywhere! Just don't make me choose between bikes and cars, bikes are a lot more fun! And this is from someone with a 1970 Alfa Romeo GT

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OldRidgeback [2620 posts] 4 years ago
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Gkam - just a thought but if you're considering a 500cc twin motorcycle, you could look at a 650 single instead. These are trailbike derived and are just as cheap to buy and insure, but I reckon they're better value. They have lots of suspension travel for Britain's rubbish roads, are nice and narrow with a high(ish) riding position and wide bars for urban commuting and yet are fun on twisty roads and can clock long motorway distances too. They're user friendly for inexperienced riders but fun as well; a lot more entertaining and versatile than a boring parallel twin.

Yamaha has led the market in this segment for some time and has an extensive model range, but the other Japanese firms plus Aprilia, BMW and KTM all have models as well. Basically, they're all good bikes and there isn't a dud on the market.

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Karbon Kev [688 posts] 4 years ago
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I drive as well as cycle, passed at 17 first time and haven't looked back since. Also had motorcycles. I am a safe driver and a safer cyclist.

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 4 years ago
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Thanks for the recommendations OldRidgeback

I've ALWAYS wanted a Suzuki Bandit, something between the sports and touring that could also take panniers, after looking about, the older models which i grew up loving seem to be out of date, so something like the GSF650S  4

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OldRidgeback [2620 posts] 4 years ago
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Gkam - I like the old Suzuki Bandit better than the new one. The old one was oil/air cooled and simpler and better looking. The new one is more complex and doesn't look as good if you ask me, but it's still a good bike. I sold my old Ducati after many good years riding it a few months back and now have a Suzuki SV.

Wasn't this website supposed to be about cycling?

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 4 years ago
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Cycling is cycling, whether it be human powered or motorcycling  19

But yeah, i should have just brought it back to driving and how many of us do drive  26

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OldnSlo [135 posts] 4 years ago
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... currently a volvo driver ... steady and slo of course.
prior to I rode a fireblade (until i got knocked off
- 25mph impact - body armour is a wonderful
thing - as are .... helmets). Given the cash
a cheapish motorbike for april to november
a cheap car for the winter - depends on your
requirements. motorbikes are safe - car drivers
cause the accidents.

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AWPeleton [3316 posts] 4 years ago
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I drive an Audi A4 purely because i transport 2 kids which are more important and the Audi is built like a tank for safety.

I also drive a car at work (police vehicle) but given the chance there is nothing better than getting one of the mountain bikes the Police supply and flying around the streets during nightshift looking for baddies !

But i cycle to and from work each day....dodging idiots in Audi's  4

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Chrisc [147 posts] 4 years ago
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I'd second the 650 single motorbike option.
Used a motorcycle or cycle to get to work (wife has a car) for the last 25 years and just got a new BMW G650GS. Great, lightweight cheap and reliable thumper, 80mpg and no queuing.  1

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silly [39 posts] 4 years ago
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I currently drive - the current 75 miles to work is just a little too far for the bike (I contract so commute changes regularly - last job was 13 miles away)!

I used to have a motorbike (Suzuki V-Strom 650) that was great when having to commute into Brixton - but the advantages over a car for my current commute are very little - luckily I don't hit a lot of static traffic.

However, if I was allowed another bike I would get one at the drop of a hat - MUCH more fun than the car.

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Chuck [546 posts] 4 years ago
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I've got a licence but only drive a few times a year, and I've never owned a car. My OH has one, but personally I've no need for one, and on top of that I'm finding driving in towns more and more depressing and basically want nothing to do with it!

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joemmo [1164 posts] 4 years ago
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We have a family car which my wife uses for work while I cycle or get the metro and it gets used at weekends. I don't particularly enjoy driving (being involved in a 8 car pileup on the M1 rather burst the bubble of 'driving as enjoyable pastime') but I do like the freedom it gives to go places and do things at weekends. I think our quality of life would be poorer without one, as much as I hate to admit it.

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PJ McNally [591 posts] 4 years ago
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Reluctant driver here too -

I've held a full license since I was 17, have not needed to drive for work yet, but the new job starts on Wednesday and it's over 20 miles away, so I now have a car. I can't ride that 5 days a week and work too.

In my defence - bought the car on Saturday, the bike rack on Sunday.

Suzuki Splash - a brilliant cyclist's car - though i don't think it can take a bike inside.

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seabass89 [212 posts] 4 years ago
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I'm 22.. Had my license for 4 years.

I L*O*V*E driving. One of the funnest things I know. Don't have my own car though, so I borrow my mothers Mini Cab and cruise around.

Its a nice car, as if I encounter cyclist its pretty easy to sneak past:)

I think if everyone was a driver, and everyone was a cyclist, then everybody would get along better  1

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PRINCIPIA PHIL [56 posts] 4 years ago
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Yeah, i'm the proud owner of a wee Toyota MR2 Roadster which always confuses everyone who knows my passion for cycling as you'd never be able to carry a bike in it. I must be the slowest driver of one of these cars as i always keep to the speed limits and always obey the 2 second rule (4 seconds when it's wet). To rake around the roads on your motorbike or car when not cycling is gross hypocrisy IMO, so i drive as i would want others to drive when i'm out on one of my bikes.