Meet another one of our readers, Elijah Fan. Elijah is a Bike commuter as well as a Mountain Bike Rider, here’s his commuter profile:
What do you do and what city do you bike commute.
I’m a project manager at Westar Holding and VIVA Life Science. I manage the company’s property. I also do business development with our company’s core competency, which is nutritional products. I commute from Irvine to Costa Mesa, CA
Why did you start riding your bike to work and how long is your commute?
I started riding my bike to work in 2003, because I hate traffic, I hate feeling like a hamster on a treadmill (exercise), and I love riding bikes, especially mountain bikes. It was a no brainer for me after I tried it once. My bike commute is about 25 miles round trip.
What kind of bikes do you have?
Three bikes – First is my 2005 Voodoo Bizango. It’s a steel hardtail mountain bike for that oh so fun single track. I also have an 80’s era Performance mountain bike that I’ve turned into a single speed to tool around town with, and I use it as my backup commuting bike. This summer I plan to add an xtracycle to it along with a rear derailleur. This Performance bike was my brother’s first serious mountain bike. I’d say it’s the bike that first caught my dreams and sucked me into mountain biking. My last bike is my main commuter, an 80’s era Fuji Ace road bike that’s been converted to a fixed gear. I’ve been riding the Fuji for a couple years. Coming from a mountain bike background, I found riding on the streets to be boring. Riding fixed adds a bit of excitement to my commute, although I sometimes see this guy commuting on his downhill rig holding wheelies until the cows come home. I’ll have to try that some time, although my wheelies would only last about half a second each.
Any experience that you can share with us about ‘learning the hard way’?
On my ride home from work last year I saw a fellow commuter changing a flat, and I asked if he needed help. He said that he didn’t have a spare or a patch kit, so I gave him my spare and got him going. A half mile later I hit a small pothole and got a bad pinch flat. I couldn’t get a patch to hold and didn’t have another spare. Hanging my head in shame, I called my wife to pick me up.
Lessons Learned: 1. Check tire pressure, EVERY TIME, and keep goo tire pressure. I checked before I rode, but was too lazy to pump it up. 2. ALWAYS offer help even if it costs you.
5. What do people say when you tell them that you are a bike commuter?
They usually nod slowly and get this funny look on their face like I’m crazy or something. And then they ask, “Why?” People at work have no idea how to handle it. I always get the comment when I’m spotted in the hallways with my bike, “Oh, you’re still doing that.”
Do you have an “advanced commuter tip”?
A one liner that I tell myself when I start to drift: “Hold your line and you’ll be fine.” It rhymes, it’s silly and it helps me refocus. When I ride predictably, cars and MUP (multi use path) users know better what to expect from me and that keeps everyone safe. Secondly, obey traffic laws, although I tend to roll through stop signs. Early on, I thought that since I was on a bike, I could just ride through red lights if it was clear. Heck, I see roadies do it all the time. Once early morning, before the sun was up, I looked left and right through my fogged up glasses and then blasted through a light. I heard squealing tires and looked behind me to see a car with smoking tires barely miss my rear wheel. I was stupid and nearly worm food because of it. Shh, don’t tell my wife. She doesn’t know, hehe.
Anything that you want to share with us
Thanks for this site and the others that you guys run. I love reading and learning from them. And thanks for giving me the opportunity to share a bit of my story. Keep it fun and safe enough. I don’t say “safe”, because that’s just boring. “Safe enough” seems more appropriate. Keep it up and if there’s any way that I can help, let me know.
We are grateful to Elijah for sharing his time with us. Check out his blog at www.fanster.net