• Slide Image 1 Title | Welcome to D5 Smartia Theme, Visit D5 Creation for Details
    You can use D5 Smartia for Black and White looking Smart Blogging, Personal or Corporate Websites. This is a Sample Description and you can change these from Samrtia Options

  • Slide Image 2 Title | Welcome to D5 Smartia Theme, Visit D5 Creation for Details
    You can use D5 Smartia for Black and White looking Smart Blogging, Personal or Corporate Websites. This is a Sample Description and you can change these from Samrtia Options

Commuter Profile: Mike Myers

Posted by: | Posted on: June 13, 2008

Longtime reader and commenter Mike Myers of Homosassa, Florida finally submitted himself to the glaring light of Internet stardom here at Bikecommuters.com. Check out his profile and his amazing arsenal of long-distance commuter bikes. Look carefully at the bike photos and remember this: when the economy collapses and headset spacers become the “coin of the realm”, Mr. Myers is going to be a rich man, indeed…

Mike Myers -- stylish!

How long have you been a bike commuter?

Off and on for 15 years or so. I like to lift weights also, so I’m only bike commuting two days a week. In a perfect world I would lift weights 3x/week and bike commute 5x/week, but time doesn’t exist for that. I tend to have car-free weekends, though.

Why do you bike commute?

Fitness, mostly. I don’t want to wreck my knees by running, and I can’t see taking any sort of cardio classes. Treadmills and elliptical trainers make me feel like a hamster. Riding my bike to work is an easy way to get a couple of hours or more of cardio in twice a week.

What do you do for a living and in what city do you bike commute?

I’m a dental technician. I live in Homosassa, Florida, and work in Hernando, Florida.

hill
One of the only hills in the area…it’s a doozy (just kidding)!

Why did you start riding your bike to work and how long is your commute?

Initially I did it for fitness. There was a 6 month period from November 2006 to April 2007 when I was totally car free. My commute varies in length. I can make it 44 miles round trip or as short as 34, depending on route.

What kind(s) of bike do you have?

I have three road bikes. My main commuter is a 2005 Gunnar Sport. It’s a fantastic bike. Light, fast, comfortable. Handmade in Wisconsin by American craftsmen. The color is “Sherwood Forest Candy Metallic Green?, and it’s a Waterford-level paint job. I like it a lot. The metallic really pops in the sunshine. Having a nice paint job is a blessing and a curse. I have it mounted with fenders, but I really try not to ride it if rain is a distinct possibility. Kind of defeats the purpose of having a fendered bike!

Gunnar

I have a Surly Pacer. No fenders, no rack. Just a Carradice Barley saddlebag. It’s my go-fast, good weather bike. It’s the only bike I own with a 53T chainring, so it makes the downhill sections a lot more fun. Surly makes a nice solid frame. I mounted fenders on it when I was running 700x25s, but when I swapped to 700x28s I couldn’t get my Freddy Fenders to quit rubbing. I stripped the fenders but one day I may try SKS. Or I may sell the Surly.

Surly Pacer

My Bridgestone XO-2 is quickly becoming my favorite bike. I’m short and have always had toe clip overlap problems with my 700c wheeled bikes. The Bridgestone has 559 wheels, and I don’t overlap even with fenders. It’s very comfortable and was designed by Grant Petersen, so that makes it fun. It sees duty as a commuter and errand bike. Why no other company has seen fit to market road bikes with 559 wheels is beyond me. There are full-blown touring bikes with 559s but nothing with road bike geometry and fairly light weight.

sweet sweet Bridgestone

You’ll notice that my bikes have high bar cockpits. I have carpal tunnel syndrome and shoulder impingements. The wide Nitto Noodle bars and high bar cockpit help with hand problems a lot. I have sacrificed some style points for comfort, and that’s fine with me.

Any funny or interesting commuting story that you may want to share?

The most interesting thing that happened to me was being hit by a truck. I shared that story with Bikecommuters.com. That’s the first time I was knocked unconscious, and I was lucky to escape with minor injuries. I still have a hard time riding on the section of road where the accident occured. Oh, and I was confronted by an enraged 5′ 4″, 120 pound redneck in a sleeveless Rebel flag shirt who wanted to fight because I yelled at him when he almost hit me. Fun times. :-)

What do people (coworkers, friends) say when you tell them that you are a bike commuter?

People always act as though I’m riding some huge distance. They don’t realize that 20 miles isn’t really that far. Riding an efficient bike helps a lot. Most people could work up to riding 20 miles each way in no time. It’s not that difficult. Granted, I was never really a couch potato, and always maintained some level of fitness. I’m not doing centuries, but I’m OK.

How about bicycling advocacy? Are you active in any local or regional advocacy groups?

This is Citrus County. There is no “cycling community?. There are guys with DUIs, senior citizens on hybrids and ‘bents on the Withlacoochee Trail, and rich guys on megabuck carbon toys. I bet there are only a handful of bicycle commuters in the entire county. We’re pretty rural. :-) Things are getting better, though. The state recently repaved SR44 and painted a nice bike lane for most of the distance. There are plans for a long MUP to connect the Withlacoochee Trail to SR44 in Crystal River, too. Then when the Suncoast Parkway 2 is done there will be a trail which will allow cyclists to ride from Citrus County all the way to Tampa. That doesn’t mean much in the transportation sense unless the roads the trail intersects are bike-friendly, but it will be good for the recreational cyclists.

rural Florida...quiet

Anything else that you want to share with us?

Keep doing what you guys are doing. I visit Bikecommuters.com every day, and there’s always something new and interesting. You guys do good work. I wouldn’t be offended if you sent me something to review from time to time though. :-)

Editor’s Note: Thanks for the kind words, Mike…and who knows? Maybe someday soon your wish will come true. Thanks, also, for sharing your wonderful bikes and experiences with us!





11 Comments to Commuter Profile: Mike Myers

  1. Wayne Myer says:

    I find it amusing how some cyclist’s bikes all begin to look the same after a while. It’s some kind of functionality convergence…

  2. Ghost Rider says:

    Well, yeah…it makes perfect sense: when you find a riding position and some gear that really works for you, you stick with it.

    Of course, my own collection is a bit more eclectic…nothing looks even vaguely similar, although the riding positions are fairly well duplicated among the fleet.

  3. Iron Man says:

    Mike, I totally agree with your take on the distance being something the average person can do. I don’t want to preach, but I am truly amazed at what the human body is capable of.

    Whether you believe in creation or evolution doesn’t matter, both lead to the conclusion that the human body is an amazing machine. My commute used to be almost as far as yours and people were dumbfounded that I could do it. They thought I’d be exhausted all the time. I tried to tell them that the body adapts, gets stronger, and handles the work just fine. Most brushed me off thinking I was some elite athlete and out of touch with the average person.

    Too often people ride once, it hurts their butt or it wears them out, and they give up then and there. They say it’s not for me. No matter how much I tell them that the body adapts and it gets better—especially the butt—they don’t believe me. Our ancestors of just a three or four generations back would look like elite athletes compared to most of us today.

    Well this is a particularly high horse I find myself on now. Sorry for the deluge. Great post Mike.

  4. Amen, Iron Man and good on ya, Mike.

    I tell all my new riders that anyone can do five miles. I don’t qualify ‘anyone’. I don’t care if you’re an 80-year-old, three-pack-a-day smoker with a titanium hip, you can ride five miles on a bicycle.

    Anyone who can walk all the way across a Wal-Mart parking lot can do ten flat miles. (Flat miles are all we have in South Florida, I-95 overpasses excepted.)

    And that, right there, is the key to bike commuting… most people are within ten miles of where they need to be, whether that be the grocery store, Starbucks or their place of employment.

    Ten miles is an hour and change for a beginner, half an hour for someone who is really cranking.

    The car free conversion is a two-step process:

    1. Prove it can be done.
    2. Make it painless.

    One is easy. With a little encouragement and a few free hours, I can show anyone how to ride five to ten miles safely around town. The feeling of accomplishment is a real motivator.

    Two is where training, practice, gear and logistics come into play. Two is hard.

    Two is getting up for work an hour earlier and getting home an hour later. Two is upgrading from your $89 K-Mart special to a $500 bike with the right accessories. Two is getting wet in the rain. Two is talking the boss into letting you park your bike in the supply closet. Two is smelling like busted ass all day because you were running late, cranked like crazy to get to work on time and forgot that you hadn’t restocked your office wet wipe supply.

    As for the amazing human body, I like to put our mileage abilities up against the noble horse. Mike’s daily commute is excess of the distance your average horse can travel in a day. (A horse is generally good for 20-25 miles a day… http://macallisterstone.blogspot.com/2008/01/big-horse-posts-collected.html)

  5. Moe says:

    Nice to put faces to some of our frequent readers that comment. Love your bikes Mike, they look mighty comfortable.

  6. Fritz says:

    My bikes are all completely different!

    A body builder dental technician. Ow my wide-open aching mouth!

  7. Scott says:

    Props to you Mike! I grew up in Florida, and based on the pictures and descriptions I know exactly the kinds of places you are riding. I would not call them the most bike friendly. That is great that you have stuck with it for so long, and that you have found ways to really enjoy it.

    BikeCommuters guys… another great article! Keep it up.

  8. Mike Myers says:

    Thanks for all the kind words, guys!

    I guess it’s true that all my bikes are similar–even more so now that the Bridgestone is sporting a Brooks! The Nitto Noodle(model 177) handlebar is the greatest thing Rivendell has ever done for cycling, IMHO. People talk about them sparking interest in lugged steel and Brooks saddles, but the Noodle has allowed me to keep cycling despite my gimpiness. If anyone here thinks they don’t like a drop bar, try a Noodle. And try it in a wide size. Mine are 46cm wide. Outstanding bar. The flat ramp and slight rearward bend make all the difference. I will have a Noodle on every road bike I ever own. Seriously.

    Moe—comfort is king, when you’re gimpy. I would love to have a sexy racer look to my bikes, but then I couldn’t ride them. :-)

    Iron Man—even when I wasn’t riding for an extended period my commute wasn’t all that difficult. I just went slower. And it’s not like I hammer on the way in now, either. If I take the 18 mile route, I can get to work in just over an hour. I have a few climbs that slow me but then there are downhills that allow me to fly(well, 35mph anyway).

    I can’t say enough good things about my XO-2. Yes, my Gunnar is, on paper, a nicer bike. Lighter tubing, nicer paint, yadda yadda yadda. But the lugged steel and 26 inch wheels on the Bridgestone make for a very comfortable and capable ride. Shame it’s a dinosaur, and nobody is making one like it. Instead, they’re pushing 650B. Nothing against 650B but it’s really unnecessary.

  9. Ghost Rider says:

    Mike, I’m surprised to hear that about 650B…I seem to remember that you were seriously considering such a bike a while back.

    I heartily agree with the Noodle assessment. I don’t have one on any of my bikes right now, but I used to have a Specialized MTB with a pair of Noodles and road levers, and they were amazingly comfortable.

    Don’t forget, everyone — Mike is the man to talk to if you’re ever short of headset spacers!

  10. Mike Myers says:

    GR—I was considering 650B until I rode my Bridgestone. Now I think 650B is a solution looking for a problem. There may be a slight ride improvement with low pressure 650B tires, but the ready availability of 26 inch slick tires trumps that, IMHO.

    I’m thinking of putting a really tall spacer on my threadless bikes, just to make things look a bit better.

  11. Waterford says:

    Ive been to waterford. Its a great place

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *