Commuter Profile: Gaylen Holt

Gaylen Holt is a long commute rider that enjoys riding to work to reduce the stress from work. Here’s his bike commuter profile:

How long have you been a bike commuter?

I have been a commuter for three to four years. In the beginning, I lived closer to work, 5 miles, but I now live farther away and I think that I enjoy the commute more from here than when I lived closer. I guess I have to wake up earlier, so when I stay up late, it makes it difficult to ride in but I still do it.

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

I started commuting because I saw others riding their bike to work and I thought, hmmm, maybe I could ride my bike to work, so I tried it and I was able to make it. I think I ride to work mainly to get exercise, save gas, see the wonderful world we have and to relieve stress. By the time I am finally home, I do not have any stress about work. I have forgotten completely about it. My commute ranges from 35 – 40 miles round trip. I normally ride in 17 miles to work and I will take a longer route on the way home. But, most of the time it seems to be the 35 miles. In the morning it takes me one hour of riding time and about 10 to 15 minutes longer in the evening because there are some hills I have to ride up. I usually leave at 5:30 in the morning, unless I failed to pack the night before for the ride.

How does Bike Commuting help you with your lifestyle (economics, health, relationships)?

I think that riding a bike helps one to feel grateful for what they have. What a blessing it is to be able to go outside ride a bike feel the wind in your hair, or no hair, see all the animals, plants and things around. When I was starting out, I was passed by a man with one leg, and it made me think of how blessed I was to have two legs. It has helped my health and make be a better father because I am more patient with my children, even when they are really being children. I need to convince my wife that we can go on a bike date and ride our bikes everywhere, but she still is not convinced. Hopefully, I will prevail

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

I am a financial analyst / CPA for an aerospace company in North Ogden, Parker Hannifin. We manufacture motion control parts for commercial airlines, I commute from Layton, UT to Ogden UT.

What kind(s) of bike do you have?

I have a Giant OCR that I use for my main commuter bike. When I first bought it, it was set up as a road racing bike and had the really fancy , low spoke wheels. and light tires. They have since been replaced and I now have Mavic Open Pro Sport with Ultegra hubs and Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tires. I couldn’t be happier. they are a bit heavier, but I do not have to worry about flats or re-truing my wheels every other week. I also have a Specialized Stumpjumper hard tail mountain bike that I use on the trail and ride with my family, and when the weather is bad. I am thinking of converting this into a Xtracycle. I will watch the photo journal of the conversion and see how it goes.

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

Not really, I read the stories about people interactions with people in cars. Most people here give you the room and respect. I do occasionally get honked at, or told to get off the road, but nothing too out of the ordinary. I have collected a few tools on the road. I have seen a deer, racoon, golden eagle (not on commute but at Fish Lake on a ride) and lots of tire wire beads. A few times people have asked me for directions. But my commute is pretty uneventful.

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

Most think I am crazy or really cheap. When I tell them how far I commute from it makes their eyes really big. But I tell them that it is not too far. It is amazing that if you have an efficient bike how easy it is to go. I have gotten a few people here to bike to work, but it seems that they take it up for a while, then the novelty wears off and then they stop. Most people just look at me like I am weird.

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

I should be, but I don’t do too much other than promote it where I can with others. When they ask about it I help them find the right tools they need to make the journey. It seems that I don’t have too much time in the evening after taking care of my family.

Anything else that you want to share with us?

Just be safe, be seen, and keep on pedaling. The only bad bike is the one that is not ridden.

Thank you Gaylen for your profile, stickers will be on their way.

Note:Some of you submitted profiles but did not submit a mailing address for me to send the stickers to, if you have not received the stickers, please email me your mailing address to and I will send them to you.


  1. Jennifer July 8, 2008 11:02 am 

    I have a question about commuting to work on a bike… My commute would be a 30 mile round trip. If there is only sidewalk on the last 7 miles of my commute, (out of 15 miles) would you recommend driving half way and keeping the bike in the car- then biking the rest of the way?

  2. Ghost Rider July 8, 2008 11:14 am 

    Jennifer, you could do that — it’s referred to as a “multi-modal commute”.

    You’re a lot safer on the road with the cars than you are up on the sidewalk, though. It takes a bit of getting used to, but after a short time it will be second-nature.

    Predictability, positioning and visibility are key for mixing it up with the motorists, though. Hold your line, take up as much of the lane as you need (don’t hug the right-hand stripe) and wear bright clothing/lights/reflectives!

    If the road doesn’t allow bicycles, though, the sidewalk is always an option. It’s just not a great option, especially if there are driveways, intersections and parking lot entrances to contend with.

  3. Iron Man July 9, 2008 5:51 am 

    I really enjoyed the vibe of this post. Stress relief is a huge benefit of the bike commute. I can tell a huge difference in my mood when I ride vs when I drive. I’m just a better guy coming through the door when I get home. Now if I could find a similar stress relief for my stay-at-home wife. I may be stress free when I get home, but she’s still at work if you catch my drift. And yes I take the kids off her hands when I get cleaned up in case I was about to get pounded for that last statement. :)

    Jennifer, I’d second what Ghost said. I’m not sure if you are very experienced with cycling on the roads, but I wouldn’t let a lack of sidewalks deter you. Most of my non-cycling friends assume that the only way to get around is the sidewalk, but my experience has been that the sidewalk makes me invisible to drivers and especially dangerous if I’m using the sidewalk and going against the direction of traffic. It’s the “out of sight out of mind” principle.

    You may also be breaking the laws of your state by riding the sidewalk. Though I’ve never heard of anyone being ticketed for being on the sidewalk it could make you quite vulnerable to a lawsuit should an accident occur between you and a pedestrian. It would make their case of negligence against you all the stronger.

  4. db July 10, 2008 6:52 am 

    Stress relief is a huge benefit of the bike commute.

    +1. I’ve been working 12- to 14-hour days this week, and a couple of co-workers are surprised that I ride in when I’m putting in long hours. I explain to them:

    a. It’s the only way I can get exercise during a bad week, and;

    b. If I didn’t ride, I’d probably be venting my stress in a manner that would not benefit my co-workers. 😉

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