Commuter Profile: Dean Peddle

From our neighbors to the North, meet Dean Peddle — longtime reader of, email correspondent and current leader in our “club” commuting pool:


How long have you been a bike commuter?

Almost 15 years now.

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

I don’t have a “feel good? story about the environment or anything like that. At the time I was still racing and I just wanted more miles. I decided, “why drive an hour each way to work and come home and ride another 3 hrs when I could just ride to work in about 1.5 – 2 hrs and get my training in then?” When I stopped racing though I continued to commute. Funny thing was I never commuted around town for errands until I took a trip to Holland and saw how it’s really done. I came home right away, purchased a Dutch bike and now do all my town errands by bike.

My commute has been different lengths over the years with different jobs. I even had a 2 month stretch where I was commuting 77kms each way to work. My current work location has been about 5 years. My commute is between 2 major cities with country roads in between. It has a little bit of everything, wide busy city roads, empty country roads, bike lanes, bike paths, steep climbs and beautiful scenery. It’s starting to get a little busy with all the new development they have done on the outskirts of my roads but the drivers are really good here. I very seldom have any problems. Living in Canada this makes it hard in the winter. In my hardcore racing days I would ride ALL winter but as I got older I became a little softer so I take January and February off. But now after seeing Dottie out there in Chicago she might inspire me again.


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

As I said above, it didn’t start out that way but it sure has taken that route lately. I remember last summer riding by the gas stations and laughing my head off every time the gas went up. I’m pretty much ready to give up my car but I will have to keep the family car for my wife and kids. Also, all the riding with the kids and wife have really helped….it is a lot of fun and the kids absolutely LOVE it. They can’t wait to get on the bike when I pick them up from daycare. Health-wise, it’s the only thing keeping me alive the way I eat. I’d be 300 lbs if it wasn’t for the bike.

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

Ahhh….guess. I’m a software developer like everyone else. I think it’s the creativity and ability to adapt to change needed in this profession that brings so many bike commuters. You really need to be creative and change quickly in this field and deciding to ride a bike to work is a real creative change. I commute between Burlington and Mississauga Ontario Canada, right outside Toronto.


What kind(s) of bike do you have?

Well, with almost 15 years of commuting the list is big. I have 6 bikes….one for each occasion as I like to say. I have an old racing bike I still like to take out on fast group rides or centuries Cannondale R5000 with Dura – Ace 10 sp and Cosmic Carbone wheels. I converted my old Litespeed Appalachian cyclocross bike into a fixed gear using the White Industries ENO hub for commuting to work. I also added a Dynohub to this after using this on my Dutch bike cause I liked it so much.


My other favorite is my Dutch bike that I use for all my errands around town. It is so nice to be able to ride in normal clothes and I’ve started to tackle more and longer rides on this so I don’t need to wear my bike clothes. It’s a Breezer Uptown 8 with fenders, full chainguard, ring lock, dynamo hub, lights and panniers.


I also have an old Cramerotti cyclocross bike I like to use for winter and rain riding and of course an old fixed gear bike for riding in the winter. I have now added a Dahon Hon Solo fixed gear fold-up bike for taking on trains or if I’m bumming a ride from someone. It’s pretty cool and fun to ride with it’s leather saddle and grips and wood fenders and chaniguard. As you can see I’m a big fan of fixed gears. 3 of my 6 bikes are fixed with plans to replace my Cannondale next year with the new Trek District Carbon. I love riding them and even challenged myself to complete a double century on one this year. I did make it but my knees were a little sore…



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

One time me and a friend were out for a ride and someone hooked us really bad in his car. My friend being the type A personality that he is chased him down and when he got beside him the driver said “when you start paying taxes I’ll start giving you more respect.? I think this caught my friend by surprise seeing he probably pays more money in tax then this guy makes in a year. Needless to say I called my accountant that night and said “I don’t have to pay taxes anymore….I ride a bicycle!!!? I mean come on, I heard it from someone that drives a car….it must be true…he has to be smart. This just shows you the mentality of the people out there operating heavy machinery so BE CAREFUL.


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

Well as you can imagine I have a long commute so most people don’t even believe me. Of course I get the “you’re crazy? comments, especially in the cold months. I like to say to people “It only seems impossible until you try it.? It is amazing to see a child who can adapt so easily to any situation but an adult has such a huge problem changing and will find any excuse not to.

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

Not really….I would like to but I guess I’m just not the type. I did attend our city’s “Bicycle Master Plan? meeting which included a great job they are going to do for our city to make it very “Dutch? as we are a sister city with Appledorn Holland and we had a traffic engineer from there design our plan. I made a few comments about what problems they would face as I’ve ridden in Holland many times since my wife is Dutch but nobody really understood “what? I was saying.

Anything else that you want to share with us?

I guess as I stated above….Just BE CAREFUL. It’s amazing what kind of people are allowed to drive cars. Also be more adaptive and add more bikes. For years I was a die-hard roadie with a narrow mind until I took a trip to Holland. Heck, before Holland I didn’t even think you could ride a bike without bike clothes….now I very seldom wear bike clothes. Also, there is no bike that can do “everything? so buy a bike for each occasion. It is so much fun! Of course my wife doesn’t think so. But hey….I don’t spend money on cars so why not bikes !!!!

We’d like to thank Dean for sending in his profile and photos to share…he indicated that he’d send additional “winter action” photos for our enjoyment when the cold weather comes, so stay tuned!


  1. Trisha August 30, 2009 9:18 pm 

    Yay Dean — loved reading more about you and your bikes (great collection!).

  2. Ghost Rider August 31, 2009 6:29 am 

    That’s a great fleet — I particularly like the Cramerotti and the Hon Solo…lovely!

    Looking forward to some winter action photos, too.

  3. Iron Man August 31, 2009 6:44 am 

    Unreal! What a brute. 77 one way? Aint no kid gonna get to whine in that house about doing their chores. Really very inspiring.

    Peddle? Seriously? Talk about destiny.

  4. Dean Peddle August 31, 2009 7:21 am 

    Iron Man…yes it was a brute….It was long ago when I was young and dumb. It actually took 3hrs each way meaning I spent 6hrs a day commuting. It was obviously pre kids and wife.

    Ghost…now you’ve put me on the spot and I have to ride all winter to get pictures :) Also, surprising you like the Cramerotti…you must be a purist. It’s actually going to get an overhaul this fall, putting 2 piece Ultegra crank with cups (easier to change each winter) a look ergo stem to move me in a better position and some ergon grips. I may have to put a Brooks saddle on it also seeing it’s the only bike I have without one and it feels left out. Also, if you look closely you will notice it has the old Mavic Helium wheelset.

    Trisha, as you know I love your blog. What I can’t understand is how you and Dottie get by on just 2 bikes ? I can’t remember the last time I had only 2 bikes :) Well, I have plans to add another to the fleet next year…I’m in love with the new Trek District Carbon.

  5. Ghost Rider August 31, 2009 8:14 am 

    I don’t know about “purist”, but I do love me some Italian bikes…the more classic, the better. I like rainbikes, too — mine is a 1971 French Astra with the original stainless steel fenders.

  6. jdmitch August 31, 2009 8:23 am 


    I have to say, I’m jealous of the stable.

    I do have a couple questions:
    On your “dutch” bike, what kid seats are those? Do you have more than two kids now, or is the trailer for “groceries” and such?

  7. Dean Peddle August 31, 2009 10:24 am 

    Ghost…that is a sweet ride and I know what you mean. If you like the italian bikes you’d be happy to know I used to race on a Colnago Master Light steel bike with crome lugs and forks…man that thing was beautiful and I kick myself everyday for selling it.

    JD…no…those are my only 2 kids thank god :) I just hooked the trailer up for the picture stating this is my SUV. I have ridden this was with some of my friends kids but usually I either hook up the seats or hook up the trailer…not both. I prefer to use the bike seats as it is much easier and I can talk to my kids. They are stait from Holland as I brought the bike there and had them fit them there. The front is a bo-bike and the back is a GMC I think. I didn’t get the bo-bike for the back cause I wanted to still be able to use the panniers and this isn’t possible with this seat…only with the GMC. These seat are great and just clip off in seconds. I don’t know about the States but you can get the bo-bikes at a store in Toronto called Curbside Cycle.

  8. kiefmoon August 31, 2009 11:09 am 

    I’m intrigued by your statements about “how it’s done” in Holland. Having never been there, and seeing only your pics and comments about your bike, I feel like I’m missing something…
    Do you mind going into more detail about the “Dutch Way?”

  9. Elizabeth August 31, 2009 11:12 am 

    Dean, Thanks for sharing. You know my first two Chicago winters I commuted on my “do-it-all” old Schwinn (shown here –
    Just this past winter (with our added snowfall and less street plowing/salting), I found the need to add to the fleet. I love that every bike serves its purpose. :-)

  10. Ghost Rider August 31, 2009 11:52 am 

    I’m interested in hearing Dean’s thoughts about the “Dutch Way”, too…but I suspect he means that the Dutch just ride their bikes as a practical, everyday transportation solution. No forethought, no “keepin’ it green”, no fancy sport clothes or expensive components — they just get out there and do it.

    I hear the Netherlands, particularly Amsterdam, has a HUGE problem with sufficient bicycle parking. That’s something being addressed here in the States: several bike-advocates indicate that if we had more secure parking, more people would choose to ride bikes. I don’t think it’s as simple as all that, though — we’ve got to counter X years of ingrained “car culture” before we see real progress in the U.S.

    And, as for maintaining “a bike for every occasion”, I’m all for it. My wife jokes that I spend more time deciding which bike to ride to work than I do on what I’m going to wear!!!

  11. Dean Peddle August 31, 2009 12:58 pm 

    Elizabeth, I remember reading that article. Our winters are the same as Chicago’s so I don’t know what Ghost is expecting from me…I can’t get better shots than that :)

    Ghost, you hit the nail on the head. You should see the struggles I go thru every morning deciding what bike to take to work.

    Kiefmoon, Ghost summed it up nicely. I posted about this on “Lovely Bicycling” site a few days ago. I have family over there and when I talk to them about there bikes they really don’t care…it’s just transportation for them.

    I would just add to the “Dutch” way is they way they think about transportation. In Holland when they need to go somewhere they think bike first then train. They don’t even consider the car unless they have to. In North America it’s quite the opposite order, Car first, public transit and last bike. You just need to watch the youtube videos to see. Holland is just bikes everywhere. When I ride here with my 2 kids on the bike I get so many looks. But in Holland everyone is doing this. And it is mostly woman riding this way. I’ve even seen double seats on the back and 1 on the front. If you love bicycles then its an incredible place to visit. Plus, if you want to see bike stores !!!! The town my family is from just outside of Amsterdam has the most incredible bike store I’ve ever seen. It’s the size of a Sears with 2 levels and even a test track around the bikes so you can ride them. I would spend hours in there on multiple days….my wife thought I was nuts. Heres the link

  12. Dean Peddle August 31, 2009 1:07 pm 

    Sorry..the link I gave is in Dutch so let me help. If you’d like to see a slide show of what the store looks like click on “Winkel” on the top menu. Then click on “Maak een rondgang door de winkel” on the bottom of that page and be prepared to drool.

  13. Gordon August 31, 2009 8:33 pm 

    Dean thanks for sharing your profile. For those of you using Google toolbar, you should be able to translate the site.

  14. 100poundsago September 1, 2009 4:31 am 

    What about when you get to work? Is there a place for showering and changing? What do you do, or how do you secure your ride when you get there?

  15. Dean Peddle September 1, 2009 6:59 am 

    100poundsago, my work has a fitness center with showers and lockers. So I store clothes at work and shower here. For storing my bike I actually leave my car at work all the time in the parking garage and either put the bike on the bike rack or in the car….or fold up in the trunk…it just depends on what bike I ride. If I ride big Dutch then I’m stuck locking to the bike racks here. They are pretty good here, we have a 24hr building cause of call centers so they don’t give me any trouble with leaving my car here. It sit there for months without moving…its really just a locker room for my bike :)

  16. Stephen Fisher September 1, 2009 3:23 pm 

    Dean – did I just pass you at Appleby and Uppermiddle at 6PM tonight?
    I just read this article and I see so few people commuting in Burlington – I thought it was great to read your article. Keep it up – I have been at it for 1.5 years now.

  17. Dean Peddle September 1, 2009 6:02 pm 

    OMG…that is hilarious. Yes…I was at that location at that time!! I didn’t see anyone biking in that area….were you in the car? Yes…it is surprising Burlington doesn’t get more commuters…we have pretty good bike infrastructure. I hope you noticed the one photo in my profile of Appleby and Dundas. Anyways keep up the commute and hope to see your profile next. Its such a small world.

  18. Steve September 1, 2009 9:20 pm 

    I like the thought of a bike for all occasions…I just need more occasions. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the I need to start paying taxes for the road story. Maybe a “my other bike is a truck jersey” is in order.

  19. Dottie September 2, 2009 11:40 am 

    Dean, it’s fantastic to read your story and see pictures of all your bikes. Your folder is super sweet with the wood fenders, as is your Breezer with the kids. With 15 years of cycling, you are the inspiration!

  20. Guy September 2, 2009 12:01 pm 

    Great profile. Wish I had more in the stable.

  21. Dean Peddle September 2, 2009 5:51 pm 

    Aww…thanks Dottie, that’s very flattering…but unfortunatly it just means I’m OLD :) The truth is I’ve seen the ages of youself and Trisha on your site and the Bike Skirt girls and I pretty much started riding about the same age as you all. But we all get our inspiration different ways and for me I love hearing from the newbies, your site, bike skirt and other and reading all the profiles on here. You guys/gals bring fresh new ideas which is refreshing so keep it up….I’m old and stubborn.

    Also, I didn’t really make this point in my profile but I ride cause I LOVE it. And I’m sure that anyone reading or writing Bike blogs feels the same way and that’s all it takes to stick with it.

    Anyways….thanks to everyone for the wonderful comments and keep riding, it’s fun, healthly and saves money (makes you wonder why everyones not doing it).

  22. Ev September 11, 2009 6:45 pm 

    Hi Dean, greetings from a fellow canuck! Biking year round in Toronto is pretty impressive. My coworkers think I’m hardcore for riding everyday in Victoria (although I tend to wuss-out when the snow falls for a couple of days).

  23. Milo March 17, 2010 7:58 am 

    Kiefmoon and Ghostrider –

    Go to You Tube and look up ‘Waltz of the bikes’. This is a docu filmed by an American in Amsterdam and put together by Mike Rubbo – an Australian documantary film-maker. Like Dutch miniature painting, this jewel of a portrait shows the naturalness, the richness of the ‘Dutch way.’
    You might also check Copenhagen Cycle Chic, a slightly over the top but seriously funny Danish take on the ‘Danish Way.’

    Dean Peddle, I’d love to say something to you, but I don’t know where to begin. So I’ll back away in silence, bow quietly and leave the room!


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