Commuter Profile:’s newest member, Matt Dykstra

Please join us in welcoming Matt Dykstra to the team! What better way to introduce Matt than to publish one of our long-running-series “commuter profiles”. Read on to learn a little more about Matt, and stay tuned for his unique perspective on commuting…he’ll be publishing articles shortly right here.

Name: Matt Dykstra


How long have you been a bike commuter?

I’ve been bike commuting at least part-time since 2007, and switched over to most-of-the-time in 2008 when my wife and I decided to become a one-car family. I’ve always biked when I could though – I biked to middle school and high school a lot, and didn’t own a car during college.

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

I started riding to work because I wasn’t getting any biking in at all. I felt like I needed more exercise and I thought I could do it. Also, I was embarrassed because two of my (much older) coworkers biked in all the time and I didn’t!

My first commute was 17 miles into Washington D.C. – I generally did a bike/metro combo on the way in and biked all the way home. My current commute is 6 miles, mostly on the Washington and Old Dominion Trail. It’s a pretty pleasant commute most of the time.

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

I’m a manager for a government contracting company. I sit (either in front of a computer or in meetings) all day, which I don’t really enjoy – biking at least 3-4 days a week is essential for my health and sanity! I currently work in Sterling, VA – about 30 miles away from Washington, D.C.


What kind(s) of bike do you have?

This is actually a tough question! I do a lot of bike building/repairing so my bike fleet changes pretty constantly (It’s at 8 bikes right now). My primary bikes are a 700c geared commuter and a 29er single speed mountain bike. I also have a 26er mtb single speed and a road single speed under construction, plus a few others I’m planning to fix up eventually. Yes, I’m into big wheels and one gear…


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

Last winter my area got 10 inches of snow in about 3 hours, starting around 3 or 4pm. When I compared notes with coworkers later, it turned out that my hour-long (normally 30 minute) ride home was by FAR the quickest commute anyone had that day – one of my coworkers who only lived a couple miles from me took 6 hours to get home in his truck, and a few had to stay in hotels overnight!

I’ve almost been hit by suicidal deer and squirrels several times, but so far have avoided hitting or killing anything mammalian.

Snowy Commute

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

1) Wow! I didn’t think you could ride here.
2) What do you do about showers?
3) You didn’t ride in TODAY, did you??!
4) Do you wear a helmet?

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

I’m a member of WABA, MORE, and my town’s Pedestrian and Bicyclist Advisory Committee (PBAC). Advocacy – especially at the local level – is really important to me, and I’m working on making my time and money back that statement up.

Anything else that you want to share with us?

I have my own blog that I try to write in fairly regularly – Daddy Rides Bikes. My wife Adrienne and I have two beautiful and energetic girls, J (3) and R (8 mos) – Adrienne is a stay-at-home mom and they keep her very busy! We also have a 7-year-old dog, Otis – who regularly gets abused by the human children, but adores them anyway. Adrienne and I both grew up in Massachusetts, so we’re legitimate Boston sports fans. We live in Herndon, VA and have a small house with a big yard and a big garage.

The Dykstra clan:
Fam at Christmas


  1. hermes

    8 bikes? I’m jealous.


  2. Matt

    @ Hermes –

    Ha, you notice how many I said are functional though?? I rarely have more than 3-4 I can actually ride… and no guarantees any of them are particularly schnazzy 🙂

  3. Iron_Man

    Man, if I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard, “3) You didn’t ride in TODAY, did you??!” I could buy a couple of Dario Pegoretti’s bikes. I particularly find it strange to hear that question when I’m standing there with bike in hand.

  4. Mir.I.Am

    @Iron_Man – or how about today my boss asked me, “How come you rode your bike in today, it’s raining!?”… I said, “What am I supposed to do, walk?” Not all of us have a car to get to work and sometimes it baffles the mind of our employers.

    Welcome aboard Matt, I’m scared… Boston Sports’ fans can be INTENSE! First hand knowledge, I live with one!

  5. Ghost Rider

    Some of you have probably heard this story before, but I had a guy at my old job ask me “Did you ride today?” EVERY day he saw me (which was like 4 days a week).

    It got to the point of me saying (somewhat snarkily), “well, I don’t have a car, so if I’m here I rode my bike.”

  6. Steve A

    I want to see something here about dealing with electrical storms. Is there ANY strategy other than to simply wait them out?

  7. Ghost Rider

    @Steve A — ride in a zigzag fashion. No, seriously, there’s no other strategy than the one you mentioned. You may find the following article interesting, however:

  8. Iron_Man

    @Mir.I.Am, I live in muggy SW Missouri. I hear all the time, “Did you ride in today?! There’s rain in the forecast!” Like I don’t follow the weather report. Anyway, this is SW Missouri. There’s always a 20% chance of rain. The sun could be going supernova, burning up the atmosphere, and there’d still be a 20% chance of rain here. I tell them that all I need is a 40 minute window or clear skies and even on a rainy day I’m more likely than not to get that. I might have to wait, or take off sooner, but I can usually get my clear ride.

  9. Tom

    Welcome, Matt! I’ve seen you around Herndon, yes? It’s great to have a local bike commuter on BikeCommuters!

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