BikeCommuters.com

Commute

How time distorts things.

Not too long ago it seems, I was young, had a full set of hair, and above all else, I had time. Now with 3 boys, a wife, and less time than ever I have to get creative with when I ride. My commute route began the same way most do, with the easiest way to get to work. Now its transformed into about 90% of all my riding and I love it that way.

I was a 200-300 mile a week road racer who did 3 weekly group rides and wouldn’t get on my bike if it was for less than an hour ride. Now I ride to work about 3-4 times a week for a commute that is about 12 miles each way. Not that my commute is not without its challenges, there are a few healthy inclines on the way to my work, traffic is fairly rough all the time, and the road makes 28s almost a must. Still it’s my commute and I own it.

From the tough climbs to wheel untruing potholes it became my commute. I found ways to extend it and created a few strava segments to challenge myself. I realized that my bike was horribly inadequate (read: I wanted an upgrade) so I got a nice all terrain road/cross bike. That opened the door to even more routes and made the rough patches more livable.

I demoed a mountain bike at a work event and really enjoyed riding dirt so I dusted off the old hard tail mountain bike and now I mix in a mountain bike ride as part of my weekly commute.

I haven’t really grown tired of my commute because I don’t treat it as one. It’s my time to ride, a time to myself, a small part of my day where I can test my legs and my spirit that has not changed even if time has changed everything else.

-Mannuel, KOM Bike Talk

 

A new friend

Hello Bike Commuters! So it turns out that one of the guys from my local bike shop is a bike commuter AND a Vlogger! Here is a video of him giving sound advise about bike commuting:

Check out his YouTube channel at KOM Bike Talk Shop

Book Review: The Hidden Motor the psychology of cycling

Hello fellow bike commuters! Are you enjoying bike month? I know I am, I got to ride the train for free last week! The only thing that sucked was the lack of space in the car that is specifically for cyclists, there is room for about 10 bikes but there was like 20 of us riding the train. I also found interesting the number of people that were not dressed to ride but had a bike with them, I think they were just carrying their bike for the freebie.

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Anyhow, today’s post is a little different since it is a book review. Yes a book review! and a hard copy nonetheless! The title of the book is “The hidden Motor The psychology of cycling” by Martijn Veltkamp. The author is a psychologist based in the Netherlands who happens to be a passionate cyclist.

The book focuses on how professional cyclists are able to find that “hidden motor” within themselves to push themselves harder and accomplish things that they not normally do. If you are a bike commuter who also happens to race or do competitive rides you will know what this is about. As a former downhill racer, I would say that most of the times that I raced it was mostly my mind allowing me to block some of the gnarly terrain I was riding and not being afraid of getting injured or maybe it was just plain stupidity.

But enough of my glory days and let’s get back to the book. The book cites a lot of examples of how the mind is able to surpass our physical abilities, a lot of the examples that the author referred to were of professional riders such as Coppy, Wiggin and Jalabert riding certain famous rides such as the Giro, Tour de Flanders and the Tour de France. Interestingly, I do recall watching some of the examples that the author refers to on his book.

One of my favorite chapters is called “Fear: The Fall of Wiggins”. This chapter describes how the fear of descending and crashing got a hold of Wiggins causing him to lose a lot of time on a Giro de Italia stage. Why is it my favorite? because this chapter described how to beat your fear by a simple method: Just do it. Yes, this can also apply to bike commuting and the fear of getting hit by a car. Even though that is always in the back of my mind, riding defensively, being predictable and obeying traffics laws have allow me to face this fear and continue bike commuting.

Even though general readers can read this book, I think if you happen to be a cycling aficionado you will thoroughly enjoy reading it.

Bike to work month 2017 edition

Hello Bike Commuters! May is here and you know what this means: It is bike to work month! Funny thing is, some bike commuters don’t give a shit because “every month is bike to work month”. Party poopers.

Anyhow, I have “bike to work month/week/day” to thank for trying bike commuting over 10 years ago. In fact, thanks to “B2WM”, CommutebyBike.com was born and after we were unceremoniously kicked out from CBB, BikeCommuters.com was created for your reading pleasure.

I like B2WM because all of the free stuff we can get, for example, Metrolink (the train service I use) is giving us FREE rides from May 15 to May 19. You can also find lots of freebies on Facebook, just make sure you follow your area’s bicycle organizations.

B2WM also promotes more bicycle advocacy, I like that. So party poopers, celebrate bike to work month! After all, mother’s day, father’s day or Christmas is only ONE day.

Showers? We don’t need no stinking showers!

Howdy Roadies and Mountain Bikers! This blog post is for you! You already ride a bike so why not give bike commuting a chance? Come on, you are already in shape so mileage should be no problem… what’s that? No showers at work? Really? That is your biggest excuse for not riding your bike to work? Here is a little secret; in all of 10 years of on and off bike commuting I’ve NEVER taken a shower. Why? because none of the places that I’ve ever worked had one!

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The lack of showers didn’t deter me from riding to work, why? Because of products that eliminate the need of a shower. Mind you, there was a time when I used to ride 16 miles to work so breaking a sweat was inevitable.

How do I do it? Let’s start with trying to minimize perspiration. I usually wear shorts, wicking moisture shirts and a helmet with lots of vents. I also slow the pace as I get closer to work, allowing for the breeze to cool me off and dry some of the sweat. Once I arrive at work, I usually sit in front of small fan that I have on my desk so I can air dry a little more.

I then grab my bag full of the products that you see on the pictures and head to the restroom. I dry the rest of the sweat with the towel then I spray Rocket Shower all over my body. The ingredients on the rocket shower are supposed to kill the bacteria that produce body odor but I also use the moisture wipes to clean those “hard to reach” places.

Clean clothing makes a huge difference too, I know that it can be a pain to ride with a set of extra clothes but panniers such as the Garment Pannier by Two Wheel Gear allow you to transport an entire change of clothes. Worried about wrinkles? I use the Downy wrinkle release spray.

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Worried about your hair? Having short hair certainly helps but I also use Dry shampoo to clean it up. I usually finish up with deodorant, mousse and a little bit of cologne.

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So there you go roadies and mountain bikers, stop using “There are no showers at work” as an excuse to not ride your bike to work.