Category: Commuter Profiles

We’ve got a wonderful post-Thanksgiving treat for our readers…a special guest profile from someone who’s getting a LOT of attention in the blogging world!

Mystery Guest

We think you’ll enjoy the profile, so stay tuned…and in the meantime, have a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday from all of us here at Bikecommuters.com/MTNbikeriders.com!

From Austin TX, meet fellow commuter Tim Diller:

How long have you been a bike commuter?
I’ve been biking for transportation ever since high school, so let’s call it 19 years minus 5 years when I lived near Greenville, SC where to commute to work would have been quite close to suicide. My commutes have been in Austin, TX and between Arlington and Cambridge, MA.


What do you do and what city do you bike commute?

Now I’m in my second round of graduate school at the University of Texas in Austin, studying for a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. My research is focused on cleaning up the particulate emissions for heavy duty diesel engines.

Why did you start riding your bike to work and how long is your commute?
I started riding (again) because I wanted to and I couldn’t afford to keep, maintain, and feed a second car. I ride 9km each way. About half the ride is along Shoal Creek Blvd, a shaded, bike-friendly, and bike-commuter dense road. The second half is mixed commercial/residential.

What kind of bikes do you have?
My main ride is a new (coming up on 1000km) Dynamic Crosstown 7 (notable for its shaft drive), which I have come to really love after some initial hiccups. I bought it to replace a worn out Trek 820 that used to be a mountain bike but that I heavily modified for commuting. In the end, it needed an entire new drivetrain, which would have cost more than the bike was intrinsically worth. I also have a Cannondale Criterium roadie that I pull out for occasional longer rides. (I rode the Pan-Mass Challenge 3 years.) I used to throw it in my trunk and ride on the lunch hour during my South Carolina dry-spell. Last of all, I sometimes ride my wife’s Raleigh C30 hybrid.

Any experience that you can share with us about ‘learning the hard way’?
During my 2-1/2 years of commuting through Boston traffic, I learned to give parked cars a wide berth to avoid getting doored or backed into by angle-parked cars. Fortunately, I’ve never hit a car. My closest experience was having a lady open her car door in front of my and stopping with less than an inch to spare. I’m not sure who was more scared, me or her. I kind of wish I had hit the door…

What do people say when you tell them that you are a bike commuter?
Usually they say something along the lines of “Oh, I should do that, too.” or “You’ve really trimmed up since you came back to school.” 馃槈

Do you have a funny story or a weird experience that you want to share?
Not so much, but I want to send a picture of a pretty cool bike train I made one day when I had to get my two older kids to their school while my wife was out of town. My bike pulled a tag-along trailer with my 7-yr-old son, who pulled my 4-yr-old daughter in an enclosed trailer which had a carseat and backpacks in the trunk. We turned a few heads and got some big smiles at the school, which is a pretty progressive crunchy-type one-day-a-week homeschool coop.

Anything that you want to share with us?

Can I give you guys a review of my Crosstown 7? It’s a little unusual with its shaft drive and is available only online, so user reviews not on the Dynamic site would be valuable, I think. I wrote a 100km review already, and I want to do a 1000km follow up.

We want to thank Tim for his time and pictures. And yes, please send us over your 1000KM review of the Crosstown.

Meet Q…that’s right. We’ve renamed Quinn as “Q.” Sounds cool eh? We asked Q if he’d be interested in being part of the Commuter Profile, sho-nuff he obliged kindly. Read below!

How long have you been a bike commuter?
Commuter- just over a year. Cyclist – 11 yrs

What do you do and what city do you bike commute?

I am a Direct Support social worker.I live and commute in Reno, NV

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

Gas and insurance costing Too much it is just as easy to get around town. I need to stay fit due to having Spina bifida.I have an 16 mile RT.

What kind of bikes do you have?

’08 Kona Jake, ’07 Raleigh XXIX,’02 Diamondback Sorrento


Any experience that you can share with us about ‘learning the hard way?

Get appropriate clothing before you end up taking a month off work, with a 10 day hospital stay due to pneumonia.


What do people say when you tell them that you are a bike commuter?

Aren’t you hot/cold? It must suck to have a disability and have to ride.

Anything that you want to share with us?

All my cycling buddies I’m known as Crash. Oh and the bike names- Frank- Franken-bike

Thanks Q for sending us your profile. If you’re interested in being featured in our Commuter Profile, simply send us an email HERE.

Meet Elizabeth Adamczyk — Elizabeth is a circulation supervisor for Northwestern University Library’s Chicago campus branch and is also a dedicated bike commuter. Here is her profile:

Elizabeth Adamczyk

Why do you bike commute?
Living in Chicago, it’s just so much easier to hop on my bike in the morning and go. I never looked forward to the crowded bus or EL ride (or the long wait for public transit). Riding my bike is my favorite part of the day, plus it has cut my commute time almost in half.

How long have you been bike commuting?
My commute started as something of convenience on “nice” days a few years ago. I was a fair-weather cyclist for a while. But once I got the right gear and fenders, I now opt to commute year round. (Last year was my first Bike Winter.)

Chicago skyline

What kind of bikes do you have?
I have a Jamis Nova cyclocross that I now primarily ride on weekends. My commuter bike is my old Schwinn Sprint from the early 90s. It’s “the tank” or 鈥渢he purple demon鈥?.

How long is your commute?
My commute usually takes me close to 5 miles each way, around 25 minutes.

Any funny or interesting story that you may want to share.
First off, in the winter I wear a screaming yellow color jacket. The guy
driving the garbage truck in my alley waved and smiled at me as I trudged my bike past him and his truck through the unplowed alley to the street. He thought I was nuts for riding in such weather. Then he told me he wished more bikers stood out as much as I do with my lights and bright clothing. He also told me to be safe out there. I asked him to watch out for me and fellow bikers on the road. From that day on, he has always nodded at me when we pass each other. What a great way to start that day.

Last winter I struggled with keeping my fingers and toes warm. I remember being almost to work one morning and my fingers were SOOO cold that I could barely use them to apply my brakes. When I finally got indoors, my only thoughts were not that ‘it’s too cold to ride’ but rather ‘what more can I do to keep my fingers warm? I don’t want to stop riding because of my cold fingers!!!’ I was feeling desperate for a solution. Somehow I made it through — mittens and hand warmers (on the coldest of days) helped. Thank goodness… and I’m still riding.

Lincoln Ave.

What do people say when you tell them that you are a bike commuter?
Most people first ask me where I live that I commute by bike. Usually they’re more surprised when they find out I ride year-round and don’t plan to garage my bike for the winter.

Do you have an ‘advanced commuter tip’?
Stay alert. It’s not really an advanced tip, but it’s one that even I need
to remember. All it takes is a moment of daydreaming to get into a really bad situation — like running into a pothole or getting doored or carelessly crossing an intersection.

Lincoln Ave. southbound

Anything that you may want to add?
Bicycling has completely changed my life — for the better. I truly believe that the world just looks better from the saddle. To quote the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, “The more you bike, the better your world.”

Also, I advocate sharing the road. The Ride of Silence is a worldwide event that takes place in May to recognize fallen cyclists and the legal sharing of the road. Look for your local Ride of Silence or organize one in your community. Let the silence roar(http://www.rideofsilence.org).

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Thanks, Elizabeth, for sharing your profile and insights and your excellent pictures of Chicago!

If you want to be profiled on Bikecommuters.com, just send us an email!

Meet fellow Bike Commuter David Byrd, also known as “DB” when he posts comments. Here’s his Commuter Profile:

David Byrd
DB
How long have you been a bike commuter?
Off and on, about 8 years now. I had a two-year stretch, though, where I wasn’t able to bike commute because of my job. I’m averaging 3-4 days per week, and hope to maintain that year-round.

David Byrd
Nice quiet street

What do you do and what city do you bike commute?
I’m a technical writer in Boise, Idaho. We design and write user documentation for client companies that develop hardware and software. Boise is trying hard to be a good biking city.

David Byrd
Main drag
Why did you start riding your bike to work and how long is your commute?
I started to ride basically because I wanted to save gas and exercise more. I already had two mountain bikes at that time, so I converted the older, cro-moly Trek into a commuter by adding a rear rack, panniers, and slick tires.

Currently my commute is 15-16 miles round-trip, depending on what options I take during my ride. About 3-4 miles of the round-trip is on a multi-user path (MUP), and the rest is on a mix of residential and busier city streets.

David Byrd
Bridge over water creek
What kind of bikes do you have?

  • 路 My primary commute ride is a Morgul-Bismark Manx road bike. I ride this bike for fitness as well, so it also sees some training and charity rides.
    路 My backup commuter is that Trek 820 mountain bike that I converted. I use it if the weather’s gonna be wet, if my back is giving me a hard time, or if I need to haul more stuff than usual to and from work. I will switch to it as my primary bike when winter arrives.
    路 I also have a Gary Fisher Hoo-Koo-E-Koo mountain bike that I use almost exclusively off-trail. I’ve probably used it to commute twice in the 10 years that I’ve owned it. I don’t like running knobbies on asphalt.
  • Any experience that you can share with us about ‘learning the hard way’?
    I’ve been really fortunate in that I haven’t had a lot of horrific events. I’ve learned to make sure that I have a backup light when biking, because my front light always burns out 5 minutes into my 30-minute ride. And that front light is critical not just for seeing the road, but for oncoming cars spotting you. The closest call I’ve had with a car was when a motorist turned left in front of me at 7 a.m., after my lamp had gone out. I couldn鈥檛 really get upset with him/her in that case.

    David Byrd
    Riding the bridge over MUP

    What do people say when you tell them that you are a bike commuter?
    Not much. There is a pretty strong, visible bike community here, so even if people don’t bike, they usually know someone who does. I work within walking distance of the HP campus here, and that site tends to attract a number of bike commuters. My family, friends, and co-workers are supportive. I get the occasional “You’re crazy” when I ride in the rain or when it’s going to be 105 degrees, but other than that, they encourage me.

    Do you have a funny story or a weird experience that you want to share?
    More weird than funny. I hit a squirrel this year. I was lucky in that as fast as I was going, I didn’t lose control when he and my front wheel met, and the squirrel survived as well. In Boise, I see a lot of animals that most city dwellers won’t see — deer, coyotes, foxes, herons, eagles. Another plus to riding instead of driving.

    Anything that you want to share with us?
    I’m a pretty strong advocate of vehicular cycling.
    路 Whether you’re out there as a commuter or recreational rider, act like you belong there, and follow the rules for vehicles.
    路 Don’t blow through stop lights or stop signs if there’s other traffic present. At the very least, slow down when approaching traffic control.
    路 Be predictable: use hand signals for turns to communicate with motorists.
    路 Know your state’s traffic regulations for bicycles.
    路 Put yourself where the drivers are most likely to see you. I see a lot of wrong-way and/or sidewalk riders in my town, and I think those are really good ways of getting hurt.

    We want to thank David for his time and for sharing pictures of himself and his commute.