BikeCommuters.com

Commuter Profiles

Celebrity Commuter Profile: Bike Snob NYC

As you may know, we periodically profile fellow bicycle commuters on our site. Well, we figured we’d ask the wildly popular Bike Snob NYC to appear here, and he graciously agreed to it. BSNYC occasionally writes about his commuting experiences on his own blog, and he’s got some very interesting thoughts to share with us. So, read on! We won’t be revealing his identity, though, so folks will have to keep on guessing…

International Man of Mystery

Here is his profile:

How long have you been a bike commuter?

Off and on for the last ten years or so.

Why do you bike commute?

1) I love to ride
2) I race but I no longer have the motivation to “train” so I now get most of my mileage during the week from commuting
3) Like many New Yorkers I’m impatient and irritable and to me nothing is more frustrating than being stuck in a car, on a bus or on a subway train with no control over where you’re going and when. I suppose you could call me a transportation control freak.

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

I commute from the great borough of Brooklyn to the lesser borough of Manhattan where I have a pretend job as a full-time, highly-paid cycling blogger.

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

My commute is a mile or so shy of 20 miles round-trip. New York City has an extensive and inexpensive public transportation system which for all its flaws is a great thing to have. Even so, for relatively short distances there’s no faster way to get around in the city than by bicycle. Not only that, but on a bicycle you’re virtually immune to the delays that plague every other form of public and private transportation here. In fact, pretty much the only delays you encounter commuting by bicycle are bad weather and mechanical problems, and you can prepare for both of those. On the other hand, sitting in a stalled subway train in a tunnel underneath the East River for 20 minutes is maddening. And I’m prone to panic, so about 15 minutes into any delay I start plotting to kill and eat my fellow passengers to stay alive.

A typical commute in New York City…sharing a bike lane with garbage trucks and delivery vehicles:
The BSNYC Commute

What kind(s) of bike do you have?

A road bike, a mountain bike, a cyclocross bike, and a track bike. The cyclocross bike and the track bikes make practical yet fast commuters with some simple parts changes. I’d have a dedicated commuter, but then I wouldn’t have a place to sleep. In New York space is a limiting factor.

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

One time on the way home from an after-work road ride I accidentally got mixed up in Critical Mass. I may not be much of a racer, but I felt like an Olympic swimmer who took a wrong turn and wound up in the kiddie pool. I think I was the only person more irritated than the motorists.

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

“How can you ride a bike when it’s so hot?”
“Which bridge do you take?”
“How can you ride a bike when it’s so cold?”

Now, a bit about your blog: when you started BSNYC, did you have any idea your blog would be such a hit and would resonate with so many people? Why do you suppose this is the case?

I had absolutely no idea so many people would take to it but I’m thrilled that they have. Not to state the obvious, but I think the main reason people read it is that I write about cycling. We cyclists are obsessive by nature, and many of us are constantly seeking out cycling-related material when we’re not riding or when we’re stuck in front of a computer. As a writer I’m very lucky in that respect–it’s a seller’s market for me.

Also, as cyclists we have a unique vocabulary, a unique set of references, and a unique perspective on the world. There’s not a lot out there written for us in our language for the express purpose of entertainment, and that’s what I enjoy doing. With cycling becoming more a part of the culture it probably won’t be long before other people more talented than me start to do it as well. But in the meantime, you’ll have to make do with BSNYC.

We’ve tried injecting some humor into various posts here on Bikecommuters.com, but it is VERY hard to do successfully. How do YOU keep it fresh and humorous 5 days a week?

Uh, you guys can offer me all the panniers, pant cuff retainers, and blinky LEDs you want–I’m not giving you my secret.

Of course, the truth is some days are less fresh and humorous than others. But I just try not to think about it. It’s like riding for me–it’s something I look forward to every day and it’s fun for me.

Any predictions on what the next great bicycling fad will be?

I actually did a post on that awhile back (http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/2007/06/what-will-be-next-trendy-bike.html). Right now I feel like the not-too-distant future of trendy cycling lies in BMXs and vintage road bikes. I also think that fixed-gears will continue to morph with freestyle bikes. More and more companies will offer pre-built fixed-gear freestylers until the bottom suddenly falls out, after which only a dedicated few will continue with their bar spins, skid contests and wheelies. Eventually though it will have a resurgence and will live on as a permanent yet still ridiculous part of the cycling culture firmament. Basically it will take the same trajectory as skating and BMX did. And of course I’m sure something new will come along that will take us all by surprise.

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

Not really–I’m way too insular. But I’m very lucky and grateful for the people who are.

Anything else that you want to share with us?

Only that no matter what kind of jokes I make on my blog I regard all cyclists equally since no matter how or what we ride we all derive the same joy from it and that’s all that matters. Except for triathletes–now that’s just dorky.

Could THIS be BSNYC? Naw…we’re just kidding!
Is this BSNYC?

We’d really like to thank BSNYC for gracing us with his presence…if you’re not familiar with his blog, check it out IMMEDIATELY. It’s chock-full of witty, biting cycling humor — no bicycling faction is safe from his steely gaze!

Special Guest Appearance Coming Soon!

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!

Commuter Profile: Tim Diller

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.” 😉

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.

Commuter Profile: Quinn “Q” McLaughlin

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.

Commuter Profile: Elizabeth Adamczyk

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 “the purple demon?.

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!