Category: Commuter Profiles

Here’s Dan Gentry’s commuter profile, he is also know as Dan On Bike. He’s a fellow blogger and bike commuter from West Lafayette, IN.

Dan On Bike

How long have you been a bike commuter?
I started in the late 90s, but it was about four years ago that I really got into it. It was only in the mid 90s when I returned to cycling after many years out of the saddle. My sister convinced me to give it a try.

Lafayette at Night

What do you do and what city do you bike commute?
I’m the director of one of the many IT departments at a major Midwestern university. West Lafayette, IN is a great bike town, and the surrounding countryside offers many miles of quiet roads with great scenery.

Why did you start riding your bike to work and how long is your commute?
The idea of not taking my car to work seemed outrageous at the time, so I tried it for the eccentricity factor. It turned out to be fun. Now, taking the car feels like the crazy thing to do.

I live just 3.5 miles from my office, which I cover in about 20 minutes. With parking ($240/year), it takes around 10 minutes by car. For the ride home, I usually take a longer route.

When the weather is nice, I can ride in 3 or 4 times a week, but I put in a lot less when it is cold or wet.

What kind of bikes do you have?
My commuter bike is a 10-year old Trek 820 with sensible street tires and platform pedals. I’ve amassed quite a collection of panniers and messenger bags that I use to carry my ride home clothes and various electronics.

Last fall, I added a road bike to the mix. I find the Trek Pilot 1.0 to be very comfortable and fun to ride.

Any experience that you can share with us about ‘learning the hard way’?
Taking the lane can help everyone act more safely. I complain a lot about people passing me unsafely, and I’ve found that if I move more to the left, those drivers are less likely to pass at a bad time if they have to use more of the oncoming lane to do it.

What do people say when you tell them that you are a bike commuter?
I used to get responses like “that’s a long way” or “you’re a brave man”, but now I think people are just tired of hearing about it. It would be fun to make the same remarks to auto drivers. “You drove all the way from home?” “Aren’t you afraid of the semi trucks?” “What if it rains?”

Do you have an “advanced commuter tip”?

I don’t really feel advanced. I just point the bike East and pedal.

Anything that you want to share with us
To anyone thinking about commuting by bicycle, I would recommend starting small. Don’t vow to sell your car and only use the bike for all transportation. Instead, shoot for a few times a month in the spring (or whenever the weather is best in your area). Try out the route on a quiet Sunday morning before riding for real on Monday. Just ride on the easy days. You will find that issues involving wardrobe, schedule, and equipment will become clear as you gain experience.

Many thanks to Dan for sharing his story and also his pictures. Check out his blog at

Meet Henry, he uses one of my favorite bikes to ride to work. Henry is also involved with the LACBC and he is a frequent indirect contributor to this site. Here’s his commuter profile:


How long have you been a bike commuter?
On and off since high school. I got more serious about it since I
started working. It’s 15 years from during high school.

What do you do and what city do you bike commute.
Ever since I started bicycle commuting, I have been a student,
computer programmer, student again, and now marketer. I have bike
commuted in: (most in CA unless noted) Torrance, Westwood, Pasadena,
Tucson AZ, La Habra, Long Beach, and now across the great city of Los


Why did you start riding your bike to work and how long is your commute?
During high school and college, I lived within walking distance from
school, but it was much faster by bike and parking was always an issue
(especially at UCLA). When I worked as a computer programmer, my
commute was 2.5 miles one way. I don’t know why I continued to
bicycle commute, but maybe because I just like riding. I saved a lot
of money on not having to buy parking permit every month and on fuel
cost that way. My commute now is way too long: 26 miles one way. I
just started this commute, but I am doing: bike 1/2 mi, take
920/720/20 bus, to Red Line, to Blue Line, then bike another 1 mi to
work from a Blue Line station. In summary, my bike portion is about 3
miles round trip, but there are a 2 steep hills to climb on the way

What kind of bikes do you have?
I have a road bike (in Tucson), 2 folding bikes, and a mountain bike.
I would like to get a triathlon bike sometime in the near future.


Do you get teased about riding a ‘little bike’?
Not really. I get more of curious looks and questions, such as “is it
harder/slower to ride that?” or “what kinda bike is that?”

What are the advantages of riding a folding bike?
1) When taking public transport: According to Metro (LA county’s
transportation agency), you can take folding bike on any of the Metro
train or bus ANYTIME, as long as there is room. With the non-folding
bikes, there are time restrictions on the train and you are
out-of-luck if the bike racks on the buses are full.
2) When car commuting: you can easily fold the bike into the trunk of
your car and not have to worry about bike racks or leaving your car
with the bike on the outside. This allows for easier car/bike
commute, which I did for a while when I lived in La Habra where public
transport isn’t as accessible as Los Angeles.
3) Bumming a ride: if for any reason you need to bum a ride from a
friend, it’s very easy to do with a folding bike. All you need is
some room in the trunk. I have definitely benefited from this when I
was out late or it started pouring rain.
4) Storage: if you don’t have a lot of space, folding bike typically
takes up less space.
5) Air travel: Supposedly, you can pack a folding bike into some
slightly oversize suite cases check-in as luggage without additional
airline fees. I have done this only once.

Any experience that you can share with us about ‘learning the hard way’?
Lock your bike well with a good U-Lock. Like the video featured on
the BikeCommuter’s blog, thief can steal in the broad-daylight. Your
only protection is to have a good luck so that the thief will move on
to easier target. I have lost 2 bikes before with cable locks… You
would think I learned, but apparently not.

What do people say when you tell them that you are a bike commuter?
Most people are amazed and wonder how I do it. Some people think I am
“too healthy”, I don’t think I am even close to a term like that, but
given that most American are overweight, I guess I could qualify in
that respect.

Do you have an “advanced commuter tip”?
This is not really “advanced”, but I advocate for always wearing a
helmet while cycling. I have been saved by my helmet once from my own
stupidity and another time from a careless (possibly drunk) driver, so
you never know. Even if you think you are the best and safest rider
in the world, you can’t predict what other people are going to do.


Anything that you want to share with us
Besides commuting, I really enjoy bike touring. I have done a
California AIDS ride, and also a 6 day self-supported bike ride.
Those are the best days. However, my lower back had been injured and
are out of shape so any long distance riding isn’t too good for me…
until I recondition my back. In the last few years, I also enjoy
doing triathlon for fun, but I am a bit out of shape for that too now.
Before that, I also used to mountain bike, but my mountain bike now
just collects dust.

Check out his personal blog at:

Thank you Henry for your time.

Drew Bryden

Drew Bryden is a 38 year old auto parts sales person that rides in Falmouth, MA. Here’s his commuter profile:

How long have you been a bike commuter?

I began riding my bicycles to work six or seven years ago. I have been a fair weather bicycle commuter since. By “fair weather,” I am admitting that I do not ride when severe storms are in the forecast, and I am not an all winter rider. Although I am geared up for winter riding, I have yet to attempt the ride when the thermometer dips well below freezing.

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

I commute in Falmouth, Massachusetts, where I sell auto parts. Is there some conflict in riding my bicycle to an auto parts store each day in my Cars-R-Coffins socks?

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

At the time, riding my bicycle to work seemed a natural extension of my fitness routine. Not to mention that road traffic can be a real headache. I was living on Cape Cod and working on the mainland when I started cycling to work. The bridges on and off Cape are known for their summer-time traffic snarls, and I was getting sick of sitting in my vehicle for 40 minutes of what should have been a 15 minute commute. The same bicycle commute never took me more than 25 minutes. Plus, I quickly found that the scenic route to work was a relaxing way to start the day. My attitude is much better when I pedal to work.

Today, my bicycle commute is 7 miles each way. I live 5 miles from my workplace, but I take a 2 mile detour to avoid main roads where I have been harassed by a few moronic motorists.

What kind of bikes do you have?

I have two primary commuter bikes: a Trek 7500fx, and a Bianchi Volpe. Although I have had both bikes equipped with fenders over the years, I now keep fenders on my Trek for foul weather days and the Bianchi has become my fair weather ride.

In addition to these two, I have a Raleigh M50 hardtail mountain bike equipped with road slicks and a rear rack (my winter “beater”), a Specialized Stumpjumper (my dedicated off-road bike), and several antiques: a 60’s vintage Raleigh Sport 3 speed, a 60’s vintage Triumph 3 speed, and a late 60’s or early 70’s Nishiki 5 speed.

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

Any bike-commuter guide worth its weight will tell you to allow for some extra time (15 or 20 minutes) in addition to your normal ride time when commuting by bicycle. This extra time allows for unplanned events (tire flats, etc.) and clean up/ dress time when you get to work. It took me a while to realize that it was much easier (and more relaxing) to work this 20 minute cushion into my commute than it was to race the clock and arrive to work sweaty, with little time to spare.

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

Many people say “I wish I could do something like that!” to which I reply, “You can!” I also get the same repeated questions: “How far do you ride?” and “You ride every day!?!?”

Do you have an “advanced commuter tip”?

I work in the automotive industry– not an industry conducive to having the cleanest bathrooms (cars, trucks and their parts are dirty). Heavy foot traffic can make the floors very messy in a couple of days’ time (especially in winter). I discovered a helpful trick early on that helps me keep my feet clean while cleaning up and changing my clothes. I keep a flattened cardboard box stashed to lay out on the floor as my own personal floor covering when getting ready. It keeps my socks and feet clean, and the box can easily be replaced on a regular basis. For me, starting the day off feeling clean is key to maintaining the positive experience of commuting by bicycle.

Anything that you want to share with us

On a heavy traffic day, it takes me 15 minutes to drive to work. Cycling the same route takes me 21 minutes. With gas prices and traffic congestion what they have become, cycling to work is a no-brainer as far as I am concerned. Most obstacles to bicycle commuting can be easily overcome (and most are merely misperceptions rather than obstacles). I encourage anyone to give it a try… Beware: using your bicycle for transportation is addictive!

Drew is also a fellow blogger, his blog is the Sunday Morning Blog, check it out!

RL asked “Where are the Bike Commuting at“? I got an email from Shanyn Money, here’s her profile in a nutshell:

Shanyn Money

I’m a 47 year old female bicycle commuter in Flagstaff, AZ. I work in Higher Ed in the IT field. Trying to “green up”, save money and get some exercise, along with setting an example for my two teenagers. I commute 11-15 miles round trip 4-5 days per week, and often do the “bike & ride” on the city bus. I started commuting by bike during Bike To Work Week 2 years ago. My latest adventure: taking the Amtrak from Flagstaff to Riverside with my foldable bike on board, and then biking from the train station (see attached)! It can be done, and I am encouraged about the possibilities. I ride a Breezer Uptown 8 U frame commuter bike- love it because of the upright riding position, internally geared hub, and I can ride it in a skirt!

Thank you Shanyn for your email, keep on riding!

Meet our fellow blogger and bike Commuter, Noah. Here’s his Commuter profile:


How long have you been a bike commuter?

I’ve been doing a multi-mode commuting with a bicycle and public transit for about 10 months now. I started in September 2006 and did not stop for the winter months.

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

I am an information security professional for a large financial services company based in Kansas City, MO. We have offices world-wide, though. I currently live in Olathe, KS and I usually ride a few miles to the bus, which I take to my office in the heart of downtown KCMO.

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

I started bicycle commuting when my car’s clutch started acting up. Although I’m great with a wrench, the part was backlogged nation-wide. I had been driving a few miles to the bus stop every day and had joked about buying a bicycle to get to the bus. It didn’t take long for the joke to make sense. I had been off a bike for about 10 years but I recall bicycling as one of the things I was really passionate about as a kid. It sounded like fun.

My “normal” commute each morning involves riding to the bus stop closest to my apartment, taking the bus downtown, then riding my bike to work. That usually involves a detour for a quick morning coffee. An average morning is 3.5 miles for me.

In the evening, I occasionally ride the entire 22 mile trip back home, or sometimes catch a group ride on my way. Most often, I take the bus to my wife’s office, have dinner with her, then ride home, which nets
me between 6 and 8 miles, depending on route.
In a few weeks, my wife and I will be moving to another KC suburb which will practically halve the distance to work for both of us. My new commute will be 14 miles, which will facilitate a lot more trips without the bus. On really bad days, I won’t need to drive, either. There’s a bus stop a few hundred yards from my front door. The only thing that will be able to stop me is waking up too late to catch the last bus at 7:30.

What kind of bikes do you have?

Right now, my main ride is a 2006 Trek 1200. I sold one of my cars to buy it. It’s fitted with a 10W NiteRider Evolution headlight and Mars 3.0 taillight for tackling the darkness. I have a rack with Banjo Brothers’ saddlebag panniers, and I went clipless on it. I’m not sold on fenders yet.

I also have a rigid (no suspension) 1998 Diamondback Outlook mountain bike. I found it on Criagslist for about $50 in November 2006. It had never been ridden, except maybe around the cul-de-sac a few times! I swapped wheelsets with the Sorrento and added a narrower cassette to the Outlook, turning it into more of a hybrid.

My first “serious” commuter bicycle was a 1999 Diamondback Sorrento mountain bike that the previous owner had put slick tires on. I picked it up used for $100 from my LBS. Now that it has knobby tires, it’s my winter commuter and my weekend mud toy.

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

Yes indeed! My first hard lesson of bicycle commuting is “do not buy bike shaped toys!” I was a broke commuter when I first started. I wanted to buy a bike but keep enough cash in the bank to fix my car once the part came in. I bought a cheap, full-suspension mountain bike from the toy aisle of some world-wide discount store for about $70. I had destroyed the bike in six weeks. It got replaced with the
Sorrento, which only cost me $30 more. That $70 bought me a renewed passion for cycling, so I don’t consider it a waste.

I find it interesting that more than a few bike commuters are involved in the tech sector, why do you think that is?

I have a two-fold answer for this. First, technical people are logical. They’re looking for the most efficient way to get any given task done. As a geek, I consider myself an excellent problem-solver. Technical people are used to breaking the traditional mold. Transportation is no exception.

The second part of my answer is that when you’re reading e-mail and blogs, you’re dealing with a subset of the human race that’s above average on the technical scale. It’s not surprising to find a bunch of loonies in the loony bin, nor is it surprising to find a bunch of techies in the blogosphere.

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

They tell me that I’m going to get hurt. They ask me why. They tell me they couldn’t do it. They tell me I can’t do it. They swing by my cubicle when the weather’s bad pretending to say “hi” but they’re really seeing if my helmet is laying around somewhere. A few actually respect me. Not one person that I know of has been inspired to try it themselves because of me. And I’m alright with that.

Do you have an “advanced commuter tip”?

Yes. Don’t forget your towel! A towel is the most massively useful thing a bike commuter can have.

Really, have a towel to dry off with at work, and basic toiletries. I also keep an entire spare change of clothes locked in my filing cabinet just on the off chance that I might forget something at home. The most frequently used are the socks. Nothing ruins your day like soggy feet.

Anything that you want to share with us

If you can ride a bicycle in a parking lot, you can ride it a mile. If you can ride it a mile, you can build up to 10 miles pretty easily. You do not need to be in great shape to be a bike commuter, although you might get there if you stick with it long enough!

Thank you Noah for sharing your time and story with us. Check out his blog by clicking here.