Love gadgets? Check out Khoa’s Garmin Edge 205 GPS Review at thebikegeek.net by clicking here!
Bike Your Drive!
Always have at least 2 tubes per bike. One in your saddle bag, and one in your back pack or messenger bag. I always keep spares in my garage just incase. Oh, and don’t forget the pump!
Meet fellow Bike Commuter David Byrd, also known as “DB” when he posts comments. Here’s his Commuter Profile:
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.
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.
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.
Bridge over water creek
What kind of bikes do you have?
· 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.
· 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’t really get upset with him/her in that case.
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.
· Whether you’re out there as a commuter or recreational rider, act like you belong there, and follow the rules for vehicles.
· 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.
· Be predictable: use hand signals for turns to communicate with motorists.
· Know your state’s traffic regulations for bicycles.
· 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.
Check out Max Chen’s interesting creations at www.oilycog.com
My wife works as a teacher for the City of Anaheim, yesterday she shared this story with me:
“I was showing my kids a picture of a kid riding a bike and asked them to describe the picture, 100% of my kids described the picture as a kid riding a bike. However, there was 1 kid that noticed and pointed out that not only was the kid riding a bike, but he had no helmet and said it was dangerous”
I say, give that kid an A+.