Read more about it on MtnBikeRiders.com
Read more about it on MtnBikeRiders.com
When I ride my bike to work I occasionally see vehicles with roof racks for bikes. I also see a few with cycling stickers (Like the SUV with the Pat’s 605 sticker). I also know a few roadies and Mountain Bikers that when I tell them that I’m a bike commuter the look at me like huh? And then the excuses start to fly out: I don’t have a commuter bike, I don’t want to be sweaty, road is too boring, blah, blah, blah. Check out Elijah’s Commuter profile, he’s a great example of a mountain biker turned commuter, RL is another Mountain Biker turned commuter, myself, I’m a roadie turn bike commuter that rides mountain bikes as well. You can make all the excuses that you want, but Elijah said it best when I asked him why he is a bike commuter:
I love riding bikes, especially mountain bikes. It was a no brainer for me after I tried it once.
The one that really gets me is when someone tells me that riding on the road is too boring. BORING????? Come on mountain bikers, you ride on trails that have no vehicular traffic and ride rigs that make a Cadillac feel harsh. Try riding next to a school in the morning when all the parents are running late, better yet, try riding a fixed gear bike on the city of New York as Nick James does and see if it’s boring.
Yeah Roadies and Mountain Bikers, I’m calling you out, stop making excuses and ride your rig to work you’ll start wondering why you’d never tried it before, like I did 2 years ago.
So I’ve been riding my Redline Nacho. Basically its a 925 with some mods such as removing all the pretty fender stuff, and replacing the moustache bars with a flat bar and finally, no brakes.
I’m learning how to ride with more confidence on the Nacho. Since I don’t have brakes, I really need to be more aware of my surroundings and stop skid when needed. But for the most part, as long as I know my surroundings, I can slow down just by using my legs.
However, I’ve yet to conquer coming down a hill down the street from me since its mega huge….but one day I will
RL has mentioned how good The Crystal Body deodorant is. I’ll be honest by saying that I was skeptical about a rock keeping me from stinking up. I do sweat a lot and yes, I do produce B.O. I’ve tried a lot of deodorants, and the one that has worked the best usually will fade by 6:00 PM.
I kept one of the Crystal Stones that we were giving away at the Bike Commuter Expo, and what the heck, I gave it a try. The first day, the stone fared no better than my regular deodorant but it didn’t do worse. I talked to RL and told me to apply generously. I followed RL’s directions and I’ll be damned, The Crystal outlasted my regular deodorant!! Needless to say, I’m a convert. I don’t really care for how the rock is packaged, so I’ll be ordering their spray version soon.
Check out Crystal Products by clicking our little banner on the sidebar.
Meet another one of our readers, Elijah Fan. Elijah is a Bike commuter as well as a Mountain Bike Rider, here’s his commuter profile:
What do you do and what city do you bike commute.
I’m a project manager at Westar Holding and VIVA Life Science. I manage the company’s property. I also do business development with our company’s core competency, which is nutritional products. I commute from Irvine to Costa Mesa, CA
Why did you start riding your bike to work and how long is your commute?
I started riding my bike to work in 2003, because I hate traffic, I hate feeling like a hamster on a treadmill (exercise), and I love riding bikes, especially mountain bikes. It was a no brainer for me after I tried it once. My bike commute is about 25 miles round trip.
What kind of bikes do you have?
Three bikes – First is my 2005 Voodoo Bizango. It’s a steel hardtail mountain bike for that oh so fun single track. I also have an 80’s era Performance mountain bike that I’ve turned into a single speed to tool around town with, and I use it as my backup commuting bike. This summer I plan to add an xtracycle to it along with a rear derailleur. This Performance bike was my brother’s first serious mountain bike. I’d say it’s the bike that first caught my dreams and sucked me into mountain biking. My last bike is my main commuter, an 80’s era Fuji Ace road bike that’s been converted to a fixed gear. I’ve been riding the Fuji for a couple years. Coming from a mountain bike background, I found riding on the streets to be boring. Riding fixed adds a bit of excitement to my commute, although I sometimes see this guy commuting on his downhill rig holding wheelies until the cows come home. I’ll have to try that some time, although my wheelies would only last about half a second each.
Any experience that you can share with us about ‘learning the hard way’?
On my ride home from work last year I saw a fellow commuter changing a flat, and I asked if he needed help. He said that he didn’t have a spare or a patch kit, so I gave him my spare and got him going. A half mile later I hit a small pothole and got a bad pinch flat. I couldn’t get a patch to hold and didn’t have another spare. Hanging my head in shame, I called my wife to pick me up.
Lessons Learned: 1. Check tire pressure, EVERY TIME, and keep goo tire pressure. I checked before I rode, but was too lazy to pump it up. 2. ALWAYS offer help even if it costs you.
5. What do people say when you tell them that you are a bike commuter?
They usually nod slowly and get this funny look on their face like I’m crazy or something. And then they ask, “Why?” People at work have no idea how to handle it. I always get the comment when I’m spotted in the hallways with my bike, “Oh, you’re still doing that.”
Do you have an “advanced commuter tip”?
A one liner that I tell myself when I start to drift: “Hold your line and you’ll be fine.” It rhymes, it’s silly and it helps me refocus. When I ride predictably, cars and MUP (multi use path) users know better what to expect from me and that keeps everyone safe. Secondly, obey traffic laws, although I tend to roll through stop signs. Early on, I thought that since I was on a bike, I could just ride through red lights if it was clear. Heck, I see roadies do it all the time. Once early morning, before the sun was up, I looked left and right through my fogged up glasses and then blasted through a light. I heard squealing tires and looked behind me to see a car with smoking tires barely miss my rear wheel. I was stupid and nearly worm food because of it. Shh, don’t tell my wife. She doesn’t know, hehe.
Anything that you want to share with us
Thanks for this site and the others that you guys run. I love reading and learning from them. And thanks for giving me the opportunity to share a bit of my story. Keep it fun and safe enough. I don’t say “safe”, because that’s just boring. “Safe enough” seems more appropriate. Keep it up and if there’s any way that I can help, let me know.
We are grateful to Elijah for sharing his time with us. Check out his blog at www.fanster.net