I hope you have been enjoying “Bike to work month” also known as “Bike commuters get lots of free schwag month.” Lots of companies jump on the “bike to work” bandwagon and all kinds of interesting stuff pops up during this month.

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An email that I received from Performance Bicycle caught my interest, it was called “How to make your business bike friendly“.

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So this got me thinking if my company is bike friendly, or to be more precise, bike commuter friendly. As I mentioned on previous posts, the President of the company that I work for rides his bike to work from time to time so he understands some of our needs. Although the company does not have a dedicated bicycle rack to park our bikes, he is cool with having our bikes inside next to our cubicles or in the warehouse. I think that this is much better than leaving the bikes outside.

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We also don’t have any showers and I doubt that the owner of the building would want to add one. I really don’t see the lack of showers a big deal, we have written a few articles on how to clean up once you get to work:

http://www.bikecommuters.com/2007/06/22/i-used-to-stink/

http://www.bikecommuters.com/2008/03/11/how-to-avoid-being-smelly-when-you-get-to-your-destination/

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Here’s the thing, I really don’t believe that a facility needs to be “bike friendly” to promote bike commuting, I think our culture is so car centric that we are usually dubbed as the weirdos that ride a bike to work and that is what needs to change. Bike commuting is perceived as dangerous, inconvenient and in some cases, as the poor man’s form of transportation.

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But how do we change that? Trying to convince that our fat ass society needs more physical activity? Good luck with that… That cycling is safe? Cycling is indeed safe, is the asshole drivers that make it dangerous. Provide more infrastructure for bicycles? Sure, but it is my experience that bike lanes are not enough. Move to Portland? I wish.

I no longer try to convince people to ride their bike to work, I just simply answer their questions on why it is a personal preference. So let’s keep enjoying all the free stuff that we get on “Bike to work month/week/day”, the way I see it, more free stuff for us!

Next on The Bike Geek: More carrying options for Bike Commuters!
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If you live in Southern California and if you happen to be an avid cyclist, you have heard of this fun ride. In case you haven’t, here is what you have been missing.

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Let’s begin by answering the “Is it safe to go to Mexico?” question: The answer is yes it is. The people from Baja California understand that the Rosarito-Ensenada ride brings in a lot of tourists and therefore a lot of revenue. Over 8,000 cyclists took part this year, that is a shit load of beer consumed! (I did my part).

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Other than trying not to crash at the beginning of the ride, the ride itself is awesome. The route takes us along the “Free road” which happens to be right along the coast. The road is closed to all vehicular traffic so there is no stress about getting ran over by a car.

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We then head out inland where we start climbing about 1200 feet. This is the part where you question the “fun” from “fun ride”.

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We also met a few interesting individuals, there was this rider that was attempting to ride the entire 50 miles standing up. He actually removed his seatpost and saddle! We asked him why, he said “No pain, no gain”.

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Although this was my fifth time doing this ride, this was my first time doing it “bike commuter style”. I rode my Devinci Caribou 1 with Panasonic Gran Bois tires and my ISM PN1.1 saddle.

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It took me about 4 hours to complete the ride, not bad compared to last year where I ended up cramping up with about 20 miles to go.

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Next Rosarito-Ensenada ride is on September, if you live in Southern California, this is one of the rides that you have to add to your bucket list.

Bike to work month deserves a mid-week post, don’t you agree? Well, don’t you all answer at once please… Bueller? Bueller?

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I have developed a love-hate relationship with Metrolink (L.A’s train service), I love doing the train-bike thing to work BUT Metrolink’s service is as reliable as an old Land Rover. Out of the six times that I’ve used the service, trains have been cancelled twice.

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So what happens when a train is cancelled? Well, the first time I was on my way to work so I just hopped in my car and drove. The other time however, I was coming back from work and there was no train so Metrolink’s solution was to put us all in a bus. Yeah, that was fun… I got home 2 hours late.

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As frustrating as that can be, I still love riding the train. Why? Because it enables me to ride my bike to work! I also don’t have to deal with traffic, I just chill in the train and take selfies of myself looking all tough.

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So if you have not ridden your bike to work because of cheap gas prices, give it another try and you’ll see the fun that you’ve been missing.

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Welcome to May also known as Bike to Work month, so to start things up, here’s the Two Wheel Gear Pannier Backpack Convertible review.

You may remember a preview of the Pannier-Backpack convertible that we posted about a month ago. I was very impressed with the quality, the space and how easily the pannier converts from backpack to pannier and vice-versa.

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I’ve been doing my train-bike commute with this pannier and its functionality has been a convenience that has made my commute really enjoyable. I board the train in backpack mode and when I’m ready to ride; I simply convert it to a pannier and on my way I go.

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So why not just a pannier? As I stack my bike in the train with other bikes, having just a pannier will be on the way of other bikes and it may get damaged or stolen.

So why not just a backpack? The number one question that I always get as a bike commuter is: Don’t you get sweaty when you ride? And the answer is yes and riding with a backpack makes your back really sweaty so having a pannier allows me to arrive to the office a little “fresher”.

I also envision this pannier-backpack being great for students who ride to school, photographers who use their bike as a mean of transportation and short bicycle getaways such as simple overnight trips.

So let’s recap the main features of this pannier-backpack:

  • 24 Liters of space
  • High Quality Weatherproof materials
  • Compartments galore
  • Easy convertible system
  • Rain cover
  • Reflective accents
  • Comfortable straps
  • Padded laptop/tablet compartment
  • Reasonable price

Here is a little video of how easy the pannier converts to a backpack:

I did not find any ssues or drawbacks with this product, but I do have one suggestion: I would love to see an outside mesh that would hold my helmet when in backpack mode.

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Do I recommend this product? Oh heck yes, I love this pannier-backpack and if your commute is very similar to mine and if you want a more elegant solution than a wire basket and a backpack; it’s a no-brainer.

For more information regarding this product or to purchase it, please visit: twowheelgear.com

Here is the link to our fabulous FTC Disclaimer: FTC Disclaimer

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Next week: The Rosarito-Ensenada fun ride!