BikeCommuters.com

Tag Archive: touring bikes

Pop Quiz: Which is the Commuter Bike?

Based on some comments in our recent Torker Interurban bike review, I wanted to put something up…a “pop quiz”, of sorts, to address some points made.

This is a multiple-choice quiz. Let’s begin:

Which is the “commuter bike”? Is it

a) the fixed gear machine
DSC04722s

b) the cargo bike
DSC02796s

c) the fully-dressed urban bike
DSC05564s

d) the high-end touring rig
kgs

or e) All of the above?

If you’ve been reading our site for a while, you know that “E” is the correct answer. All of these bikes have their place in bicycle commuting, and in fact all but “D” are actual “commuter bikes” that I ride on a regular basis to and from work or to run errands around town. The point is, there is no “one” solution for bike commuters. We all have different needs and terrain, different ideas about what we like or don’t like, different distances or places to secure our rides once we get to our destinations. A bike that works for me may not work for you (and vice versa), and it is foolhardy to think otherwise.

If you’re newer to this site, I have a couple of tidbits for you, too: This is a good time to link back to a couple of our articles from the past, such as “Can’t We All Just Get Along?” and “What Bike Do I Buy?”

Bike commuters are still but a tiny minority here in the U.S. Divisive attitudes, elitism and snobbery serve to tear us apart, not bring us together. As far as we’re concerned here, if you’re on two wheels you’re ok with us.

Book Review: “Bike Touring — The Sierra Club Guide to Travel on Two Wheels” by Raymond Bridge

Orli Cotel, publicist for The Sierra Club, graciously sent us a copy of the newly revised 2nd edition of the classic Bike Touring: The Sierra Club Guide to Travel on Two Wheels by Raymond Bridge (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 2009) for review.

sierra club cover

Planning on doing any bike touring? Not sure where to begin with preparation, gear selection and route planning? Look no further…this book is a complete guide to all aspects of bicycle touring. The author concentrates an incredible amount of information into this pocket-sized guide. Bridge spends a lot of time discussing gear (both the bicycle itself and its cargo-hauling apparatus), giving even the newest “greenhorn” a comprehensive view of the things to look for when selecting a rig for touring. But that’s not all; there are also extensive tips on route planning, packing checklists for different types of tours and other logistical considerations. Finally, the author includes a lot of resources (both print and Web-based) at the end of the guide.

The author presents all of his information in a matter-of-fact, clear manner. He doesn’t try to “dumb things down” for the amateur, yet he never gets bogged down in overly complex descriptions either. The book reads well and is easy to follow.

Bridge’s first edition was a wild success and was a must-read for the new (or seasoned) bicycle tourer. With this 2nd edition, there is even more to share — the addition of Web resources is a great thing. And, this 2nd edition is FRESHLY updated…there are mentions of guides and gear that have only been around for a few months.

If you’re interested in bike touring…from quick overnighters to lengthy cross-country excursions, this book is worth a look. Perhaps my only gripe with the book is that the author fails to include our own Russ Roca in his discussion of valuable bike-touring Web resources. Russ’s “Epicurean Cyclist” deserves a mention in this guide!

Not just a pretty face!

Here are some photos of my new touring expedition bike!

It’s a Surly LHT that I had powdercoated to a coffee tan. I built the wheels, picked out the components and assembled it all over the course of a week. It’s outfitted with a Tubus rear rack and a Nitto Mark’s Rack in the front. The bags, bottle cages and Kleen Kanteens are from Velo-Orange.

The Velo-Orange Ostrich bags not only look great but work well too. The design allows for some over-stuffing, so I was able to carry my tent , two baguettes and a folding tripod chair with them!

The handlebar bag is cavernous and holds my Nikon D300 perfectly! It’s super functional with the elastic band closures that make for quick open/closings and also allows for some over-stuffing (on hot climbs, I slipped my shirt under the top flap).

I’ll be posting a ride report about my recent ride from Santa Barbara-Lake Casitas-Ojai-Santa Paula-Ventura-Santa Monica-Redondo Beach!