Bicycle Commuter Profile: Ken Harris

Name: Ken Harris
Location: Lawrence, Kansas, USA
Started bike commuting: July, 2008
Commute distance: 4.5 miles

Describe your commute: Easy, relatively flat in-town commute on residential streets and health trail bike-and-hike paths. The more direct route takes me across three four-lane streets and then zig-zag through residential streets toward downtown. My alternate route takes me across just one four-lane street and then through a small campus to a rail-trail that goes under a busy four-laner and ends two blocks from my work.

Describe your bike and accessories: I use my old mountain bike, a 1996 Mongoose Hilltopper and a 2010 New Belgium Fat Tire cruiser. The Mongoose has a cromoly frame and fork and is still running the original SRAM 400 GripShift with AceraX/Alivio drive train mix. I’ve added The following items to make more commute friendly:

  • Planet Bike Freddy fenders
  • PB Superflash tail light
  • PB 1 Watt Blaze head light.
  • Topeak Explorer rear rack
  • Topeak MTX DXP trunk bag
  • Ergon GC3 grips
  • Kenda KwikTrax 26×1.5″ Tires
  • Avid Shorty 4 with Kool-Stop Thinline pads
  • Bontrager Sport saddle

The 2010 New Belgium Fat Tire Cruiser is an all original Felt built steel frame bike with a wide, railed front rack. This is my beautiful day, go slow bike.

What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: Start slow, use what you have and see what you can get out of it. You don’t need a bike as beautiful as some of the ones pictured on this site to bike work. The formula for bike commuting is : YOU + BIKE = BIKE COMMUTER. The other stuff (Fenders, Lights, Rack) help a lot, but if you are new to this, just bike on the sunny days with a backpack. Add stuff as you go. If your bike won’t accommodate a rack and fenders and you find you are riding a lot, that is when you look for a new bike.

[To add your profile to the collection, please visit our Bicycle Commuter Profiles page. —ed.]

One Response to “Bicycle Commuter Profile: Ken Harris”

  • dominic furfaro says:

    I agree with your message to anyone wanting to commute is start with any bike. One thing I would add for anyone that is already a commuter is a camera. The option to get off the bike and take pictures, discovery and generally connect with the places we live adds some soul to the motion of a ride.

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