Bicycle Commuter Profile: Alan B.

Bicycle Commuter Profile

Name: Alan Barnard
Location: Sacramento, CA, USA
Started bike commuting: On-and-off since 1983. Most recently full-time since early 2008.
Commute distance (one way): 6 miles on the bike, 25-ish on the train or bus.

Describe your commute: My multi-modal commute has three components. There’s the suburban leg that is mostly on quiet trails and backroads, there’s the bus/train leg which covers a majority of the distance, and finally, there’s the short urban hop from the train station to my workplace. The overall trip takes approximately 1.5 hours.

Describe your bike and accessories: My current primary commuter is the Civia Bryant shown here on the site. It’s mostly stock, with the addition of a Tubus Logo rack in the rear and a Pass & Stow porteur rack in the front. I recently swapped the BB5 disc brake calipers for a set of BB7 calipers. Eventually, I’ll probably upgrade the drivetrain to a Gates CenterTrack with an Alfine 11 internal gear hub. At that point, I may also add a dynamo hub up front.

I also sometimes ride a Brompton (shown above). I usually take it to work when I have errands to run downtown. It stores nicely at my workplace and I can take it inside with me instead of having to lock it up on the street.

What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: Give yourself plenty of time and take your time. Bike commuting should be fun and relaxing. There’s nothing that takes the joy out of it more than feeling rushed and late. Hurrying can also lead to poor riding habits such as running stop signs, cutting across lanes without carefully checking for traffic, etc.

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2 Responses to “Bicycle Commuter Profile: Alan B.”

  • voyage says:


    As I understand and recall, there are bike lockers at your train/bus station where you can store the Civia for the day.

    On Brompton days you bring the Brompton onto your motorized mass mode and bring it into the city. How does that work for you in terms of hassle?

    Have you considered keeping a simple, fairly good folder such as the Dahon Speed Uno in your office so that you always have a bike available for little in-city runs, and have the Civia waiting for you when you get back, closer to home to make that last six miles?

    I ask not to criticize, but to understand and hopefully point out to people on the fence the flexibility that bikes coupled with good mass transpo can offer. What do you think?

  • Alan says:


    That’s correct; I often leave my full-sized bike in a locker at the train station.

    It’s actually no sweat bringing either the full-sized bike or the folder on the train. On my commuter train, the cars are outfitted with wall and floor bike racks. In the case of the Brompton, if the racks happen to be full, I can fold it and bring it upstairs with me. The main reason I bring the folder downtown is the limited storage and parking options.

    I like the idea of keeping a bike like the Dahon here at the office. That’s something to consider for the future.


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