Bicycle Commuter Profile: Dale

Name: Dale
Location: Sherman Oaks
Started bike commuting: 2008
Commute distance (one way): 4 miles

Describe your commute: I live in one of L.A.’s suburbs, in the San Fernando Valley. In the land of cars, where what you ride defines who you are, I can count with one hand the number of other bike commuters I would see on a commute ride. I ride everyday, six days a week. During my rides, I only wear regular street clothes (slacks/chinos, dress-shirts, etc.). On rainy days, I always just take my car. Half the week I would ride on a dedicated marked bike lane and the other half of the week, I ride on a boulevard without bike lanes. I like the latter route because of the people watching since it’s the part of town where models and actors hang out to ‘be seen.’

Describe your bike and accessories: I ride a Raleigh Detour Aluminum 700c commuter bike with an Xtracycle conversion. The Xtracycle conversion allows me to drop off my daughter to/from school as well as make impromptu visits to the grocery store. I’ve also out-fitted it with a Reelight system. It ensures I have bike lights without remembering to keep batteries charged. With a Brooks saddle, leather grips (for myself and my Xtracycle passenger), as well as a leather wrapped seating platform for my passenger, it makes for a more civilized ride.

One trend I see that is alarming are people who ride bikes while wearing both ipod earbuds. I do like to bring my music along with me on my rides so a safer alternative (besides just using one ear bud), is to have a “Skully” boombox attached to the ipod headphone jack. Although it is only a few ounces heavy and is only 4 inches high, it actually packs a big audio punch.

What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: I would suggest anyone considering bike commuting to do it gradually. Initially I though bike commuting was a chore, but as I progressed doing it from once a week, to twice a week, I actually began to look forward to the bike ride. It became an opportunity to get me to prepare my thoughts and daily activities in the beginning of the day as well as an opportunity to ‘de-compress’ any work stress at the end of the day.

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

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