Bicycle Commuter Profile: Andy M.

Bicycle Commuter Profile

Name: Andy M.
Location: Oak Park, IL USA
Started bike commuting: Spring 2010
Commute distance (one way): 10 miles

Describe your commute: My daily ride consists of a 10-mile tour through Chicago’s West Side. I ride entirely on urban thoroughfares, so with dedicated bike lanes, some without. I cross through every conceivable type of neighborhood and urban landscape: downtown, industrial, dense urban, desolate urban, rough, not-so-rough and 19th Century Olmstead-y parkland. I am fortunate to have secure indoor bike parking in my building, so I can ride a much nicer bike than I normally would use if I had to lock up on the street.

Describe your bike and accessories: I ride a Japanese domestic market 2010 Panasonic OSD Tour. The frameset is lugged cro-moly, and as imported included a coupling system, fluted aluminum fenders and a Nitto Campee mini-front rack. I added:

  • Brooks B-17 (honey)
  • Nitto mustache bars w/ leather bar tape
  • Nitto Technomic stem
  • Sugino XD 600 cranks
  • Deore FD and RD
  • Velocity Dyad (36H) rims with Deore hubs
  • Vittoria Randonneur tires (700 x 35) (I could go to 37 with the fenders)
  • MKS Sylvan Tour pedals w/MKS toe clips and leather straps
  • Nitto Big Back Rack from Riv
  • VO leather chainstay guard
  • Pletscher dual kickstand
  • SOMA retro headlamp (attached to front rack, which has the light rack on the right-hand drive side).
  • Crane bell

My alternative (if I not carrying anything with me) is a 1986 Trek 500 Tri-Series 650b conversion.

What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: Keep your head up and be predictable, and remember it’s not a race. Apart from the health and eco-friendly benefits, I ride to work to enjoy my commute. Each morning is a little vacation. For clothing, I suggest loose wool and non-cotton clothing year-round. I have had great luck in all seasons with Endura Singletrack shorts (of varying lengths depending on the temp) and Ibex wool jerseys.

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