Name: Spencer Morse
Location: Madison, WI
Started bike commuting: 2005
Commute distance (one way): 7 miles
Describe your commute: My commute is a mix of bike/pedestrian paths along Lake Mendota, on-street bike lanes, and bike “routes” (share the road signs). Occasionally, I’ll extend the commute to catch some extra hills or scenery. Winters in Madison can get quite cold, but with the right mix of clothing and equipment, riding is quite enjoyable and invigorating.
Describe your bike and accessories: I ride a Salsa Casseroll 2011 frameset with some 2009 Casseroll parts and the rest has been mixed and matched to my taste. I run a Schmidt Sondelux hub running Supernova lights. The Salsa has a front rack (which I changed to a Nitto), and I use a Tubus Carry Ti rear rack for panniers. VO hammered fenders and Brooks leather saddle and accessories round out the mix. I like the Schwalbe Marathon Winter tires for the snowy months.
What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: Start small. Ride just once a week during mild weather. If possible, find someone or a group who commutes in your area to show you some routes. Slowly work your way up to a couple days per week, with small additions to your wardrobe and bike accessories to accommodate inclement weather. You’ll find that you feel so good after commuting by bike that you can forge through something as silly as “bad” weather and enjoy yourself.
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