Location: West Falls, NY, USA
Started bike commuting: May 2008
Commute distance (one way): 19′ish
Describe your commute: I live in the “Ski Country” of Western New York at the top of the hill. The way to work is often very easy, downhill, tailwind, limited traffic. There are very few bike paths in Buffalo, NY so 90% of my commute is on the road but I leave at 5:30am so there is generally limited traffic. On the ride home traffic varies depending on my route, what time I leave, and weather conditions. Plus the ride home is always uphill and generally a head wind.
Describe your bike and accessories: The weather plays a huge role in what bike I ride to work. I can store the bike in my office so I don’t worry about locking it up. Rainy days I have a Salsa Vaya set up with fenders and racks and Banjo Brothers waterproof paniers. Snowy days I take the Salsa Mukluk but these days are very limited due to the amount of time it takes me to get home. Sunny days it just depends on what mood I am in on what bike I grab. I am looking for a centre-track gates bike once that drivetrain becomes available to the public. It will replace my Vaya and also be the major winter bike.
What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: #1 – One thing I learned is that drivers can tell if you don’t think you don’t belong on the road with them. I tell people that I am cautiously confident and stand (ride) my ground depending on road conditions. I don’t take any more room than I need but if I need to ride 4′ into a lane to avoid potholes or debris then I will. I also make a point to wave to people when they wait for me and show my appreciation to them. The more people see of me and the nicer I can be, hopefully that will make for a safer commute for me and everyone else that driver encounters.
#2 – Lights Lights Lights and more Lights. Make sure they see you!