Bicycle Commuter Profile: Jeff

Name: Jeff
Location: Washington, DC
Started bike commuting: 2003
Commute distance (one way): 7 miles

Describe your commute: About a mile or so in my northern VA neighborhood, then the Mt Vernon trail onto 14th St Bridge, past Jefferson Memorial, past Washington Monument, onto the National Mall and right near the Hoover (FBI) bldg – pretty dang cool ride.

Describe your bike and accessories: 1991 Trek 790 with Nitto Technomic + Albatross bars, Shimano drivetrain + bar ends w cork grips, Terry saddle, SKS fenders and very handsome PDW bamboo rear rack. And a single Ortlieb classic.

What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: Be polite to other cyclists, try to avoid cars. I don’t know, smile at people in traffic?

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

Double Parked

Double Parked

His and hers, parked at the grocery store.

Bicycle Commuter Profile: James Jay

Bicycle Commuter Profile

Name: James Jay
Location: Tempe AZ USA
Started bike commuting: About 4 years ago
Commute distance (one way): 7 miles

Describe your commute: I used to go through neighborhoods, and light traffic. Then we moved one of the things I had to make sure when moving was we needed to be a good distance so I could commute. Now I am able to take advantage of the Tempe bike paths that connect the area which are wonderful, but those paths run out and I am forced to deal with traffic and lights. More than I was used to before.

I’ll admit I do not bike everyday maybe at least 3-4 times a week, my body sometimes just gets too tired. And or I wake up too late, or the weather is too hot for me. But I would rather be on a bike than drive.

Describe your bike and accessories: I use a 1980 Trek 412 that I bought off craigslist and cleaned up, added a rack from my local LBS and some small avenir bike panniers I found on craigslist. I used to ride a 1988 Raleigh Sport but was hit on my way to work on April Fools day. I miss that bike.

What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: Don’t forget to smile when you ride. But also be safe.

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

Bicycle Commuter Profile: Molly

Name: Molly
Location: Minneapolis MN USA
Started bike commuting: I’ve never had a car.
Commute distance (one way): One mile to work, 3 miles to class, 2.5 miles to the coop

Describe your commute: When my workplace moved, I moved to be closer to it. I live and work in downtown Minneapolis. I live in a high rise with a locked bike room in the basement. A bike lane stakes me straight to work, or if I want scenery I can go a few blocks out of my way and ride along the Mississippi River.

Describe your bike and accessories: Surly Instigator with a single chain ring and 9 speeds, which I love despite not being a great commuter, and a a Burley Travoy for errands. Best investment I ever made, as it makes an impractical commuter bike into a great one. I can bring the Travoy up in the elevator and fold it away when not in use.

What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: I commute at night, so lights are a must. Ride defensively. I’ve been doored on a busy street, so watch parked cars. I see a lot of people ride with headphones. Don’t do that. Bells are great too.

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

Streetfilms: Complete Streets

Complete Streets: It’s About More Than Just Bike Lanes from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

Bicycle Commuter Profile: Cecily Walker

Bicycle Commuter Profile

Name: Cecily Walker
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Started bike commuting: Approximately 6 years ago part-time and fair weather, but a little over a year ago I made it a full-time thing.
Commute distance (one way): 3.3km (a little over 2 miles)

Describe your commute: I recently moved to a different part of town, in part because I wanted to live closer to work, but also because I wanted to live someplace that made for a flatter commute. My daily ride takes me around Vancouver’s seawall, and over to a busy four-lane thoroughfare that passes under Rogers Arena. When I’m on this stretch, the only thing separating me from traffic is a stripe of paint. After that stretch, I bike up a couple of gentle hills on downtown streets that have only minimal traffic (but no striping or other bike infrastructure). I know 3KM doesn’t seem like much to people who put in 15 miles or more a day, but I use my bike for everything: approximately 99% of my daily trips, whether it’s to work, to the store, or to meet with friends are made by bicycle.

Bicycle Commuter Profile

Describe your bike and accessories: Elfie (named after Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West) is a Batavus Fryslan, a Dutch bike made by Batavus for the North American market. The story of how I came to own her isn’t exactly a good one, but I’m happy to report everything worked out well in the end.

I swapped the Fryslan’s default hand brake/coaster brake combination for two hand brakes, and I upgraded from the stock 5-speed internal hub to a 7 speed to help with Vancouver’s hills. I also added a Brooks B67s (aged) saddle to give her a bit more style. Accessories include a Basil shopper bag that clips onto her rack, a Po Campo bag that also attaches to the rack (on days when I need to carry a smaller load), and a Nutcase helmet. As a Dutch bike, she came with a rack, lights, fenders, and a chain case, standard.

What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: If you’re feeling daunted by it, start small. Try small trips to the grocery store, or combine your commute with transit – that’s how I began 6 years ago when I was commuting to the University of British Columbia (7 KM from home, uphill, on the cheapest bike in the bike store). And you don’t have to be a perfect commuter to make riding a bike part of your lifestyle. The most important thing is that you enjoy it.

I’d also like to add that if you’re a heavier rider like I am, don’t be afraid to express your concerns to your local bike shop. If they don’t treat your concerns with respect, take your dollars elsewhere. Heavier riders have different concerns than our thinner counterparts, and it pays in comfort and safety to tackle these issues head on when choosing a bike.

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

2011 Bicycle Friendly State Rankings

BFS Rankings

The League of American Bicyclists’ 2011 Bicycle Friendly State rankings have been announced. Washington came out on top again, followed by Maine and Wisconsin. Second place Maine was the only state to get better than a “C” ranking for infrastructure, with a large majority getting an “F”. Adequate infrastructure is so important (particularly for new riders), but unfortunately it’s still sorely lacking in many areas of the country.

More at LAB
View the rankings [PDF ]→

© 2011 EcoVelo™