Name: Ed Livingston
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Started bike commuting: 4 years ago
Commute distance (one way): 6-8 miles
Describe your commute: I have two routes that I alternate between. The first is a relatively direct route to my office in the downtown Loop district of Chicago. It runs predominately down one of the main diagonal city arterials and covers a lot of industrial terrain, which is not that pretty but carries the advantage of wide lanes and relatively low traffic levels. The second route is longer, but takes me out to the separate bike/run/walking path along Lake Michigan, the Lakefront Path. This is a beautiful route, especially on spring/fall mornings, but can get a little crowded and tedious during summer afternoons. Like all of Chicago, both routes are pretty much pancake-flat.
Describe your bike and accessories: I ride a custom-built Handsome Devil, with an Alfine 8 IGH matched with the Alfine trigger shifters. The bike is outfitted in a mostly utility style, with a VO Milan handlebar, Ergon GP1 grips, Brooks Flyer saddle, Tubus Cargo rear rack, a dynamo-powered front and rear light set powered by a Shimano Alfine front hub, and Shimano dual SPD/platform PD-M324 pedals. The wheels are custom built by my awesome LBS (Roscoe Village Bikes) from the Shimano Alfine hubs, Mavic A319 rims and a pair of 700x35mm Schwalbe Marathon tires.
What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: Forty minutes on the bike beats thirty minutes on the train any day of the week.