Location: Toronto, Canada
Started bike commuting: 2005
Commute distance (one way): 35km (22 miles)
Describe your commute: My commute is admittedly a bit crazy, but I love cycling – and decided a while back that if I’m going to go sit in traffic for an hour each way to get to work then I might as well use that time to get exercise as well. It’s much better than spending extra time going to the gym!
At a little over an hour each way, I find that the ride is a good way to get centred – and transition over to work mode in the morning, and relax from work in the evening. By the time I get home, I’m re-energized and ready for the rest of the day.
Describe your bike and accessories: I ride a 2006 Trek 520, with practically bulletproof 700x28c Continental Touring Plus tires. I carry a waterproof pannier from Mountain Equipment Co-op for my computer and a racktop pack for my repair kit/snacks.
What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: Take it easy! Tackling a massive ride is no small undertaking – If you have a long commute then try multi-modal riding at first, take a bus partway or carpool with a friend, then bike the rest of the way. Stay off major thoroughfares until you are more comfortable on the ride, side roads in residential areas are much nicer to ride on anyways.
Also, cars will give you more respect if you are predictable, wearing a helmet, and signal correctly – the key thing is to be seen and make sure they know what you are going to do!