Bicycle Commuter Profile: Johan

Name: Johan
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Started bike commuting: 2010
Commute distance (one way): 22 miles

Describe your commute: Bi-modal: bike to Caltrain station, heave bike onto train, travel a few stops, heave bike off train, bike the rest of the way to work. The bike route to work pretty much follows the rail line, so I can get on and off at various stations for a longer or shorter ride depending on the weather and my mood. Now that it’s summer I generally bike from home to Palo Alto station and then from Hillsdale station to work for a total of about 12.5 miles cycling. Going home it’s often the longer train ride to Mountain View for a total of about 4.5 miles cycling. The route is (sub)urban, partly along fairly busy city streets that have bike lanes or along residential streets designated as bike boulevards. Drivers are generally pretty good – there’s a lot of cyclists around here.

Describe your bike and accessories: Brand spanking new Novara Verita (light touring) bike that’s taking some getting used to. Before that a Surly Long Haul Trucker that was a) too small and b) too long and is now sold. It was stock except for a Brooks B17 saddle and a moustache bar mounted upside down in an attempt to get a bit more height. Axiom Champlain panniers (I only ever use one). At different times have either Speedplay Frog pedals or cute platforms that have lights that flash when the pedals rotate. I put the Brooks saddle on the new bike. No fenders (hey, it’s California! – no rain).

What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: Get the widest tires that will fit on your bike. And don’t put too much air in them. Don’t be a selfish rider. Be assertive, but not aggressive. Don’t be in a rush – 5 minutes more or less really doesn’t matter.

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