Name: Julian Cole
Location: Ontario Canada
Started bike commuting: 30 years ago, year round
Commute distance (one way): currently just over 1 kilometer
Describe your commute: I live a short hop away from the bike shop that I work at. Just pedal out of my neighbourhood, over a freeway bridge, cut through a school ground, cross the street and I’m there.
Describe your bike and accessories: Many bikes owned but I have 3 that I use for my “commute”. We seem to have more rain than sun these days so my main choices are either a 1984 Sekine drop bar road bike that is fully fendered, racked and single speeded, or a 1979 Sekine road bike that has been flat barred, temporarily full fendered, runs 32c cyclocross knobbies and is fix geared. On sunny days I will ride a 1986 Bianchi fix gear with track drops. During the snowy winter months I have used a single speeded mountain bike in the past, but will use the above mentioned Sekine fixie this year.
What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: I have had some seriously long commutes through all kinds of weather in the past. It really is a case of mind over matter. As the seasons change, they bring with them different equipment needs. If you are prepared with the basic gear, commuting is a rewarding experience both healthwise and financially. A sturdy, simple old bike is all you need to get started. Old road bikes are ideal. If at all possible, keep it simple with a single speed / fix geared conversion or single chainring with a multispeed rear setup. Full fenders really are a godsend. Add some blinkies for low light conditions and you’re good to go. My biggest piece of advice would be to not let the fearmongers get to you. Bicycling is not a dangerous activity.