Location: Seattle, Washington
Started bike commuting: 2004
Commute distance (one way): 18 miles from downtown Bellevue to West Seattle
Describe your commute: I’m not an early morning rider, so I vanpool to work with my bike on the van bikerack, then ride home while my vanpool buddies who don’t bike take the van home. On good weather days I’ll vary the route to north or south around Lake Washington, or take different routes through Seattle.
Describe your bike and accessories: 2004 Rivendell Rambouillet. Added a Brooks Flyer seat, and Velo Orange metal fenders for wrap-around coverage fron Northwest rain. 9-speed 12-27 Shimano cassette with a 48-34 compact double crank for a good all-around setup. Downtube friction shifters because I’m old school and that’s what I had on my first cool road bike in 1972 – a Peugeot U-08. I carry everything in a Timbuk2 messenger bag with a laptop inset because I can’t bear the idea of bolting racks to such a beautiful frame!
What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: Learn how to maintain your bike. Take a basic bike maintenance class at your local bike shop or bike cooperative, and invest in a few tools. The class teacher can suggest a starter tool list. Bike maintenance schools like United Bicycle Institute in Asland & Portland Oregon offer week-long classes that will get you started, and will be the best vacation you ever had! I do all my bike maintenance, have for 6 years. Bikes are simple machines – you can do it.