Name: Mike Cohen
Location: New London, CT USA
Started bike commuting: 2009
Commute distance (one way): 8.5 miles
Describe your commute: My commute is mostly suburban; all paved roads. It starts in New London, winds down by the Thames River, crosses the river via the Gold Star Bridge and winds down the other side. It usually takes about 40 minutes. I carry my clothing and laptop, and hit the showers at work.
Describe your bike and accessories: I recently purchased a 2011 Raleigh Detour Deluxe as a replacement commuter bike for my Trek. In terms of my objectives, I was able to get an internally geared hub, drum brakes (Shimano calls them “My new bike, which I just purchased specifically for commuting, is a 2011 Raleigh Detour Deluxe. In terms of my objectives, I was able to get an internally geared hub, drum brakes (Shimano calls them “roller brakes”), steel fenders, and an integrated lighting system with a hub generator. I swapped out the Basta headlight that came with the bike for a new B&M IQ Cyo RT with the daytime running lights. Also, I found that the Large Avenir Excursion panniers fit nicely onto the unusual luggage rack without any lower attachment point that comes with the bike. I’ve only commuted 3 days on my new bike so far, but I’m really happy with the quiet shifting and laid back feeling. I’m looking forward to many rides to come.
What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: I recommend making your bike as maintenance-free and as easy to jump on as possible, to encourage you to ride more. I put Shimano PD-M324 dual platform pedals on my bike so I can ride in biking shoes for planned rides, or street shoes or flip-flops for a jaunt to the store. Buy some cold weather clothing so the weather isn’t a deterrent and some really good lights so the darkness is no longer an excuse. I switched to bike with an internally geared rear hub to reduce maintenance. Also, this past winter I swapped out the tires on my previous commuter bike with studded Nokian Hakkapeliitta W106 700C X 35 for riding on the occasional frozen puddle. That worked out great and gave me a feeling of independence from cold weather that I never had before.