Name: Andrew J. Smith
Location: Colonie, NY
Started bike commuting: 2007
Commute distance (one way): 6 miles
Describe your commute: Rolling hills in the suburbs between Albany and Schenectady, NY. There are a couple of very steep hills, but manageable. About 1/4 of the commute is the Colonie/Niskayuna Bike Path; a rails-to-trails conversion that, at its full length, is about 40 miles. Traffic is generally courteous…the winters can be brutal.
Describe your bike and accessories: The picture submitted shows the three bicycles I commute with most often. I’m leaning on a GT Peace 9′r single speed that I use primarily during the winter months, when snow, ice, and slush dominate the roads. My old standby is a 1984 Univega pictured with my favorite panniers; Jandd Opal handlebar bag and Hurricane Frederick panniers. I have it geared 1×6 (39 x 14-28); I really don’t need any others. Lastly, I occasionally ride my 2011 Dahon IOS P-7 to work. It delivers a wonderfully smooth ride with the 24″ wheels and Schwalbe Big Apple tires. What’s more…it’s fun! It’s a great travel bike. Both the Univega and Dahon have Brooks B1` saddles that I modified by cutting out part of the middle. No commute would be complete without Brooks saddles.
What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: There is so much, but here’s some in bullet form:
- Panniers: get some now! And get waterproof ones. I like Jandd
- Wool: wool clothing is fantastic. Check out Smartwool and Ibex. Well worth the money
- Brooks saddles
- Mirrors, Fenders, and Kickstands…don’t leave home without them. Don’t listen to the posers…they are very cool and useful.