Bicycle Commuter Profile: Karl

Name: Karl
Location: Sydney
Started bike commuting: 1975 in London
Commute distance (one way): 10 Km’s

Describe your commute: I ride mostly on back roads from home to work. There are a few hills to get the heart rate up and very few cars on the route to disturb my revery. Car drivers in Sydney mostly regard bike riders as equivalent to cockroaches – a scourge that the city would be much better without. But slowly attitudes are changing and drivers are begrudgingly accepting that we are here to stay.

Describe your bike and accessories: I ride a Bacchetta Giro 26. I have upgraded the brakes to BB7’s which I really enjoy – great feel, stop very well and don’t have to replace the pads as often as the old BB5’s. I have changed the gears from SRAM twist shifters to SRAM X9’s thumb shifters – a great improvement – better feel and much, much quieter. I have been using the same waterproof Vaud panniers for the last 10 years and these fit the Bacchetta rack perfectly. This bike puts a smile on my face everyday.

What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: Expect every car to do something stupid. Make sure that you ride with someone else who is familiar with the route and the problem spots. Make sure that you are comfortable with all aspects of changing gears, using brakes etc well before riding on busy streets – there are enough things to worry about without having to also worry about deciding what to do on the bike. Most of all, ride in a way and speed that you can enjoy the experience!

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