Name: Mona Raza Location: Roanoke, Virginia, USA Started bike commuting: A little over a year ago Commute distance (one way): Usually drive 7 miles, bus 30 miles, bike 2 miles; Occasionally bike the first 7 miles too.
Describe your commute: I work in another town and hate driving on the interstate. Luckily, we have a commuter bus with bike racks that takes me most of the way. The bike part of my commute takes place on a busy industrial street. The only other cyclists I ever see are fellows who have lost their driver’s license and occasional tourists traveling across country. The drivers seem to have gotten used to me and seem a lot less hostile now. Once in a while when I don’t have to get my kids off to school or daycare, I’ll bike the seven miles to the park and ride from home, and that is a pleasant ride on rolling country roads.
Describe your bike and accessories: I started commuting on a Trek Pilot 2.1, but crushed the chainstay in an incident involving a clamp-on kickstand and pothole. The Trek then served as an organ donor for a new Soma Buena Vista frame that my bike shop built up with all the salvaged components, including a Shimano 105 drivetrain. I hope to replace some of the uglier Bongager bits later on. I did switch to 28c Conti city tires, though. I carry all my stuff in a large Rivendell Sackville Saddlesack, which is like having a trunk on your bike. It even fits legal files. All in all my commuter makes me happy.
What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: Go on beginner group rides or take a traffic 101 class if you are nervous about driving in traffic. Plan out your route, drive it and then do a test ride on the weekend. Remain calm and ride often. The drivers will get used to seeing you and begin to give you more room.
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
Mirrors, Fenders, and Kickstands…don’t leave home without them. Don’t listen to the posers…they are very cool and useful.
Name: Patrick Zyduck Location: Fond du Lac, Wisconsin Started bike commuting: 3 years ago Commute distance (one way): 20 miles
Describe your commute: I ride a paved trail for 17 miles, then have a 3 mile finish on country roads to get to work, I try to do this once or twice a week. The trail is ALL hills. Very little flat. One part I call “Deception Hill” as it looks like it’s downhill, but it’s not. My commute used to be just 3 miles, but my company moved my job, so now I have a much longer commute.
Describe your bike and accessories: Specialized Globe, set up as a commuter/touring bike. Front and rear racks, trekking bars, fenders, panniers etc.
What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: Just do it. It’s easy to find a million excuses not to, but once you get into the swing of it, you will feel bad not commuting.
Name: Davide Location: Cuneo, Italy Started bike commuting: 2009 Commute distance (one way): 3 Km twice a week, 10 Km once a week
Describe your commute: Urban local cycle-path commute twice a week; otherwise along suburban roads with less or no traffic. Sometimes I commute bike+train to Turin (90 Km by train and 5 by bike).
Describe your bike and accessories: Specialized Tricross Sport fitted with 37 mm large Schwalbe Maraton tires, mudguards (SKS Bluemell), Tubus Cargo rear carrier and Brooks B-17 saddle. When I commute I store my job utility in a Carradice Camper longflap useful also in light rides with family during the weekend. Other panniers are used for longer rides.
What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: Commute by bike slowly and appreciate every smells, every colors and every songs; your day will be better.
Joshua and Florence Hon, along with a number of other former Dahon executives, have started a new folding bike company called Tern. There are few details on the bikes so far, but at first glance they look very Dahon-like. The brand will launch this summer with 21 models in 20-inch, 24-inch, and 26-inch wheel sizes.