Location: Minneapolis, MN USA
Started bike commuting: 2005
Commute distance (one way): 14 miles
Describe your commute: Going to work in the morning I put my bike on the bus. All the Metro buses here have bike racks mounted on them. I don’t have a locker room at work so I can’t arrive sweaty.
I have several routes home. For a scenic route I ride through Kenwood, around part of Lake of the Isles and Lake Calhoun before getting on to France Ave. For a fast route I ride the Cedar trail out of downtown Mpls to France Ave.
My ride, no matter which route I take, is enjoyable except that the last 3/4 mile is all up steep hills. Bike commuting has helped me stay in shape but I doubt I’ve done anything to help the environment because my bus route operates with or without me on the bus. So my commuting really is just for my own personal benefit.
Describe your bike and accessories: Specialized Sirrus Elite with Planet Bike fenders and lights. My latest tires have reflective sidewalls. I have a rear rack to which I clip my Jandd briefcase/pannier. I switched to BMX style flat pedals so I can ride with any type of shoes.
What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: Don’t worry about how you look. I used to change after work into bike shoes, jersey and shorts. I got tired of carrying home work clothes and shoes. Now all I do is is switch to shorts and wear the rest of my work clothes on my ride. I dress business casual so it’s no big deal wearing a polo shirt instead of a bike jersey.
I also think I get a little more respect from car drivers when I look like a commuter instead of a racer.