Name: Tucker Burroughs
Location: Elk Grove, California
Started bike commuting: Spring 2010
Commute distance (one way): 10 miles
Describe your commute: Mostly arterial surface streets with bike lanes. Elk Grove has several MUP’s, but they are geared more toward recreational use and don’t help commuters much.
Describe your bike and accessories: Jamis Allegro 1.0 with a Topeak Explorer rear rack and a Pletcsher rack on the front; Eargon grips with short bar ends, a Cygolite Expillion headlight and a Planet Bike Superflash Turbo on the back. I use a Topeak commuter trunk bag with deployable mini-panniers. I also carry a small can of pepper spray on the bike for loose dogs and zombies.
What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: Choose your route carefully. I commute mostly on major arterial streets with bike lanes, but I chose the ones with the best bike lanes and the calmest traffic. The time of day also has a lot to do with the traffic. At 5:30 am, traffic is calm and everyone can see my lights. Fortunately, I’m able to make it home before the afternoon rush hour so I don’t have to deal with all the drivers distracted by what’s for dinner or how to get the kids to soccer practice.
Most importantly, be visible and ride like you’re driving a car. Nobody wants to hit you, so if drivers know where you are and can predict your actions they will generally treat you courteously. Nothing aggravates drivers more than a cyclist flagrantly ignoring the traffic laws.