Name: Teemu K.
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Started bike commuting: –
Commute distance (one way): 7 km
Describe your commute: Around 7 km (one-way), mostly on cycling trails along car roads. Depending on traffic lights this route takes 20-25 minutes. In pretty weather I often ride a longer route along parks and trails. Snow and ice are an issue during winter months; in winter I run studded tires. My employer provides a shower and lockerroom at work, and I have a towel, and office clothes waiting for me in my locker.
Describe your bike and accessories: My current favorite commuter is a brown Surly Cross Check 2010 which I assembled myself last winter. I have removed all Surly logos and decals. The Cross Check absorbs bumps well providing a smooth ride, and with 35mm Schwalbe Marathon Racer tires I think the bike is very fast despite of being made out of heavy steel. I’ve setup the bike with Nitto B105AA drop bars, and prior to that I ran a Soma 3-speed moustache bar; I still haven’t decided which one I like better. Since there is not that much elevation around here, and because I enjoy simplicity, I run 1×8 gears with a Shimano bar end shifter in friction mode on the right hand bar end. To the left I have a mirror, I really don’t want to ride without a mirror in traffic. For some luxury I have a Brooks B17 Special honey-coloured saddle and matching handle bar tape. The cranks and 44 tooth chainring are from Sturmey-Archer and mudguards are from the SKS chromoplastics line. This is a perfect commuter and a comfortable touring bike. I’ve ridden it some 3000km during this season, out of which 245 km during a single day, with a rear rack and Ortlieb panniers. I transport my lunchbox, spare tire, pump and basic tools and spare clothes in a Ortlieb handlebar bag (not pictured).
What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: “There is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes.”