Location: Portland, OR
Started bike commuting: Four years ago
Commute distance (one way): A little over 4 miles
Describe your commute: The first third of my commute is on one of Portland’s “bicycle boulevards” that is designed to be low traffic with limited stops for cyclists. The next third is on a cycle/pedestrian path that runs along the Willamette River and the last third is medium density stop and go traffic close to the city center.
Describe your bike and accessories: My daily ride is a Salsa Vaya with disc brakes, brooks B17 saddle, Planet Bike Cascadia fenders, and four planet bike lights (two superflashes in back, a beamer and a blaze up front). A planet bike rear rack and Axiom panniers completes my setup.
When I need to carry lots of stuff, I use my new CETMA cargo bike. I just recently built it with a NuVinci N360, BB7 disc brakes and Schwalbe big apple tires. By the end of the month, I’ll add a box and rain canopy up front to carry the kids.
What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: Commit to making bicycling as comfortable and easy as possible. If your bike is comfortable, working well, easy to access and you have the right clothes for the weather, you will enjoy it much more and do it much more often.
For me, that meant buying a bike, panniers and rain gear that kept me comfortable and dry. Making this choice meant that I had to decide to make a financial investment, but the cost of my bike and gear is 1/20th the cost of a inexpensive (relatively speaking) new car and far less on an ongoing basis knowing that I no longer pay for insurance, gas or maintenance for a second automobile.