Bicycle Commuter Profile: Raditya Jati

Bicycle Commuter Profile

Name: Raditya Jati
Location: Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Started bike commuting: 2008
Commute distance (one way): 13 km

Describe your commute: Almost everyday I ride the 13 km. It is from my home in Kalasan (east of the city) to my grandpa’s house in the city, before I go to campus or another place around Yogyakarta city.

Describe your bike and accessories: I have an A-Pro frame (my dad bought it in 1992). Flat aluminum bar with Shimano 200GS shifter. Front & rear brakes still old cantilever brake, but with new Shimane canti brake pads. I use 26′ old Rigida (still made in France) with 26 x 1.50 tyre, front : Deli Tire (local product from Indonesia); rear : Cheng Shin Tire (Taiwan). I attached old SunRace for my front derailleur, and Shimano Tourney TX for rear derailleur. For the chainwheel, Shimano Deore Biopace (48-38-28) and the freewheel 7 speed Shimano (I don’t know the series). There is also rear rack, from Polygon Sierra rack. I don’t know the saddle, because I’ve modified its cover. SunDig bicycle computer to count the distance I’ve travelled. I also make my own pannier, because it is cheaper but has the same function.

What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: Get a rest when you feel too tired, or also when it is raining. Enjoy the movement of your legs pedalling, enjoy the view along the road and surroundings. Enjoy what God have given to us.

Bicycle Commuter Profile: Joey

Bicycle Commuter Profile

Name: Joey
Location: San Francisco
Started bike commuting: This past summer
Commute distance (one way): 5 km

Describe your commute: Mix of multi-lane heavily traffic city streets, MUT & bike lanes.

Describe your bike and accessories: Bike 1: Globe Roll 1, 42T/17, Wellgo Toe Clips and pedals, 39mm road drop, 700c 32mm wheels, Planet Bike full road fenders (attached with zip ties), Planet Bike Blinky 3, Planet Bike Blaze 1W

Bike 2: Bianchi Super Pista, SRAM Omnium 48T/17, Wellgo Toes Clip and pedals, 38mm track drop, 700c 43mm wheels (Velocity B43), FSA stem and seat post, Selle Italia SL XC saddle

Bag: Rickshaw Zero Messenger

Bicycle Commuter Profile

I’m pretty fortunate that I can park my bike in the office. So with gearing pretty close between the two bikes, I will generally use the Globe if it looks like/is raining or if I’m going somewhere for lunch/after work where I have to lock the bike up outside. I’ll use the Bianchi the rest of the time. In addition to commuting to work, I also do ~24 km at lunch (for no other reason than just to get out of the office and breath some fresh air).

What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: If you’re like me, the only type of exercise you have is when you’re commuting to and from work. So take advantage of that and ride hard. Not only are you saving money by not buying gas but you’re also saving more money by avoiding monthly gym memberships, which we all know you won’t go to anyways.

[Visit our Bicycle Commuter Profiles page to add your profile to the collection. —ed.]

Bicycle Commuter Profile: Jun

Bicycle Commuter Profile

Name: Jun
Location: Toronto, ON
Started bike commuting: Seven years ago, when I moved to Toronto
Commute distance (one way): 9 km

Describe your commute: Along side streets and some main streets in downtown Toronto.

Describe your bike and accessories: I have four bikes that I alternate for commuting, depending on the situation. Four three seasons, my fast commuter is a pink Rock Lobster Alfine with a full Alfine 8 speed group. For winter, I switch to a winter beater that is a old, steel, lugged Novara from the late eighties-early nineties. It has been retrofitted with an Alfine 8 speed hub, Schwalbe Winter Marathon studded tires, stainless fenders and Moose Mitts. The two specialty bikes are a PBW folder that I use in multi-modal situations, and an Xtracycle when I haul big loads and/or kids.

What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: Try to get into the habit of doing it everyday. Dress appropriately for the weather. Fenders, lights and a bell are essential. Don’t be in a rush like all the other traffic, and go with the flow.

[Visit our Bicycle Commuter Profiles page to add your profile to the collection. —ed.]

Bicycle Commuter Profile: Jim Thurber

Bicycle Commuter Profile

Name: Jim Thurber
Location: Mountain View, CA
Started bike commuting: I began about six years ago
Commute distance (one way): From home to school about 4 miles – returning at least 20!

Describe your commute: I leave the house pretty early in the morning heading through downtown Los Altos (to pick up coffee and a paper) before heading up into Los Altos Hills for a day of teaching 4th graders. The advantage of riding a bicycle is that you have indoor parking – right in the corner of the classroom. It’s a good lesson for the students too – it is possible to be nearly 60 years old and not spend too much money on gasoline.

Coming home I spend at least an hour riding into Los Altos Hills helping get a bit of exercise and relieving the stress of a day full of 4th graders. Several miles of 7 to 10 percent grades followed by a blast downhill and a fresh cup of coffee ends the day.

Bicycle Commuter Profile

Describe your bike and accessories: My primary commute bike is a SOMA road framed bike but equipped with wide ratio mountain gearing – SRAM 11 x 36 cassette with a compact crank gives me the ability to climb “almost” any grade in the hills (Page Mill Road an exception). Drop bars and excellent lights permit me to ride year round. A lightweight rack (Tubus Luna) carrying a set of Ortlieb Panniers enable me to transport clothing, books and my laptop to / from work. Although a Cargo rack would give me greater load capability the SOMA frame is pretty lightweight and with 20 to 25 pounds on the back it’s at the limit of its flexibility issues, especially when “bombing” downhill at 44.3 mph!

What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: Most new bikes are equipped with very narrow gear ranges – go wide! Make it possible to bicycle up hills as well as down. Weight is not terribly important – the best (most expensive) bicycles weigh a lot when a couple of water bottles are fastened on – so don’t sweat the weight. My personal “boxed” choice of a commute bike would be a Novara Safari from REI or perhaps a Trek 520. They’re ready to go . . . right out of the box.

Most of the Civia bikes are also outstanding – especially the Hyland, complete with a front dyno and light. Remember to . . .

. . . think about darkness. Include on your commute bicycle a really good set of lights – they’re not very expensive anymore and make a huge difference when it comes to avoiding the “commute” driver, anxious to get home after a difficult day at work.

And don’t think you have to bike commute everyday. Take a day or two off occasionally and drive the car. You’ll find if you truly ENJOY your commute . . . you’ll do it more often!

[Visit our Bicycle Commuter Profiles page to add your profile to the collection. —ed.]

Bicycle Commuter Profile: Darren S.

Name: Darren S.
Location: Laguna Hills, CA
Started bike commuting: 2008
Commute distance (one way): 15 miles

Describe your commute: 1/2 of commute is on a dedicated MUP. The rest is city roads through three different cities (Laguna Hills, Irvine, Costa Mesa and part of Santa Ana, CA). I also do a long route which is 22miles one way.

Describe your bike and accessories: 2008 Specialized Allez. Magicshine headlight, CRUD Racer fenders for when it gets wet. Continental Gatorskins keep me from getting flats. Contrary to the ideals of this website, I DO my commute wearing Lycra, and I do like to ride fast. My commute is long enough that if I were to dawdle on my commute, it would take me forever to get there.

What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: Be realistic about how often you can bike (vs. driving) to work. If biking sucks up so much time that you miss out on family life, then back off a bit. Family is more important than principle. Also, see if you can keep several sets of clothes at the office. That way you can keep your commuting rig light.

Bicycle Commuter Profile: The DeBlass Family

Bicycle Commuter Profile

Name: The DeBlass Family (Matt and Isabella)
Location: South Bound Brook, NJ, USA
Started bike commuting: Matt (aka “Dad”) has been part time commuting by bike for over a decade, but we went fully car-free in early 2011
Commute distance (one way): Isabella: 1 mile, Matt: 5-30 miles

Describe your commute: Isabella rides to and from her elementary school on suburban back roads. We plan her route to take advantage of crossing guards and lower-traffic streets as much as we can. I work a few jobs, including as a freelance reporter, so my trips vary quite a bit, and cross everything from gravel trails to state highways. I sometimes get to take the train for part of my travels, but with limited routes and schedules I usually just bike. My longest regular ride is my Saturday commute to the bicycle shop where I work as a mechanic, which is 20 miles of rolling hills.

Describe your bike and accessories: Isabella has a mid-70s Schwinn Varisty repainted in the custom “Blue Zebra” colorway. We added a Wald basket, SKS fenders and some aluminum rims for better braking power. I have a 2009 Jamis Commuter with Soma Moustache II handlebars, front and rear racks and a Carradice “College” saddlebag mounted on a homemade bracket (a Brooks saddle wasn’t in the budget this year). We also use a flatbed trailer made from a stripped-down child carrier for heavy hauling.

What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: Be MacGuyver. If you need your bike, your clothing or your accessories to do something that they don’t, see if there’s a way to hack them so they do (within reasonable safety parameters of course). And don’t think homemade modifications have to be ugly, some of them are pretty elegant, but if you need to kludge together something with PVC pipe and zip ties to get the job done, so be it, especially if it’s a roadside fix. Even if you’re not that confident with your technical skills, at least learn to fix a flat and carry what you need to do so.

[Visit our Bicycle Commuter Profiles page to add your profile to the collection. —ed.]

Bicycle Commuter Profile: Glenn Murray

Bicycle Commuter Profile

Name: Glenn Murray
Location: Cleveland, Ohio USA
Started bike commuting: About 5 years ago
Commute distance (one way): 3.2 miles

Describe your commute: I ride on surface streets from Cleveland’s trendy Tremont neighborhood, across the Cuyahoga River on a dedicated bicycle lane of the art deco Lorain Carnegie Bridge and then through downtown past The ballpark, Public Square and Tower City.

Describe your bike and accessories: I began commuting on a mountain bike, but soon discovered the knobby tires really didn’t coast very well, all but low and high gears went unused, and the hunched riding position was very uncomfortable. I have been commuting on a 1983 vintage Raleigh 3-speed for two years and have been much more comfortable. I have added cream Schwable Delta Cruiser Tires and a Brooks B-66 Leather saddle.

What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: Get a bell and always ring “HI” to fellow bicyclists. Take your time, It’s supposed to be fun. Say “GOOD MORNING” to joggers and pedstrians you meet on the way. Enjoy the sunrise. We get some stunning sunrises here in Cleveland. Bring doughnuts to the OCCUPY WALL STREET people every once in a while, they really appreciate them.

[Visit our Bicycle Commuter Profiles page to add your profile to the collection. —ed.]

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