Name: Aaron P.
Location: Belmont, MA, USA
Started bike commuting: 2001
Commute distance (one way): 6 miles
Describe your commute: My commute route was selected almost entirely for efficiency. Near my house the roads are quiet suburban streets and the first few intersections have crossing guards who insist on stopping traffic for me (even though I am, technically, “traffic” myself.) The roads get progressively larger and busier pretty much the whole way to work, culminating in the Longwood Medical Area, a complex area full of ambulances, people visiting for the first time, unsure of where they’re going, and lots of other cyclists.
I’m blessed with a secured bike cage provided by my employers and am often lucky enough to ride with a coworker for the ride home.
Describe your bike and accessories: April through November I ride a 2010 60cm Rivendell Sam Hillborne. I have SKS longboard fenders, a Brooks b17 saddle, Ortlieb backroller panniers, and really enjoy myself. Sadly, in the winter I don’t ride it. Instead, I ride a Trek xo-1 cyclocross bike with studded tires, fenders, but no rack (no mounts). This bike is bomb- and rust-proof, which makes it great fun, but nothing like the Sam.
What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: To me, the most important thing in driving also holds true for cycling: Always have at least one way out. If you’re tailgating a car, you’re not leaving yourself a way around that car if it stops suddenly. Splitting lanes of moving traffic leaves little room to maneuver when there’s a surprise (and there will be a surprise, one day). Same goes for riding close to parked cars and their doors, recklessly running lights, etc.