Gallery: Mark’s 1974 Raleigh Sport

Mark's 1974 Raleigh Sport
Mark's 1974 Raleigh Sport

I purchased this 1974 Raleigh Sport from a man who hadn’t ridden the 3-speed since moving from the flats of Virginia Beach to the hills of Charlottesville in the early 1980s. It sat rusting with it’s original Norfolk and Richmond bike license stickers. After a complete rehab – tires, bearings, new chain, cables, rust removal and polishing – it now serves as my main commuter for a ~5-8 mile / day daily trip through downtown Charlottesville where the limited gearing span is no problem. The fenders, chain guard, and upright stance make riding in a suit and tie feasible. For nighttime visibility, to supplement my helmet light I added an old Royce Union dynamo and light set (rigging up the broken taillight with a salvaged LED, resistor, and a red reflector cover from a jogging blinky light), an old Cateye headlight, and a new Planet Bike fender-mounted blinky light. I indulged in a new Brooks saddle and bought a way-too-robust double-legged kickstand. Although not a pristine restoration, the chipped patina, in my opinion, is handsome and ensures that I will not sweat if someone dings it a bit in the inadequate bike parking at my workplace. Next step: an vintage-appropriate back cargo rack so that I don’t need to wear a backpack.


Bicycle Commuter Profile: Thomas

Name: Thomas
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Started bike commuting: Off and on since 1985
Commute distance (one way): 1.5-22 miles

Describe your commute: My morning commute is on an unpleasantly busy and fast part of Peachtree Street in Atlanta, but luckily only about 1.5 miles long. Evenings I take the long way home for 6 to 22 miles, depending on season and daylight available, mostly on relatively quiet streets after riding through the Georgia Tech campus. Sometimes I’ll jump on a MUP for a couple of miles in the evening for a change. I commute by bike 1-4 days a week depending on schedules, with the other days using the car or bus.

Describe your bike and accessories: A Felt F2 carbon racing bike is used during the summer when I’m riding more miles. I carry a change of bike clothes for the afternoon ride in a backpack, and pick up office clothes during the weekend. I’ve decided that a backpack is more comfortable and manageable than a messenger bag, especially when riding in traffic. I keep a white and red blinkie light in my pack for late days at the office.

During the winter and when rainy, I use a Novara Fusion “City Bike” that is equipped with fenders, rack, Shimano Alfine 8-speed internal gear hub, Alfine dynamo hub and Basta front light, a blinkie light on the rear, and Cateye spoke-mounted blinkies (these are great). It is mostly factory-equipped, with the exception of pedals (SPD one-side) and better grips. It’s a tank of a bike and is comfortable for about an hour long ride or just poking around. I find the 8-speed hub a bit limited in the low range, especially if the baskets are loaded with groceries or laptop and books. I use an old pair of Jandd grocery baskets to carry clothes in a tote bag and the briefcase in the other. Luckily I have a storage room at the office, so I don’t necessarily have to carry a heavy lock, unless I plan to stop somewhere on the way home.

What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: Don’t make commuting a chore. If you’re running late, and/or the weather is bad, don’t feel guilty about riding the bus or taking the car. And try not to get mad at the drivers that honk and yell – I’ll admit I’ve screamed back a few times – it doesn’t look good, and you feel dirty afterwards. Use your lights and give signals, and – very important – don’t be afraid to take the whole lane for safety on crazy busy or fast streets. I’m not very good about getting my things together the night before – I would be less rushed if I would!

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.]

NYC Traffic Haiku

Traffic Haiku

New York City DOT commissioned artist John Morse to develop 12 traffic signs that incorporate clever graphics and haiku poems to get across road safety messages. Pretty cool.

More at NPR

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.]

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