Day 6 Dream Give away winner!

We received HUNDREDS of entries for the Day6 Dream Contest. But only one can win and BikeCommuters.com would like to congratulate Rob E. Lewis for sending in the correct answer.

Day6 Dream

http://day6bicycles.com/testimonials.html
I expected older folks to be intrigued by the big seat that looks comfortable and they are. I wasn’t expecting teenagers to be yelling “cool bike” and “tight” as I ride by, but they do. Having comfort and a high cool quotient adds to the fun factor of riding.

Thanks to everyone that participated and a special thanks goes to Torger at Day6 Bicycles for making this happen!

Commuter Profile: Paul Emerson

From Tempe AZ, Paul Emerson works in IT (surprised?) at ASU. Paul survived getting hit by a car, here’s his Bike Commuter Profile:

How long have you been a bike commuter?

Seriously dedicated to commuting for about 15 years now.

Why did you start riding your bike to work and how long is your commute?

In my college years I was riding my bike to school, and then I was working at school. I really do not like to be anywhere without a bike, I feel trapped without the instant mobility. My current commute is only 6 miles round trip.

How does Bike Commuting help you with your lifestyle (economics, health, relationships)?

With the money I save on parking and gas I could buy a new bike every year (that is what I tell the wife anyway). I enjoy the health benefits, two mini-workouts every day. The environmental and social aspects are also appealing. There is a little bragging now that gas prices are so high. My wife walks to work so we rarely fill up and I only drive on the weekends to take the family out and about.

What do you do for a living and in what city do you bike commute?

I work in IT at Arizona State University. ASU is very bike friendly and there are nice bike lockers near my office. Tempe is a great place to commute as I can ride year round, although the heat in the summer is decidedly unpleasant. On the few days it does rain I love to ride because it is nice to experience something different than sunny, dry and hot.

What kind(s) of bike do you have?

I love steel bikes and the Surly brand. My main commuter is a SS/fixed Cross-Check. I have an old Surly 1×1 that is now a 9 speed 69er xtracycle, which is mostly for fun and occasional trips to the store, sometimes I take it to work if I need to haul anything. My mountain bike is a rigid SS Karate Monkey 29r. I am looking at getting a Surly Long Haul Trucker for commuting and longer rides.

Any funny or interesting commuting story that you may want to share?

An interesting but sad story is when I was hit by a car that ran a red light a few years ago. I broke my back and ruptured my spleen which was subsequently removed. Shattered the middle finger on my left hand that still has a plate and screws. Maybe a concussion, I don’t remember the details! I was at home recovering for weeks. I still ride through that intersection every day. Three lessons to be learned from that: 1) always let the cars enter the intersection first when the light turns green 2) always wear a helmet 3) avoid getting hit by uninsured, unemployed drivers!

What do people (coworkers, friends) say when you tell them that you are a bike commuter?

They say, “I wish I could do that, but I live so far away.” or “Isn’t that dangerous? You need to be careful.” Surprisingly, after 8 years of working with the same people they still say, “Oh, did you ride today?” or “Isn’t it too hot to ride?”

How about bicycling advocacy? Are you active in any local or regional advocacy groups?

I advocate bike commuting to everyone at work who lives within biking distance. I used to be on the City of Tempe Bicycle Committee that was then rolled into the Tempe Transportation Commission. It was a lesson in governmental procedure that was very interesting. Tempe really has its act together regarding bike lanes and transportation and I am proud to live here. We have the annual Tour de Tempe fun ride in October which shouldn’t be missed.

Anything else that you want to share with us?

I would just hope all bikers remember that every time they take to the road they represent all of us, and should know and obey the rules of the road, even if the motorists seldom do. Also, keep the rubber side down!

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves! We are grateful to Paul for sharing his story and pictures. We are still receiving Commuter Profiles but we haven’t received an article for a while. If you have a rant, review or a How To, email it to us at: info@bikecommuters.com.

Commuter Profile: Tom Long

From the ‘Best Cycling City in America’, Tom Long is a multi-modal bike commuter, here’s his bike commuter profile:

How long have you been a bike commuter?

A little over a year, say about 14 months. Through high school and college I did as well, then I got a car. I dabbled occasionally until last year, but now I do it full time.

Why did you start riding your bike to work and how long is your commute?

I stated riding to work because I was tired of driving and felt I was getting really stupid behind the wheel. Piloting a large metal and plastic encrusted object after completing a 12.5hour overnight shift was getting scary. Not that I was unsafe, but falling asleep behind the wheel was a big worry. By riding all I’m really going to take out is myself. I can also nap on the multi part of my multi-modal commute. I ride about 3 miles each way, split in half by a light-rail trip. I ride to one of the stations near my house, ride light-rail to the closet stop by my work and ride the rest of the way. The nice thing is that if I’m feeling up for longer rides after work I can get off before my normal stop and take an extended ride home.

How does Bike Commuting help you with your lifestyle (economics, health, relationships)?

It’s a lot cheaper, especially considering my employer kicks in a substantial subsidy for my transit pass. My coworkers all complain about their gas bills, then look over at me and say, “We don’t want to hear it!” My “gas” bill is about $40/month…much better than $200! It’s also helped me lose weight and bring down my blood pressure. Plus, even after a horrendous night at work, the ride helps me blow off steam and relax so I can go to bed when I get home.

What do you do for a living and in what city do you bike commute?

I’m a Registered Nurse working the night shift on a busy cardiac unit. There’s moments of intense activity, followed by moments of not so intense activity. I wore a pedometer to work once and clocked 6 miles – that was on a slow night. I commute from Beaverton, OR, into Portland, OR, hence the multi-modal commute, the West Hills are hard to swallow after a night on the floor. But the roads to and from the light rail stations are nice and easy.

What kind(s) of bike do you have?

A late 90’s Specialized Rock Hopper, kitted out with all the necessities of commuting: rack, fenders (this is Oregon folks!), lights, bungees and stickers. Since my back isn’t in the best of shape I stuff everything into a Banjo Brothers Waterproof Pannier.

Any funny or interesting commuting story that you may want to share?

While not of any import, I find it interesting to see how the amount of people commuting by bike waxes and wanes with the weather around here. Then there are the few hard-core souls that do this year-round. Although the price of gas now seems to be pulling them out of the woodwork. There are always interesting stories when riding public transit, whether its the unlicensed pharmaceutical providers conducting business by phone, the drunk guy stumbling up the steps of the train or the invasion of the families into town for a Beavers game, it is anything but boring.

What do people (coworkers, friends) say when you tell them that you are a bike commuter?

At first my co-workers thought I was slightly crazy. And then the winter came, and they thought I was completely insane. Now there is a level of admiration for it: that I’m willing to trade an hour or so of extra sleep to do this. The best feeling ever was one night last winter when the wind was blowing and the rain coming down sideways and as I walked in, dripping in my rain gear, one said to me, “You rode in this? Wow, that’s hardcore!” Made the damp not quite so bad. Now they take it for granted and ask why I’m not riding when I don’t. Funny thing is, I haven’t driven to work in well over a year and don’t miss it. I may not ride every day, but darn close.

How about bicycling advocacy? Are you active in any local or regional advocacy groups?

Other than talking about it to anyone who will listen and slowly working on the wife to agree to start using a bike for local trips, no. Nothing organized, at least yet.

Anything else that you want to share with us?

Take the reports of civil strife in Portland with a grain of salt. It’s still a great place to live, work and ride!

Thank you Tom for sharing your profile, I need your mailing address so I can send you the stickers. Please email it to cycle_moe@yahoo.com

The new Bike Commuter fashion?

After reading news of doctors slamming their brakes in front of cyclists, cyclists getting ran over by impatient drivers, video of a cop tackling a rider and a Colorado Sheriff hating on cyclists. I decided to dress accordingly:

I know that there is more of us riding the streets since Gas prices skyrocketed, in fact, I met a couple riders heading to Long Beach along my lonely route:

Mainstream media reports that there’s escalating tension between motorists and new bike commuters because newbs don’t know the rules of the road. I don’t know about you, but before I started commuting, I used to be a recreational rider and I did my research before I hit the streets. So I hardly think that a person that rarely rides suddenly picks up his bike and heads to work without doing his/her homework. What does my conspiracy-theory mind think? Since the mainstream media earns plenty of ad money from car companies, they try to discourage people trading their cars for bikes by using scare tactics.

So if you are newbie or if you are considering bike commuting, don’t pay attention to those reports, instead, read our BikeCommuter Profiles, you will find lots of inspiration there.