The Bike Geek: Bike commuter fashion


I was really excited to get back to bike commuting but I noticed that I was sticking out like a sore thumb during my train ride. I normally don’t give a shit what people think, but this got me thinking about “Bike commuter fashion” and I was curious to see what the new trends are.

If we go back to when the fixie fad was raging, riders were all about capris, knickers, tight pants, wool shirts and snickers shoes. From what I have observed, this trend has pretty much faded and now is all about looking “normal” while doing the train/bike thing.

So my challenge was to find something I could wear on the train, on the bike AND basically at my desk. I work as an IT professional (surprised?) with a relaxed dress code; collared shirt and jeans will do.

A few searches regarding “Bike Commuter Clothing” revealed quite a few articles of what to wear and also a few companies that offer specific clothing for “bike commuters” or “urban riders”. My main focus was tops, I don’t see myself riding with pants or knickers; there is a reason why I pay through the nose to live in Southern California and that is the superb weather we enjoy year-round so shorts are my choice for bottoms.

Here is what I found:


Zoic Jerseys-They look like Polos with a collar and no funky graphics nor ugly colors. Their prices range from $60 to $100 but I scored one from Nashbar for about $29.


CHCB clothing by Performance Bike – Wool/Polyester polos on sale for $29? Sign me up! I purchased their VC polo jersey in brown with stripes and their Overby Hoodie.


Club Ride Apparel-I found a casual top with no collar for $24.00, their polo shirts were over $40 and that seem a little too much for what I wanted to spend.


Danny Shane – I went out on a limb and got one of their Jerseys for $32.00. These are supposed to be “designer cycling jerseys” made out of bamboo white ash fabric and sell for $85.00. The fabric is nice BUT the fit is way too “slim” for my non-European body. The cycling jersey that I got is not suitable for the office so this may go back to Ebay.


Ben Hogan – Yeah, this brand is sold at big box stores and Amazon, but if I’m gonna be spending upwards of $29 per “commuter” shirt, I wanted to see what a $15.99 “performance” shirt would bring to the table.

Interestingly, none of the brands mentioned above are made in the USA. You would think they do for the price they command.


The last piece of clothing is not a top nor a bottom; they are shoes. I’ve had my DZR GMT 8 shoes since 2011. As you can see, they still look great except for all the white material. Chrome Industries and DZR seem to be the major players with stylish shoes for bike commuters, I’m thinking that an order for the DZR Minnas is in the near future.


Next week on The Bike Geek: 2 Wheel Gear Pannier Backpack Convertible

The Bike Geek: A lesson in public transportation

This week was going to be my second time taking the train and commuting on my bike to work, but it was not the case. Due to the terrorist attacks in Brussels, Los Angeles was in high alert and this caused for all train service to be halted due to a “suspicious” package chained to a pole at one of the train stations. The stoppage happened one minute before my train was supposed to arrive but I waited for an hour to see if the train service would resume but no dice and I ended up driving to work.


As I arrived to work and followed the news regarding the train stoppage, it was found that the package contained clothes and all train service resumed at 10:30 AM. Now, I would think that because train service was stopped, a refund would be in order. Nope. All sales are final. So I basically wasted not only the fare going to work, but also the one returning since I bought a round trip ticket. The lesson: buy a one way ticket.


This was pretty discouraging given that $14.50 worth of gas would take me to and from work 4 times. Factor in the fact that I’m taking the train to work so I won’t have to deal with the stress of driving, this snafu pretty much negated all gains from using the train as a method of transportation.

But fuck the terrorists, I will continue to take the train and ride my bike to work at least once a week because very few things beat the freedom of riding a bike.

The Bike Geek: Ride the talk

Walk the Talk:

1) Back up or prove what’s said with action.
2) Represent words with action.
3) Practice what’s preached.


Well, here we are, time to “walk the talk” or in my case “ride the talk”. I’ve been planning this multi modal commute for almost a month. I got my train schedule, planned my route, got my commuter bicycle and we switched to daylight savings.


I showed up to the train station armed with very little information about riding a train with a bike from the Metrolink site, so I basically followed a couple of bike commuters and observed what they did.


The train that I was going to board had a “bicycle car”, this meant that there were three stalls where you can “park” your bike and then sit down. If you are the type of person who spit shines your commuter bike or really minds getting a little scratch on your frame, this is not for you. You basically stash your bike on top of other bikes and secure them via a tie down. I’m not much of a stickler when it comes to my commuter bikes but this was a little unsettling. I was actually worried that my bike would scratch the other bikes but I guess this is what you do. You also have to be mindful to move your bike if it is on top of another bike and the person is about to disembark the train, no biggie, just simply move the bike out of the way.


Riding the train was pretty cool, I met some friendly people and learned that I stuck out like a freaking sore thumb among the train-bike commuters. I guess I’m a little old school and it has been years since I rode my bike to work.


I changed my route based on the suggestion from a person who rides to work and lives near by, he also happens to be the President of the company. He is cool in my book. The route had nice wide bicycle lanes and it was not too busy, I also took the river trail for part of my bicycle ride.


My entire commute took about 55 minutes, it sure beats an hour and 20 in heavy traffic. Is it worth the $14.50 round trip? Financially speaking it is a close no, but damn it feels good to ride a bike to work again.

Here is a little video I did of my experience, I’m not good at video editing so if you don’t like it, don’t vote for me for the Oscar.

Next week: Bike Commuter fashion

The Bike Geek: My favorite safety accessories

Yes, we all hate Mondays but “The Man” wanted me to try to posting on Mondays instead of the weekend. Something to do with SEO, PPC, blah, blah, blah, best day to post, blah, blah.

Stick It To The Man

So now that I have my train schedule, my route figured out, got my commuter bike, it is almost time to “Ride the talk”. One thing that always concerns me about riding my bike to work is careless drivers. The “ride as if you are invisible” is always on my mind when I ride on the streets, so to make myself more visible and ride defensively and I carry a few safety accessories:

1. Bright ass blinkies and a horn.

My new personal favorite rear blinkie is the NiteRider Sentinel that we reviewed a little while ago and I’ve been using the Orp light/horn (the jury is still out on this one, more on that later)

2. Mirrors


The Chuck Harris helmet mirror that I used to ride with back in 2008 was awesome, unfortunately I lost it and Chuck Harris passed away in 2012. However, I found a company that not only do they make Chuck Harris style mirrors, they are able to make them with your logo! Check out my brand spanking new helmet mirror:



I also ride with a handlebar mirror, but those can be tricky to adjust.

3. Hi-Viz clothing.


As I walk into the office, I’m always told that I can be seen a mile away. Good I say, now you have no excuse to run my ass over!

4. Helmet.


I do not understand why people refuse to ride with no helmet, I rather be uncool than a freaking vegetable in case of a crash.

5. “Personal Protection”

Yes, I do carry pepper spray with me, thankfully I’ve never had to use it. I carry it because people suck.


I love this bracelet, all your information that you choose is there in case you are incapacitated and someone needs to call your emergency contacts.

7.Inexpensive Action Sports Camera

This maybe a little over the top, but when motorists do not care about you and see you as a nuisance, better to have it on video. Oh, and because people suck.

You maybe thinking, WTF, why does he carry all this crap with him? Again, I want to get home safe to my family and unfortunately I live in a region where the car is king and pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycle riders are just a “bump in the road”.

Next Week: Time to “ride the talk”!