Enabling Commuters

Cycle London

I love this idea. I have talked with a number of friends about commuting to work. “It’s easy” I tell them. Of course - I have it good. I have a shower on my floor, and I get to bring my bike up the service elevator to my desk. I can walk into the office draped in lycra without raising an eyebrow.

It’s not the distance - the hardest part of the commute is the logistics. Some employers do a great job of helping out by providing the facilities cyclists need. Problem is - not all employers are so kind. The London government looks like they are taking the right steps to bringing these facilities to the masses. Although wide-open public facilities may work, I think there are some better options.

  1. Subsidize a shower-only membership to a gym “ downtown centers are littered with gyms, but oftentimes the membership costs are too high to justify. Commuters only need a subset of the services, so let them pay a reduced amount for it (and have the govt help out).
    1. Provide secure, individual bike lockers in the gym buildings - bury them on the bottom floor of the parking garage for all we care, but cage them off so people can call them their own and keep stuff there. Put in lockers as well so folks can store fresh clothes as well. Laundry services can help resolve the but I have to wear a suit issue.
    2. Create an emergency bus pass program “ there are some days when taking the bus is necessary. Give out passes good for 5 trips a month that commuters can hold onto in a pinch.

The key is lots of locations around a downtown area. Putting all these facilities in one spot is only convenient for those few people that work close. Businesses do a great job of supporting Van-Pooling, Public Transit, and carpooling, but don’t give proper support to cyclists. I think the problem is most don’t know how without a large facilities investment. Maybe we need to talk to Lance and his friends at 24hr Fitness and get the ball rolling.

Urban Cannondale

As usual - Europe gets the good stuff first. Raw Cannondale is the name of the new bike released last week at a fashion show in Barcelona. I found it on roadcyclinguk which is a site where I usually find new race gear. Anyway - looks pretty hot with its Alfine trim and rough appearance. At GBP1500 - it ain’t going to be cheap if it ever does make it to the states.

RAW Cannondale

Bike Beard

Try as I have, I’ve never got this far with a beard, like nanobiker has. I get close and shave it off or Pam demands that it comes off! Also note the cold-weather riding tips on the photo.

More from the Bike Hugger Photostream.

Icy Streets, Falling down

The Tuesday morning commute was made extra-special-icy by the monday evening snow here in Seattle. We usually only see real ice here a couple times a year, making it hard to get any real practice in. What’s a committed commuter to do? Ride right through, maybe take a fall or two. Here are some guidelines for falling from Bike Snob NYC – finally a good excuse for fulfilling my breakdancing fantasies.

My short commute is pretty short, enough to just fit outside the 2-mile challenge radius. Seeing the streets all icy Tuesday morning I decided shorter was wiser and called my carpool mate to see if he was OK with unplanned passenger.

Having secured my car-ride, I went out to select my bike. Choices were limited as my main bad weather bike had a bum bearing, and I needed to pick up the wheel from a local bike shop that evening. I thought about taking the mountain bike, but in the end the folder was more convenient and I’d need it in the car anyway to pick up my other wheel and ride home. Folder + slicks it was.

I took it slow and easy on the flats, and slow and 1-leg down while headed down the big hill on 50th st. So far so good and I have to admit some hubris as I sat at the head of the line at the 50th St. Stoneway intersection. As always hubris pays off in spades and sure enough 20 feet later I was splayed out in the middle of the busiest intersection of my commute, thousands of smug car-muters chuckling wisely to themselves.

At the end of the day I’ve got a minor bump on one knee, and I still think I had much more fun than the car-muters. Next annual icy commute? Kneepads to go with my breakdancing.

Sporting Wood

I ran across this new “must have” (not really) component at bikesnobnyc. Fast Boy Cycles - a craftsman of amazing wooden fenders, is extending his product line to include wooden handlebars. They are probably great for a trophy bike, but in practice I’m not sure I want to ride them over a pothole.

Wooden Bars

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