Monday, March 12, 2012

A New Way of Commuting

While I have not been on my bike since October and have zero plans to get back on it, does not necessarily mean I've ruled out biking all together...

All the riding I've done in the past several years has all been for training which means I haven't necessarily enjoyed the rides, or gotten to ride for leisure or transportation, or stopped and taken pictures of cool things I've seen on my bike. No, biking was work. But as the training went on I didn't find that I necessarily hated biking, I hated bike training.

Fast forwarder to this past September and I got a job that is only a few miles from home. A location that I biked by countless times during my ironman training. When I was hired I inquired about being a bike commuter and our company totally supports it (yet we don't have any bike racks). We have a gym onsite so shower facilities are available. The problem for me was, because we don't have bike racks (the people here just leave their bikes tucked into nooks in the buildings) and my only bike was my fancy triathlon bike, I didn't feel comfortable leaving my bike laying around. I had an old bike in the basement that would work well for commuting except all the components are rusted out and it needs new, basically, everything. With all the money I would put into it, it would be better to buy a new bike.

So on Sunday I made my way to Roll, my favorite local bike shop, to search for a new ride. I had a list of requirements:

1. Will be commuting between 16-20 miles a day.
2. Want a road-type bike but do not feel comfortable in drop handlebars nor do I like the geometry of a road bike.
3. Want to be able to carry things or attach a cart to it.
4. Needs to be comfortable and dependable.

Chris, my favorite bike person salesperson in the whole world, knew exactly what I was looking for and came out with this....Giant's City Escape. It was perfect - road-ish bike but able to handle rough terrain, sat upright, no drop handlebars, came with a rack and elastics, fenders, and it even had a bell. And before I knew it, it was mine.

There's a few more things I have to work out before I can actually commute to work but I am so excited to be able to be a bike commuter. I am sooooo excited that I've already created my spreadsheet to see how much money I'm saving by replacing my car with my bike on trips.

Would you ever bike commute or do you bike commute? What's your limit in terms of gas prices before you'll make a change to the way you commute? Does your city have public transit options? My new bike needs a name. Any suggestions?


jeff said...

even though you haven't seen princess bride, i still vote for fezzik.

you could say, "i'm going to ride fezzik to work" and picture yourself perched happily upon his mighty shoulders.

M said...

yay for roll! And yay for Chris - he had me try out that bike last year, and it was so comfy. Great commuting bike!

I actually do plan on bike commuting this year, but I'll be doing it on the new ride. if I ask for a commuter bike to have alongside my new ride, my husband may leave me :-)

ADC said...

I have been bike commuting in London for years and I wouldn't do it any other way. Rain or shine, winter, summer, whatever. It really is about many things - being active and in charge of my own transport, quicker, cheaper and most of all loving cycling past great London landmarks such as Houses of Parliament, Big Ben etc. Love it!!!!

Katie Duffy said...

I am definitely thinking about it. I'm going back to school this spring and my school is maybe 14 miles away, in the midst of a bunch of good bike lanes, so it could happen. My main concern is the bike getting stolen, as it's NYC and even a rack and a lock aren't big safeguards. I would probably bring it on the subway and ride home after class.

Caroline said...

Beautiful new bike! I'd be interested to hear how you like commuting on it - I commute on my roadbike fairly often since parking or taking public transportation would cost close to $200/month for me. Most of my ride is on the bike path, but the last 2-3 miles are through some pretty busy parts of downtown DC and it's a little dicey on a roadbike - lack of stability or durability. You will love bike commuting I am sure!