Name: Jason and Alisha (responses in green)
Commuters since: Spring 2008 and Fall 2006
Workplace: Ted Stevens International Airport; U of M
Bike shop: The Bike Shop (Anchorage); Hiawatha Cyclery or whatever’s closest for flat tires
How many bikes? 5; 2
The bike: Trek 700
My Minneapolis bike is a cheap-cheap Schwinn. In this picture, it doesn't have my ridiculously big basket on it. We bought a nice bike here in Anchorage for the summer.
Equipage: Rear rack with large basket from Home Depot, fenders, friction front light, arm band rear light.
BIIIIG basket, lights.
Essentials: Fenders, rain gear.
Luxuries: Too poor, but winter gear would be nice. I've seen windscreens for bikes, that would be cool. An xtracycle would be really nice.
Clothes: I'm a pilot and I wear my uniform (minus the tie); not sure what I'll do in the winter, probably keep the uniform at work.
I wear my school clothes, and in winter I add snow pants. The school ride is only 30 min one way. This summer I commute in Anchorage and it takes almost an hour one way so I pack a change of clothes and wear bike shorts.
Typical route: 20% city street, 80% paved bike path, 30-40 minutes, 5 miles
My Minneapolis start is near Minnehaha Falls, and I take Minnehaha to Target/Cub Foods. I turn onto Cedar at Franklin and take Cedar to the west bank at the U of M. If the snow is thick, a good portion of the trip is on the light rail. [See TC Bikemap.]
What got you started? My wife and I are too poor to have a 2nd car, so we share one and both commute on bikes as much as possible.
No parking at school.
How often? Every day that I can. In the winter I plan to commute for day trips, but multi day trips I'll be using the bus or car.
Every day, all school year. I don’t like to bike in the rain because my brakes/bike isn’t very good, so I ride to the light rail. Same system for -15 degree days or when the snow is still on the bike lanes.
What makes it work for you? Necessity. It is nice biking home after a tough day, but sometimes it's kind of hard when I'm tired.
I’m poor and there is no parking.
The Best: Sunny cool day when I don't sweat.
I get to be the tough chick who bikes in the snow.
The Worst: Raining and forgot or too late to put on the rain gear going to work. Coming from work I don't care about getting wet.
I hit a parked car and thought I broke my leg. I was fine, but the car’s mirror had seen better days. Regularly Cedar-Riverside and 19th is the worst place to cross the street ever. No one looks and it’s very dangerous at night.
The Weirdest: Had to go off the path and ride on the road to get around a moose and her calf
Favorite stop/sight: Watching the float planes land next to the major airport.
Advice: If your work has a shower/ locker room it's totally worth commuting on bike. I think that is the biggest excuse for me not doing so especially in the winter when I have to wear a lot of clothes and be super sweaty when I arrive to work. I'm blessed with the cool weather in Anchorage, I don't know if I could do this in Arizona without facilities to change and shower when I arrived.
Be very visible and treat every car like it's a teenager talking on the cell phone while trying to slam a beer: they don't care and they won't see you until you make them see you. If you ride anywhere near dusk, have lights and always try to wear bright clothing (those orange vests save lives).
Drink lots of water and you'll be happier for it.
If you wear headphones (I do) don't blast your tunes: you still want to be able to hear what's going on around you so if you need it that loud know that you are putting yourself at more risk.