Thursday, May 9, 2013

Travel By Bike Thursday - BIKE TO WORK DAY

Tomorrow May 10th is Bike To Work day.  Unfortunately the local weather forecast does not look very nice but if you have the properly fitted out bike and gear riding in the rain can be accomplished without much risk.  This is my 5th year of bike commuting and the number of commutes has steadily increased from 77 to 137 in 2011.  Last year it dropped to 126 because I did not do as many errands (which I track separately for no good reason other than just to see how much I can improve being car free) and I was also pretty fried after a bike heavy April and May.

You might be thinking that the bike you have is not adequate for commuting and I would have to disagree with you on that.  I carry a backpack most days (unless I take my Salsa Mukluk which is outfitted with a rear rack) and my main bike has fenders on it for wet days but if it is nice out I will ride any of my bikes not just the "commuter".  Working downtown and having to ride on some of the roads I do limits the amount of times I will bring my road bike to work but I do have a "road bike" set up with 700x27 that can take the abuse of downtown riding much better than the 700x23 or 25 that I typically run.  On my commuter I have been running the Specialized Infiniti in 700x28 and am loving them.

Specialized, as with all other manufacturers, have their specific "commuting" bikes which we have highlighted various ones on Thursdays since the blog started up.  My current "commuter" is the All City Nature Boy Single Speed.  Even though I live in the southtowns, I prefer a single speed because of reliability issues.  I have never had a derailleur snap off or a shifter break on my road rides, but with the single speed set up I don't ever have to worry about it happening.  That being said, I still will ride geared bikes to work and I just have a backup plan in case a serious mechanical issue occurs.


What if you have your bike all set up for commuting and bad weather is in store?  There is a great saying that goes something along the lines of:  There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear.  I will agree that on the most part but there have been some weather conditions that were not very conducive to riding a bike.  I have waited out Thunderstorms in friends garages or under picnic shelters.  I have called for a SAG wagon pickup with 35+ mph winds and higher gusts and also that type of wind with rain as well.  Generally speaking though there is good enough gear out there today to keep you protected for most weather conditions.

Nutrition during the day is key to me.  I will leave for work on an empty stomach.  After I arrive and get cleaned up I eat a pretty hefty breakfast and will eat 4 more times during the day to make sure my energy stores are sufficient for my 1.5 hour commute home.  I have done a poor job of nutrition at times and found myself stopping at the local pizzeria for a pick me up to get the rest of the way home, but that does not happen very often (and when it does I don't complain because there is nothing wrong with some fresh pizza!).  If you commute enough you will get a reputation at work about your food intake but it is all good at the end of the day as long as you are not overdoing it!

OK so tomorrow is the day and now you have the inspiration to ride but need some last minute items to make the commute safely.  Well Tom's is open until 8:00pm Thursday (as well as Monday and Tuesday) so stop by the shop and ask some questions about what will work best for your scenario!  I can't promise you that we can get you a Single Speed Nature Boy for tomorrow morning but by next weekend it is a possibility.  We have most sizes available in the Specialized Sirrus or Vita and they are fender and rack compatible.



    Tom's Pro Bike Service
3687 Walden Avenue
Lancaster, New York 14086
Phone: (716) 651-9995
Fax: (716)651-0858

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