Saturday, May 23, 2015

5 Tips (and more!) From A Self-Professed Bike Geek

By Laurel McJannet

Does the guy pictured above look familiar? He should-- he's Roland, our resident, year-round bike commuter often featured on our Bike to Work efforts (above left is a screenshot from our #MovesLikeTransit video). You can also see him on our video showing how to use our bike racks on buses.

Besides being our resident cyclist, Roland is also a strategic unit planning manager in our Planning and Development Department, pulling together data about our buses and surrounding communities to help the agency create and update our plans for adding service-- like this Transit Development Plan, for instance.

Ah, but this is about Roland and his biking prowess. Here's what he had to say:

How often do you ride to work?
Usually 3 or 4 days a week, year-round.

How long is your commute? 7 miles each way, 25-30 minutes. 

Do you combine bus and bike? 
Frequently. Usually bike and Swift in the morning and then just bike in the afternoon.

How often to you bike outside of Bike Month?  All the time.

Why do you bike?
It's always been part of who I am.  Fitness, mental well-being, I like to see the sights up-close.

I'm a bike geek. 

I like keeping our air clean.  I save a lot of money.  We've always been a one-car family and have been able to 
keep it that way, even with two teenage daughters.  Living where I can bike and bus to work is critical.

What do you like most about biking?
It's fun. I always look forward to my commute-- how many people can say that?

What makes biking to work challenging at times?
Carrying cargo.  Dry cleaning, shoes, boxes, plants.  After 25 years of bike commuting, you get very strategic
about what objects to leave in your office and how to carry them on the bike.

What kind of bike do you ride? 
I currently ride a steel-frame Cyclo-cross bike equipped with fenders, rack and lights for commuting.  It's 
comfortable, not flashy and does really well in the rain.

What advice do you have for the beginning bike rider who is contemplating biking to work?
Get out there and try it!  Don't get hung up on having all the right equipment or clothing.  Get a functional bike.  Find a place to park it (rack, stairwell, office).

Look for ways to make it easy-- combining bus and bike can get you over hills, distance or high-traffic areas.

Thanks for the tips, Roland!

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