Tag Archives: bike commute

The Completed Bianchi – Full Time Commuter?

I’ve spent the last month making adjustments and adding accessories to the Bianchi Camaleonte Uno with the intention of making it my primary ride to work and around the community. With the addition of fenders yesterday, I’ve now got her where I feel comfortable with moving ahead with that idea. Here’s what she looks like at the end of this adjustment period:

2011 Bianchi Camaleonte Uno w/ Topeak Super Tourist rack, Deuter Rack Pack Uni Panniers, and a Kryptonite NY 1210 Chain and Evolution 4 Lock

The stats:
2011 Bianchi Camaleonte Uno
Topeak Super Tourist rack
Deuter Rack Pack Uni Panniers
Planet Bike Hardcore Fenders
Kryptonite NY 1210 Chain & Evolution 4 lock
Superflash blinky
OptiCube headlight

I got great deals on all of these items from my local bike shop (Truly Spokin’) or Amazon. As always, the guys at my LBS have been fantastic, making suggestions, adjustments, and helping me solve a number of smallish issues.

It’s been more money than I had intended on spending, but even just riding the bike 3 days a week to work will pay off the bike in a year. Using it 5 days a week for work and for all local driving (errands, shopping, etc.) will save even more.

Future additions:
– Replacing the stock tires with a pair of Continental Gatorskin Tires
– Replacing the stock saddle with something a bit more comfortable
– Putting a bike computer on her

She’s a LOT of fun to ride – a very different ride than my 2004 Klein Aura V, but they were made for very different purposes! Looking forward to what this next year of cycling brings!

#bikeschool question

this is an email i sent earlier today to the teacher / mod of tonight’s #bikeschool tweetchat – this doesn’t give all the issues or details i’m dealing with, but it’s the thrust of the problem. posted here for background for the #bikeschool crew.

Darryl -

Long story to a short question:
I bought a great road bike (2004 Klein Aura V) back in November with several intentions, the main one being commuting the 7.5 miles from home to the high school I teach at here in Pensacola.

After 6 weeks of commuting (and loving it) I come to find out that I’m being targeted by a local gang that several students in my school belong to. A teacher at the school next to mine was severely beaten, bike destroyed, money, laptop, etc. stolen 2 years ago and left for dead in this neighborhood during his morning commute.

The problem: to go around this neighborhood makes it a 14 mile ride (one way) and takes me through an even worse neighborhood to the south. To the north is I-10. This neighborhood is bottlenecked through this gang’s territory and there’s no way around it.

I’ve searched high and low for sites with info on how to physically protect yourself while riding, but have found little to nothing on the situation I’m facing.

My wife, the school-based gang expert, the school-based sheriff’s deputies, and my vice-principal are all telling me not to ride to work. The teacher who was beaten two years ago says he’ll never ride to work again through that neighborhood. The guys at my local bike shop say a) carry a gun (no thanks) b) carry a knife (again, no) c) get pepper spray d) ride really fast and stop for nothing. (I should mention that being a high school teacher, it’s illegal for me to have a gun, knife, or pepper spray on my person on school property).

Dude – is there a solution to this problem that doesn’t involve not riding the bike to work?

Seriously, this has been breaking my heart.


Cycling Commute

my latest change in habits on the road to continued good health (mine as well as the environment’s)?

Klein Aura V Bike

that, my friends, is a 2004 Klein Aura V road bike. she’s taking the place of that clunky old mongoose mountain bike i’ve been riding the last several years. she comes courtesy of chris baskind, a car-free, cycling-enthusiast, cool dude here in Pensacola who maintains www.ecominima.com. i had been looking at bikes, chris mentioned on Twitter that he was selling his Klein, we talked, he made me an offer i couldn’t pass up, and i’m now rockin’ the road on this sweet thang.

and let me just say this: i figured that a high-end road bike would ride nicer than a $150 wal-mart bike, but holy crap! i had no idea it would make this much of a difference!! i have had so much difficulty reining myself in sometimes while out riding – it’s so much more fun, comfortable, smooth, exhilarating… i could go riding on and on!

i’ve been cycling to and from work (7.5 miles each way) several times a week for the past few weeks and am LOVING it! i’m committing to commuting by bike at least 3 days a week (the other two days i cannot due to other obligations).

more on the rationale and motivation soon.