We are happy to announce that Mark from Montclair State University has won our Share Your Story contest after submitting the story below! Remember, doing your part to reduce congestion and emissions can be fun and healthy!
I commute to Montclair State U. by bike 3 or 4 times a week whenever it is dry and above 40F (I telecommute on the other 2 or 3 days). My suburban commute is 6 miles each way.
I have been doing this since spring/summer 2010. I record all my rides to educate myself and others on road positioning and traffic skills (and just in case I am abused); here are a couple of typical commutes:
I am somewhat overweight and 53 years old but it takes me about 25 minutes on the way in and about 22 on the way back, depending on traffic lights and wind--door to door! This is about the same time it takes by car; the drive may be only 15 minutes but then you have to find a parking space and walk 5 minutes to get to the office.
p.s. my bike comes into my office with me!
p.p.s. I think I am probably now qualified to advise on commuting by bike. Apart from the obvious (don't run red lights! wear bright clothing! don't ride in the gutter! do not ride close to parked vehicles--you could get doored! Honking only hurts your ears, and possibly your ego!), the best two pieces of advice I can give are:
1. get a really good flashing light -- 400 lumens minimum -- so that drivers see you coming even in the daytime;
2. take the lane early (e.g., if you have to get around parked vehicles).