Sharon – Bike Commuting…

30 05 2011

Sharon and Donkey off in the morning!

Sharon has become a hardcore bike commuter. I’m impressed at her determination and zeal for the pedal to work. She’s progressed from a non-cyclist to riding her bike 4-7 times a week while her car collects dust in the driveway. She’s not just a fairweather cyclist either. Freezing temperatures and light rain don’t deter her. About the only thing that will keep her off the bike is heavy persistant rain or snowy/icy roads which is pretty lousy for biking to work. Happily that’s not very common here in Victoria – only a handful of winter days are truly horrible!

I will give myself a bit of credit for Sharon’s biking enthusiasm in that I helped make sure she always had a comfortable, reliable bike to ride that was setup for carrying gear and all weather day/night riding. When your gear is dialed it makes everything easier and more fun.

I will also give the City of Victoria some credit for the excellent bicycle infrastructure that makes Sharon’s commute safer and more pleasant. For about half the year we’ve been here she had to ride across town to the Royal Jubilee Hospital using various surface roads – many with bike lanes. Now that she works at the Victoria General Hospital she rides the Galloping Goose Trail [a paved MUP] almost all the way to work which is about as pleasant as it gets living in a city.

Finally I’ll give the Vancouver Island Health Authority [VIHA] for providing lots of secure covered bike storage for the hospital staff.

You know someone is riding a lot when you buy tires for their bike 4 at a time! Go Sharon…=-)


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8 responses

30 05 2011
Doug@MnBicycleCommuter

I’ll take a tiny bit of credit for inspiring the Cross Check build.

30 05 2011
thelazyrando

@Doug – for sure!

30 05 2011
chad

Yea! to another bike commuter…..I agree with the thought that when the gear is dialed in it makes riding fun ;). Speaking of which I am dying to know the set-up Sharon rides? The bike makes it look to easy, to fun, and just plain “oh my I want to ride that bike” cool & commute at the same time. I take it was build up, not a stock purchase. I am eager to try the internal gear set-up, but have yet to find a bike that seems to be “dialed in” so wondering if DIY is better, and a frame set. also ballpark cost?
Thanks, if you choose to share the info!!
enjoy the blog

31 05 2011
thelazyrando

@Chad – I can’t give you an accurate cost for Sharon’s bike because we harvested parts from a previous bike, my spare parts bin and bought new parts. It was certainly not inexpensive. Given the fact we have no kids and no expensive habits beyond bikes I’m inclined to just spend what I need to for a bike like this which is, for Sharon, mission critical. OTOH for my #2 LHT build I’m just rooting around my parts bin to get it rolling as it’s not vital to my cause and saving $$$ is a priority.

If you wanted to get a bike like Sharon’s for a good price here’s what I’d suggest:
- buy a Surly Cross Check complete bike = ~$1100
- Velo Orange Fenders = $60
- Velo Orange touring pedals = $60
- Custom Buddy Flaps mud flaps = $15
- Old Man Mountain Red Rocks rear rack = $95
- PDW Radbot 1000 taillight = $30
- B&M Ixon IQ headlight = $120
- bell = $10
- rustproof frame $10 @ LBS

Total = ~$1500

That will get you a great bike at the best price vs. building from a frame. When you wear out the tires put on some Grand Bois Cypres 32mm rubber if you want a faster more supple ride. Eventually as the drivetrain wears you can replace it with an IGH and maybe the front wheel with a dynohub.

31 05 2011
Micheal Blue

Yes, go Sharon, go. Similar case to mine. My car sees very little use, as well. Though I don’t mind biking when it’s raining hard, as long as there is no stronger wind with it.

2 06 2011
Chris

I bike every chance I get. But I’m not going to lie, if the weather is real bad I usually take my folding bike on the bus for the ride home.

2 06 2011
Chad

@Lazy, thanks for the info on the cross check! helpful but like going to the doctor and hearing what you should do vs. what YOU want to do, it’s not what I hope for..LOL…….I thought building up a frame set would meet my bicycle bliss! but telling me to just buy a complete set-up seemed odd, But as I accept the facts and had a reality check I must bow to the might “LazyRando” for your advice. I was at the LBS yesterday and tested my thought process on them, explaining the drooling want of building up a Surly, just to see what the’d say. they too put a cross-check on me (little Canadian hockey humor) and said that buying a complete bike would be cheaper and better to work with, Man was I defeated—did you call them?? before I got there….so Two votes for the smart people and there advice.
Thanks again for the help, and bike advice, keep peddling….
Chad

2 06 2011
thelazyrando

@Chad…LMAO – if you want the joy of building a bike yourself you could ask your shop to give you an unbuilt CC and do the work yourself. They may even be willing to drop the price slightly due to the reduction of effort. I’m not 100% how Surly ships the complete bikes to a shop. They could be just a frame and a box of parts???

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