Thursday, February 4, 2016

2016 (Winter) Commuter Profile No. 1: Peter

Peter with trusty 1980's Miyata
Our Commuter Profiles are a great way to learn how others approach the challenges and find the rewards in getting around by bicycle in Thurston County. If you are currently using your bicycle for transportation and have participated in the Bicycle Commuter Contest (or plan to this year), you could be featured here! If interested, contact dgreen"at"intercitytransit.com 

  • What is your age, roughly speaking? 50
  • What is your occupation or area of study? Energy programs and energy policy at WA Dept. of Commerce State Energy Office.
  • What is your most frequent destination on your bike? Commute to work.
  • How did you hear about the Bicycle Commuter Contest? Email, CTR promotion (Commute Trip Reduction), and  IT coach advertising panels.
  • How many times have you participated in the Bicycle Commuter Contest? 3-6 times.
  • What got you started riding your bike to get around (practical cycling)? Elementary school commuting and transportation, rekindled for college commuting, which grew to work commuting and triathlon training, recreation and errands, and now predominately work commuting.
  • How many years have you been getting around by bike? 12-15 years
  • Describe your current average or usual trip (distance, terrain, urban/rural, etc.) 5 mile trip from home to work along the Chehalis-Western trail to the Woodland trail to Eastside St. to Union Ave. to work place. The trail route is flatter since it runs along a former railroad bed, but longer than taking a more direct surface street route. Since I ride a single speed bike it is difficult to tackle going up the hill on the way home on surface streets.
  • How have you adapted your habits to make practical cycling work for you? Commuting by bike saves time spent in the gym doing alternate cardio work. Consequently, I save time commuting by bike.
  • What are some of the benefits you have experienced from commuting by bike? Stress reduction, health maintenance, and excellent way to wake up in the morning / get charged for work.
  • What are some of the challenges you have experienced, and how have you overcome them? Bad weather solved with good clothing, lots of lights and reflectors, and a sense of humor.
  • What is it that keeps you going, especially when the going is tough (weather, darkness, inertia, etc.)? It’s my routine regardless of the weather (minus icy surfaces) and the shock value received from co-workers when I arrive on a rainy or snowy day by bicycle.
  • How do you choose your route (most direct, least traffic, most scenic, etc.)? Elevation gain / loss since I ride a single speed bike, then shade covered for comfortable summer riding, and finally least traffic (although pedestrians and their dogs can be problematic) which lead me to the Chehalis Western and Woodland trail routes.
  • What style of bike do you ride to commute? I ride an entry level sport bike I purchased 30 years ago for triathlon training now converted to a single speed commuter (lights, fenders, reflectors) using tubular tires and rims. Some of my riding clothes dates back thirty years too.
  • Any words of wisdom for the beginning practical cyclist? Just do it. Keep a sense of humor and enjoy the adventure. It beats driving any day.
  • What’s your favorite thing about practical cycling and/or the BCC? Multiple benefits of fun, exercise, fresh air, lower carbon footprint, and cheaper commute.

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