Jamie in Columbus, Ohio hates to drive. Jamie is an environmentalist. Jamie, who believes fitness is important, also wants to be a good role model for his son.
"I got absolutely tired of walking into work stressed out, angry and frustrated," he says, regarding his car commute. Jamie also "figured that the best way to be an environmentalist is to practice what I preach."
So Jamie talked about riding a bike. When he got a Specialized Expedition Sport comfort bike as a gift last November, he started commuting by bike almost immediately. Soon after, he started his Bike Commuting in Columbus blog.
"My first commute was during a warm spell in November along the bike path. I was in my work clothes and the path was just a tad wet, and I didn't have any fenders on my bike. So I got to work and had a slight stripe running up my arse. Luckily I'm a computer programmer so I don't have to get up too often. I started using wet-weather gear more often after that."
I asked Jamie about the advice he might offer to beginner bike commutes. "Ask around first about things you might need to know or have. Don't go into it without doing some research, or a bad experience might get you back behind the wheel before you've experienced a real good commute. One thing that benefited me was buying a really good book on the topic of urban biking and making sure that I was prepared. The book was Urban Bikers' Tricks & Tips."
Jamie has continued his bicycle commute through the winter. "I've never thought about giving up. The hardest thing to get used to was the traffic situation, but when I first rode in traffic I realized that most drivers around here were more afraid of me than I was of them. I enjoyed it too much, and I still feel very strongly about practicing what I preach. I love being outside in the elements, and I won't lie when I say that I get a private kick out of seeing the looks on the faces of my co-workers when I come in with all my bike stuff on and they look at me like I'm crazy, especially on mornings like today when there was 6" of snow on the ground when I came rolling in."
Bike Commuting in Columbus: Check it out.