Commute like there’s a tomorrow

This photo is so full of awesome I might choke

The summer holiday is over, and we’re back to our daily routines with commuting. We had the storm of the century here on Sunday, so it was still a bit wet on Monday, but it still felt good. I’ve never been good at going from place A to place A, I think I’m a commuter by heart. When I started my commute three months ago the trip took 67 minutes (20.6 kph), also known as one hour and 7 minutes. My initial goal was to break 60 minutes (23 kph), which was about the same time it would take me to take the train and walk to work. That happened already in the first 30 days and I got down to 55 minutes (25 kph) in the next month.

So, a six week holiday (I know, it was awesome) filled with biking and meeting challenges and coming back from work on the first day after the holiday – BOOM! 49 minutes, 28 seconds, 27.9 kilometers per hour. I was ecstatic. Then I started thinking how smart is to start a sensible, daily commute by totally pushing it on the first day. Yeah, not smart. The cool thing is, that now that I’ve broken that mental goal, I can slow down and go easier and make it a full week after another. Cycling is not weight-lifting, it’s more like swimming.

Of course, all that is with the old bike. I seriously have to recommend people to stay away from the cheap market bikes, especially if your plan is to use them for things like cycling. You cannot get quality with little money. Speaking of which:


Tuesday evening came a delivery guy with the words: “Dude, there are so many boxes for you.” I knew what that meant, it meant that my 2010 Surly Cross Check steel cyclocross frame in Beef Gravy Brown arrived in all its glory. In the box were also my custom wheels, which you can see in the photo above, a harmony of 36 spokes of Belgian craftsmanship radiating from a center of Japanese ball-bearing paradise into a French halo of sweet alloy. With German rim tape. I know, it sounds dirty.

So, we finally get in to the project of building the Ultimate Commuter – Next week will be all mostly about that.

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By Markus Sandelin

Markus is a bike commuter gadget freak who is learning the ropes of the bike world, you can find him all around the web - but you can start with his twitter at @banton.