What’s in Our Bike Commuting Kits
As national bike-to-work month wrapped up, we checked in with some of our employees who’d logged miles in the Backcountry.com bike commuting contest to find out what and where they ride, what they carry, and, of course, what they carry it in.
My ride to work is about 11.2 miles round trip with 80 meters of steep climbing on the way home. The route I take is very safe with mostly frontage roads or bike paths. Here’s a Strava profile of a one-way ride: View the Route
Riding my bike to work is definitely a cheaper/earth friendly way to commute, but it’s also the best wakeup call to start my blood pumping for the day.
My gear, both equipment and clothing, is very similar to what I use for training and racing every day. It works well for my commute, but it also means I have everything I need with me if I want to get out for a lunchtime ride.
Just as before a race, a cup of French-press coffee before the commute is a must.
I ride down Redwood Road in Salt Lake City, about six miles each way. It is a pretty level grade the entire ride and the road surface is smooth pavement; there were a lot of potholes and sketchy road surfaces pretty recently, but there has been lots of construction lately so I now have a giant bike lane to ride in. I still have to watch out for construction equipment, cones and construction workers. As far as traffic goes Redwood is probably one of the worst roads to bike down because it’s a major artery, so I have to keep my eyes peeled and stay extra alert at all times in order to avoid being hit (even in the bike lane).
I am rolling a super-customized ‘80s Nishiki Olympic 12. There were two versions made of this bike; the one made by Giant in the US and the Japanese steel (Chromoly) one, which I have. It has a lot of upgrades and customization like a new Brooks saddle and Reynolds wheels.
Crank Brothers Alloy Power Pump
Abus uGrip Chain Lock
Crank Brothers Multi-19 Tool
Lezyne Lever Kit
Lezyne Femto Drive Front Light
Lezyne Femto Drive Rear Light
Mammut T-Base Headlamp
Louis Garneau Neo Protect Shoe Covers
Castelli Lightness Gloves
Be prepared for inclement weather by packing stashable rain pants and shell jacket; their small footprint will not take up much space in a pack and having rain proof layers allows you to choose between dry and warm and wet and miserable.
My ride is really short–only .6 miles along trails—so I bike to work year-round. I try to get in a ride at lunchtime and then just eat lunch at my desk, so I make sure to have all my gear with me. There’s nothing like hitting the trail midday to keep you focused and fresh at work.
Leave a pair of street shoes at the office to free up room in your bag for lunchtime ride gear and your lunch.
I commute 11.8 miles each way on my mountain bike; it takes about an hour and a half on the way in and two and a half on the way home. It has an elevation gain of 1,321 feet on the way in, and 2,037 feet on the way home, and features some of the steepest singletrack climbs I’ve experienced in Park City (I still have to walk two sections; I’m hoping to get stronger). It reminds me of riding back in New England. There are no traffic issues, because aside from the first two miles it’s all singletrack; the only cars I see are people who live up in the neighborhoods, and they always give a friendly wave. I often encounter moose, but they just ignore me and keep grazing.
My bike is an old Motobecane Hardtail, with Stans Crest rims with Hope Hubs Tires Maxxis Aspens 26×2.25. The hubs are Hope Pros2s, the fork is a Rock Shox Sid Race, and the brakes are Shimano XT.
Remember your favorite sports drink, especially in the heat. My choice is unquestionably the Skratch Labs Drink Mix (lemon/lime flavor); the best part about this mix is that it’s an actual food product made with real fruit.