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Donn's Commute Details

Bike description

Donn's Bike Photo My commute bike is the bike that I do everything with. It's an Otis Guy Softride. I use Spinergy Spox wheels and the spokes are yellow, so it makes it sort of a hard bike to miss. It's not especially modified for commuting. It has no fenders. I use the same tires and wheels that I use on the weekends. I have a good, home-brew 10-watt lighting system. I use an old NiteRider headlamp powered by a $13.00 alkaline rechargeable battery that should easily last three or four hours on a charge. I carry the battery in my messenger bag. I have a chain stay mounted red LED taillight, and a similar one mounted to the back of my helmet. I like good lights and I always have a Cateye Halogen lighting system with an extra set of batteries for the backup. It's no fun to get caught without lights. Additionally, I have bits of reflective tape stuck here and there on my bike and crank arms, and reflective tape sewn onto my messenger bag. I also use Jandd reflective ankle bands.

Commute Route:

Sebastopol-Mendocino Ave./Fountaingrove Ave., Santa Rosa, about 11 miles one way. I use the Joe Radota Trail from Sebastopol to Fulton Rd. I use the Santa Rosa Creek Trail to Railroad Square. From RR Square I take Wilson to Morgan to Amory to the County Admin Center. Ventura Drive gets me through the County complex and out to Bicentennial near Kaiser. From there I am minutes from work. I have a shower at my job and I carry my clean and dirty clothes and lunch and lights, etc. in an old green Timbuktu messenger bag. My route has the advantage of lots of bike trails, but the trails are very dark. You have to have good lights that throw a long beam and still look very sharp for all kinds of traffic that is not lit up. There are riders and pedestrians out there without lights. There are lots of cats prowling the Laguna, and they can get under your wheels. Once I hit a rabbit and took a spill in the dark coming home to Sebastopol.

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©2005 Douglas McKenzie