Saturday, December 18

Salvagetti Commuter Team 2011

Twitter spat out a pearl amongst the sludge today. I saw a tweet from Salvagetti Bicycle Workshop earlier today announcing a meeting for a pro-commuter team.

So I went. Mandy was playing at being Santa putting one of the kids' big present together when I headed out from Arvada. It's nine miles to Salvagetti's shop down on Platte Street near REI in Denver. I knew I'd fit in from the non-cyclist point of view, but that I'd probably stick out like a broken shifter with the hipsters.

The ride was good, because it helped me work out the best connection between our part of Arvada and Wheat Ridge, Edgewater and Denver. The eastern two thirds of my ride tonight was basically my old commute between Denver and Golden. I just had to sort out how to intersect it from the north in a way that made sense. I found it.

It was nice to cruise back through Edgewater and around Sloan's Lake. I loved that part of my commute when we lived in Denver and it was really enjoyable tonight. The ride back around Sloan's after dark was incredible. The lights of Edgewater reflected in the cold, clear water.

The meeting went well. What it comes down to is basically a pro deal (i.e. big discount on gear) in exchange for promising to abandon your car for more than 50% of your commutes between January 7 and March 31 and report your mileage and any interesting stories to be shared. The second component of the deal is that you convince a non-commuter to commute at least three times during that timeframe.

For me it's a great opportunity to make connections with other cyclists and to get some exposure for Bike Arvada. It's growing even though it's still little more than an idea.

I had also been wanting to visit Salvagetti because they are one of the two known Xtracycle dealers in the Denver area. I got to check out some stuff as well as the Kona Ute, which is a manufactured long tail hauler. I'd love to get one for Mandy. Between an Xtracycle and a Ute we could haul the family around no problem.

I'm excited because things seem to be moving along to help me gain the experience and exposure I want and need to move me toward a career in transportation planning. It might still be a few years off, but I'm working that direction and getting involved so that's exciting.

I'm excited that Salvagetti is sponsoring this endeavor in the name of commuting. Not everyone is an athlete, but as a commuter cyclist you can be out there, talking, promoting and being an ambassador for cycling to help make cycling more accessible for those already riding a bike and for those considering it.

One thing I really like about this program is that they want us to encourage and help someone else get started commuting by bike. That's one piece of advice I feel is glaringly absent from all "How to be a bicycle commuter" lists. My list would include "Seek out other commuters to advise you and to help you get going." Having a mentor, or at least a companion, makes something like commuting by bike in city traffic (or rural traffic for that matter) so much easier.

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