Recent Bike Activity

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Breezer, Copenhagen and n+1

I'll probably ride around 1,700 miles this year, with the miles split evenly between recreational riding and commuting/running errands.

Regarding commuting, I've tried just about everything since I started commuting in 2000.  I've ridden mountain bikes, a road bike, and a single speed.  I commute for five to seven miles, depending on what route I take based upon my level of acceptable risk in getting run over on a particular day.  

In 2008, I had my biggest year ever for biking.  Motivated by my brother-in-law's invitation to bike the Solvang Century that year, I biked nearly 1,000 miles in January and February alone, and continued a pretty rigorous commute and 40 mile weekend ride throughout the year.  

During that year, my commutes were bat-out-of-hell crazy. I had a new carbon fiber road bike, and I'd push as much as I could every time and track every ride for speed.  In the morning, I'd end up at work sweating up a storm and would have to take a shower every day after cooling down for 30 minutes.  Even with stoplights and having to ride cautiously because of road conditions at times, I'd average 18 miles per hour door to door on those commute trips.

Although my daily time-trials felt kind of awesome, I started wondering about my efficiency.  On a good day, although the ride would only take 10 minutes longer by bike than car, the showering at work and packing (and sometimes forgetting) clothes everyday became a burden.  Additionally, I'd occasionally want to stop by a grocery store on the way home, and walking through the store with the clips on would be at best cumbersome.  Finally, I'd often forget to charge my bike-light battery, and either ride home in the dark or hang around work until it charged.

So, I started thinking about what it would take to have a regular Copenhagen-type bike...a bike that I'd really be using instead of a car to do some shopping and go to work.

I decided on the Breezer Uptown 8, after a bit of serious research.  The Breezer has a built-in generator for the light, an internal hub, and a cheesy chain guard that really does keep my pant legs out of the chain.  I paid about $1,300 for the bike back in 2008, although I understand the bikes can now be had for about $900 now.

Breezer Uptown 8
Quite frankly, I love the Breezer.  In addition to improving my commute in the ways listed above, I have realized that the upright position of the commuter bike really does feel safer, anyway, when commuting, and it seems that the car drivers are a little more accepting of me when I'm upright and in work clothes than when I'm in spandex and in the road bike posture.

Bike Headquarters
I'll conclude with

Rule #
 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
While the minimum number of bikes one should own is three, the correct number is n+1, where n is the number of bikes currently owned. This equation may also be re-written as s-1, where s is the number of bikes owned that would result in separation from your partner.

Indeed, I still love my other bikes, and I'm working towards s-1.

The Correct Number of Bikes?

Breezer at the Office after Lunch Shopping at Trader Joes

There's a 1/2 Gallon of Milk in There

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