If you believe everything you read, commuting by bicycle is soaring in popularity, particularly in areas of the Western world dominated by motorised traffic. Figures released by the London Mayor in late 2005 -- at about the same time I started cycling -- revealed that cycling across the capital had leapt by 100 per cent in just five years. Judging by the amount of people I see on the road, even when the weather is miserable, I reckon the boom is still happening.
But what makes people decide to get on the bike, and what is their average commute like? What do they like about cycling? What kind of kit do they use? And what advice would they give to someone thinking about becoming a regular cycling commuter?
I thought I'd put these questions -- and a few more -- to some fellow bike bloggers and post their responses in a new series I've dubbed "Cycling 10", which I'll post on a semi-regular basis.
The first kind soul to answer my 10 questions about cycling is Richard Masoner, aka Fritz, from the US-based Cycle-Licious, a news-based blog that's always jampacked with interesting cycling snippets...
How long have you been commuting by bicycle, and what made you decide to do it?
Can you give a brief description of your route?
What's the best thing about commuting by bicycle?
And the worst?
What sort of bike do you ride?
I also ride a 2002 Trek 1000 (aluminum or "aluminium" for you Brits) and a 2007 Specialized Roubaix (carbon fiber ooh la la). If I feel like punishing myself, I'll occasionally drag out my old, heavy, fat tire GT hardtail mountain bike. All of my bicycles are equipped with SPD MTB pedals.
What's your favourite piece of cycling kit/clothing/gadget?
Helmet or no helmet?
Cycle lane or no cycle lane?
Are you a member of any cycling organisations/clubs? If so, which ones?
What would you say to convince someone who is considering commuting by bicycle to get on board their bike?
Fritz leads virtualization technology bringup for the x64 group at Sun Microsystems. He lives in the hills near Santa Cruz, California, where morning fog waters the towering coast redwood trees. His blog is at www.cyclelicio.us/