Bike Commuter

My REI Co-op ADV 3.1 Bike Outfitted for Commuting to Work

I haven’t owned a car for 2 years and 3 months. I don’t miss it one bit, and have been riding my bike to work (well, to BART which takes me to work). My work is always right along a BART line – it used to be in San Francisco, but is now only 3 BART stops away in Oakland – and is sooooo much nicer than commuting into SF.

The Portland Design Works Takeout Basket

I just added a front basket that attaches to the handlebars. I had to do this because I lock my bike in a bike locker at BART, and the back panniers that I have just don’t squeeze into the locker very easily. This metal basket came with a weatherproof roll top bag, and it can carry various and sundry items – I just won’t put anything too heavy in it – mainly because its attached to the handlebars, and because I don’t want the steering to be swayed too much. I will be attaching my Night Rider halogen night light to my helmet – which is a much better location than the handle bars – where it used to be attached.

The Topeak rack bag with built in panniers

I have had the Topeak bike bag for years. It has a great top loading cargo area and two panniers that you can unzip on each side. I can use the panniers – but only when the bike is not in my BART Bike Locker. For that, I have to zip them up.

The down tube bag with smart phone carrier and protector

For the gym and my exercise, I use the Myzone Cardio Belt. There is a nice app for my Droid – and the display is great while cycling. It tells me at what level my physical exertion is – and has different “zones” – for example, at a heart rate of 120 beats per minute (BPM) I am getting a much better workout than at say 90 or 100 BPM. I do interval training – some weight lifting followed by cardio. I have lost 17 pounds this year and need to lose another 20 to get back to where I want to be. All that sitting in front of the radio chasing DXCC Honor Roll really packed the pounds on – so now I am paying the piper before my health is negatively affected.

I also just got a new bike pump that attaches at the water bottle stays – so now I can get my bike in the bike locker without tearing the fold down panniers – as I started to do. Everything has its purpose and function.

Panasonic (Leica designed) F1.7 20MM lens

By the way, I used my new old stock Lumix GX85 camera and this fantastic lens – for the first time on this blog post. Wow – I see how selective and sharp the focus is – for blogging this is a perfect combination. I like the “bokeh” and out of focus background as compared to the very sharply focused area of interest – that really works well to help illustrate my points in my blog posts. Since I only share photos in my blog – and no longer print them, the 16 MP 4/3rds sensor is plenty enough. I will take the Sony A6000 next and compare. I have an F1.8 35MM lens attached to it.

The awesome Panasonic Lumix GX85 camera – an oldie but a goodie

The GX85 was on a “discontinued sale” at only $597 and it came with two decent Panasonic – Leica lenses. Even the Chinese made Lumix line of Leica lenses are pretty fantastic, and without the ridiculously expensive Leica “badge” on them, they are a steal of a deal – very well made and yes, the Leica quality shines through (bad pun intended).

I did purchase these “Megagear” neoprene “booties” that the cameras go in. This way, when I put the camera in my messenger bag, they won’t get scratched, dinged of otherwise damaged.

MegaGear Camera Bootie

One of the things that is really important for bike commuting is a bag that I can put on and ride – put my bike in the bike locker and walk onto the BART train. My wife had purchased a Sherpani sling bag and turns out – it was too big for her – but fit me perfectly. Not only that – its one of my favorite colors and has the right pockets to hold a book, camera and ham radio hand held with long antenna

Sherpani Esprit sling bag – made for a woman but strong enough for a manly man

Its great to add just a few things to my bike after more than 2 years of riding it to work. This is by far my favorite bike and setup for bike commuting. I also love the GX85 and F1.7 20MM prime lens. I will be carrying it daily to and from work to catch those fleeting moments in life that are usually overlooked as we scurry to and from in our busy lives.


One Comment on “Bike Commuter

  1. Nice bike setup. I’m in San Jose and I commute by bike (20 miles) once a week and love it! I also have an REI co-op bike and I’m very happy with it.

    Liked by 1 person

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