Thursday, March 25, 2010

Noah Dunker-carfree American profile

Tell me a little bit about you (name, age, occupation, carfree or carlite, where you live).

"I'm Noah Dunker. I'm 30 and currently unemployed, but I've made a career of information security and it looks like I'll be back in the game again shortly. I'm car-lite, and use my bicycle whenever it's practical to do so, which is almost always. I live in Lenexa, KS and I'm lucky to have so many things very close to home."

When did you start using a bicycle for commuting?

"In September of 2006, my car started acting up in such a way that it was not safe to drive it. The part I needed was on national back-order and I couldn't find it anywhere. I used some of my money to buy a cheap bicycle to get to and from the nearest bus stop, about 3 miles away from home. By the time I got the parts to fix my car, I was already hooked. As it got colder, I watched most cyclists hang up their bikes, while others, like Keith Gates, continued to ride, even in the snow. I wanted to be like that. "

What is a day in your bicycling life like?

"I use my bikes and the public transit system to get around. I do most of the grocery shopping for my family on my bike. I ride for trips to the post office, pharmacy, restaurants, and the like. I really don't go out too often just for recreation alone. I seem to get quite a few miles in just going to the nearby places that all my neighbors drive to. "

Do you recommend cycling to friends/family members/others? Have any taken you up on it?

"I occasionally suggest it to my friends and family, but I would never force the issue. I ride because it's fun and healthy. A few people I know have occasionally ridden to work after seeing me do it. "

What kind of bike are you currently riding?

"I've got two bikes of my own right now. One of the first bikes I bought when I got back into cycling was a Diamondback mountain bike, and I still have it. It's mostly used during winter. In May of 2007, I sold a car to buy a Trek 1200 road bike, which is my primary ride. I occasionally get other bicycles in to review them. This is cool, because it lets me get a feel for all kinds of different bicycles. Right now, I'm testing a heavy-duty bike inspired by European utility bicycles."

In your opinion, what’s the best part about cycling?

"To me, it all boils down to efficiency. It's almost miraculous how efficient a person (plus cargo) on a bike is when it comes to how much can be moved, and how far with so little energy used."

What’s the worst?

"Rainy days near freezing are the worst. I'd rather ride my bike in below-zero temperatures, or a blizzard, or a 100-degree day than ride in the rain when it's below 40 degrees outside, but I always make it through just fine."

What are three pieces of advice you would give to someone starting/ considering commuting by bike?

1)" It's all about the route. A good route to your destination will make your commute much more enjoyable and less stressful."

2) "You don't need to spend a lot on your bike, but don't get one from the toy aisle. Many bike shops sell inexpensive used bikes that have been tuned up and repaired. These are usually a good deal."

3) "Comfort is king. Make sure your bike is adjusted properly, and wear bike shorts (even if they're under normal clothes) if you have a longer commute. It makes all the difference in the world."

Anything else you would like to add?

"Get out and bike your drive! You just might like it! "

See Noah's world class blog on Bike Commuting

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