Saturday, November 13, 2010

West Chester dude commutes 60 miles a day to school


Frey is commuting 60 miles a day from West Chester PA to center city Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania. Frey sold his car to help pay for grad school. He had to spend some cash to get his bike "commuting worthy".

Panniers were a must. He did 10 weeks with a backpack and realized he needed panniers to tote gear and food and liquids. Reflective jersey a must as well. Frey has front and back lights, each running 400 lumens of light. Battery packs are attached to his bike. Frey bikes with a lot of weight on his bike. It is heavy when you pick it up.

Frey is 6'7" and had to get an extension for the fork to get his handlebars up high enough. The bike is a store bought Cannondale 63 cm, more than 5 yrs old. He has a setback seatpost and 185 cranks.

His supplies consist of tons of food and his trademark "Triathlon Juice". He carries a pump, CO2, tubes, tires and tools. Way more than the normal bike rider carries. He comes home at night and has to be prepared for most anything as the bike stores along the way are closed.

To quote Frey, "bike commuting is the best part of grad school". He likens it to taking two additional classes as he spends 4 hrs a day on the bike. So with 4 courses already, the commuting puts that up to 6 classes.

One thing Frey has noticed is that the regular folks along his route remember him and they wave to him. The crossing guards sometimes help him cross a 4 lane highway. Heading home at night and in the cold takes lots of planning. Lots of layers are packed in the panniers.

Penn is very accommodating. He has an indoor spot to lock his bike. He rents a locker right in his classroom building to store his gear and a change of clothes for classes . So he does not have to drag winter coats and stuff to walk around campus. His wardrobe is a pair of shorts and a t-shirt that he leaves in his locker.

Frey is closing in on 10,000 miles for the year. His most mileage ever for one year. Biking is such a cool way to get places. Most folks find millions of excuses as to why they cannot bike commute. It does take preparation. It takes time and dedication. Frey gets in around 9 pm Monday night and is back on the road at 7 am the next day.

Anybody can get in a car and drive to work. It takes someone special to bike there. Hats off to you Frey. A job well done.

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