Brit Harvey

From Berkeley CA

Commutes 40 Miles RoundTrip for years and months
Two or less days a week, I am a bike commuter Year Round

I work at home most days. I go into my client's office about once a week for meetings. The office is in Silicon Valley, 60 miles from my house in Berkeley. There is no feasible public transportation for this commute, and the freeways are notoriously congested. I take the train (BART) about 40 miles and bicycle the remaining 20 miles. The one-way commute takes a little over two hours, which is not much longer than it would take to drive. This commute is only possible because: 1) BART allows bikes on the trains I take, and 2) the bridge I ride over the bay on (Dumbarton) has a bicycle lane, unlike most Bay Area bridges. It also helps that I can wear shorts and a T-shirt in the office and I have some flexibility in rescheduling meetings if the day turns out to be rainy. I am also able to take advantage of the tremendous bike boulevards and bridges in Palo Alto. The route in other cities is, sadly, not as pleasant or safe.

I have been commuting by bicycle since fourth grade. One of my most enduring childhood memories is the day my father took off the training wheels and gave me a push. My undergraduate thesis was titled "Utility Bicycling". I can't think of anything that would improve my life more than $10/gallon gasoline.

Many people have used the word "insane" to describe some of my bike commutes. I once built my own bike locker out of 2x4's and 3/4 inch plywood and permanently locked it in a San Francisco city parking garage, paying the $0.25 a day bike parking fee quarterly. This allowed me to use bikes at both ends of the train ride across SF Bay, since bikes were not allowed on the train after 6:30 AM or before 6:30 PM, which makes for a long day. I like to think of myself as an extremely experienced urban bike survivalist, but I have been hit by cars five times since I started riding, two while commuting. None of the injuries amounted to much. Every time it was the fault of the car, including a drunk driver and a probably drunk hit-and-run driver.

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