For this week’s biker profile we have Tony and his Univega Sportour.
Tell us about your bike.
I’m riding a nineteen seventy-something Univega Sportour. I found it at a garage sale days after I ran my previous commuter into a car. (We were both taking liberties with the rules of the road and no one was hurt.) I flipped and chopped the bars and converted it to a single speed with a flip-flop hub. I ride fixed most of the time unless I’m going 40+ miles or where I know I have downhills to contend with. She’s a beautiful workhorse in almost all conditions. I rode it all year last year including a few rides of 75+ miles and a couple cyclocross races.
OR I’m riding a nineteen ninety-seven Gary Fisher Aquila with a child seat on the rear, some cruiser handlebars I took of a super old European junk bike, and a VERY squishy stock Rock Shock. (Yes, eventually the Shockspital will be getting my business.) I bought this bike a glorious replacement to my rigid mountain bike in ’98 expecting to crash this through every hill MN had to offer. Turns out it would be my commuter for years until I found the joys of a road bike. It was never that light a bike, so adding a child seat and twenty-some odd pounds of adorable little girl means we are in no hurry.
Tell us about your commute.
My commute meanders from SW to NE Minneapolis. Depending on the route, it’s a 11 to 12+ mile joy ride that takes me around the lakes, across the Midtown Greenway, and through the U of M campus or around the lakes, up the Cedar Lake trail and through downtown. For three years I have been exploring ways to make this faster or more fun. (A detour through the Hobo Camp single track being one of my favorites!)
But a few weeks ago, things totally changed. I now have a six year old to drop at school as well as a three year old to get to preschool. Being kind of appalled at what our school district thinks is a reasonable amount of time for kids to exercise, I decided that we are going to bike to school as much as possible! Now my commute takes me half way around Lake Harriet and then right at the rose gardens to Barton Open school. Then back to the lakes, up to our beloved Greenway, and across to the Seward Childcare Center. If your ever on the Greenway and hear a Dad and daughter team testing the acoustics under a bridge with a “Hello!” or “Good Morning!”, that’s us. Every bridge. Every time. It’s a blast!
Why do you ride?
I have never been without a bike. From the old red steel trike, to my first Huffy dirt bike, to my expanding quiver of bikes now, I’ve always been hooked. Biking is part of what makes me happy and healthy. I think it is part of the solution to so many problems we have right now: the environment, traffic congestion, road rage, obesity, political polarization, etc. I love pulling up to someone going my speed with a, “How’s the ride today?” and meeting a stranger with a story and a destination. On top of that, I now ride to teach two children how enjoy biking safely in the best city for riding I have ever ridden in.