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No Shower, No Problem

Think back to when you were a kid. Did you enjoy getting stuck in a car more than the riding your bike through the neighborhood? Then why do we default to cars as adults?

Maybe we shouldn’t and a lot of us are taking that to heart and commuting by bike to work.

There are many reasons people commute by bike. MANY. For the love of the environment, ease of parking, fiscal responsibility, workout opportunity are among some of the reasons.

Some bikers never commute. They ride only for fun and fitness. And that is ok too- biking is awesome for many reasons to many people and I welcome everyone to the road however they see fit.

I do commute to work by bike everyday for all the reasons mentioned but the main reason is for my children. I ride to show them you can do ‘it’ and the world is not just about getting from A to B by car. You can make a difference, you can do something both good for you and others AND you can share your love of biking with those you love most. Kids really do emulate their parents and the more active you are, the more active they will be in their lives.

As recently as 2013, transportation contributed more than half of the carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, and almost a quarter of the hydrocarbons emitted into our air (citing Roughly only one percent of commuting trips to work are by bike (Bike Commuting Statistics). But this is growing and YOU can make it grow further!

Commuting by bike is GROWING!
Commuting by bike is GROWING!

Imagine if every 1 in 10 of the cars you see on the road commuted to work at least twice a week. Imagine the investment in bike infrastructure you would be given due to the demand. Think about the quality of life, work achievements (#8 Tips for Unleashing Creativity at Work ), cleaner air and lower traffic you would have.


Now, biking to working AND being a parent IS NOT easy. Getting them to school, getting you to work and getting back home in time before sundown seems almost insane if you add biking.

Depending on how far you live from work you could face quite a trip. BUT according to the commuting statistics most people travel 15miles or less to work. This distance is do-able in 45min and provides a nice 1h 30min+ work out daily. Even just 2 times a week.

This biking would enable you to quit your gym membership AND there is chance you could ride to school with your children (Tips for Biking to School). Your kids would get more time outdoors, benefits from the exercise (Kids and Physical Activity) and get a chance to really see their neighborhood(s) maybe for the first time.

So is it easy- NOPE. Is it possible- YES! Why should you even try if it isn’t easy? Because it matters- to you, your health and your kids.

Don’t know where to start?

There are a LOT of tips for commuting. One for example is Bike Commuting which discusses new routes, tools to take are discussed here with tools to take riding with kids and absolutely applicable for your commute into work.

Seasonal Commuting By Bike Temperature Compass
Seasonal Commuting By Bike Temperature Compass

Here are a few pointers:

1.) Leave the laptop at work if you can. Remote in to your computer if possible from your home computer and ask your company if they don’t have this option to add it (this would make it safer for the company too not having assets offsite).

2.) If you have to drive into work- do it on Monday. Get the kids to school a little earlier, pack everything you can for the week- food, clothes, soap, towels, etc in the car to take to work.

3.) Do NOT forget deodorant.

4.) Do NOT panic if you cannot shower. You can still clean up after the ride. Shower or bathe at night before and using a wash cloth and soap of your choice (nice smelling is helpful) you can bath just enough to get through the day.

5.) Consider going minimalist to none on the makeup if you are a woman- some jobs may not allow this but for those that do this may help you liberate off makeup and lighten your load on your pocket book and your skin.

6.) Do NOT panic. You don’t even have to take of these recommendations. As long as you bike – it will benefit the whole family and you will see it.

7.) Know that more people are joining you. They are riding more and some cities may see the rise in bike commuting than other BUT just maybe by see you on the bike you have inspired others to join.

8.) Tell EVERYONE you know you bike. Tell them bikers need 3ft by law and 5ft courtesy when passing. This will matter when you are on the roads. Now people can put a face with the bikers out there and that IS power. You will have influenced a vast amount of drivers to respect bikers without even realizing it.

9.) Find a co-worker or friend if possible to commute with to help for safety and motivation. Bike clubs are a good way to reach out to find contacts and your company may even reward biking so motivating co-workers may be easy than you would think.

10.) SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY. Lights (rear and front), mirrors and reflective clothing preferably fluorescent colored . And eye gear PLUS be aware ALWAYS. Ride defensively.

The hardest parts of biking to work with kids is time. It may take you a little longer during the day so you may need some flexibility to work from home or on the weekend when the kids are asleep. This may sound like a lot to give up BUT each day you commute you are not having to spend extra time without the kids driving to work or the gym or biking on the weekend while the kids hang with a babysitter.

YOU and the KIDS CAN then bike together on the weekends and hone you biking skills to go to school during the week. You CAN talk about why you ride and how much better it is than driving and you CAN inspire you kids to aspire for more and challenge what is normal.

This all just from changing your commute from drive time to bike time!

Change the world from your garage- one family at a time!

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Biking to School: One pedal stroke at a time!

Fall is here! School has begun!!! The weather is cooling off and the mosquitoes are beginning to die off…and finally we can go outside again anytime of the day!

But many of us are busier than ever too. Busy with chores, work, life and ready for the election to be over for some sanity.


Some of us are lucky enough have an opportunity to commute by bike to work whereas others may not and reluctantly hop in the car or on the bus for the commute.

With all that is going on sometimes the last thing we think about is how we get to school but just actually getting the kid(s) to school. But the way we get the kid(s) to school can have a profound impact on their success at school, overall health, and outlook in life. As if we did not have enough pressure as parents, huh?

So, how do your kids get to school? By bus, car, bike or on their own two feet? Maybe you really want an opportunity to have them bike to school or walk. Maybe you feel they are attending a school that doesn’t have an option for alternate modes of transportation because it is too far or not enough time.

As parents we want dearly to share the love of biking and the outdoors. Time seems to limit us so often. Many of us are busy however with work and daily chores that it gets easy to feel overwhelmed at the thought of working to get to school by biking. But maybe just a first baby step would help make a world of difference.

First step, figure out how much time you can dedicate to the alternative commute. Maybe one day a week is all that can be managed given all of life’s constraints. That one day is enough to make a huge difference so take it!

Second step, figure out how much of the commute you believe you can make initially by bike. Do you think the kids could make a 15min ride or 10min or could they do a full 30min ride like champions of biking!?

Third, and probably most important, find a ‘safe route‘. This can be tricky. The safest route for less experienced bikers is a residential road with lower speed limits (25mph and under) or dedicated bike paths. Alternatively bike lanes with physical barriers.

In finding a safe route however not all communities have the bike friendly infrastructure desired. You know your neighborhood and environment best. A safe method to finding the right route is rather pragmatic. Find a local bike map or local bike advocacy group. From the available bike map you should be able to see lower speed roads (essential) and bike friendly roads. Also highlighted on a bike map are crosswalks enabled for pedestrians and cyclists. Some more advanced crosswalks maybe highlighted in these maps to give you an even safer crossing.

Kids on Wheels: Crosswalk Capture
Kids on Wheels: Crosswalk Capture

One very cool tool put together by the city of Brisbane helps put together a safe commute and maybe a useful tool to familiarize yourself with building your own route.

Once you have mapped out an opportunity to bike to school with the kids. DO ride this on the weekend first. Try a nice Saturday and Sunday morning when traffic is light and see how the kid(s) do. Is the distance too much? Do you need to choose a different street or maybe hook up to a bus route to finish the ride and if so, can bike go on the bus? Would it be better to drive 2miles closer, park and bike from a safe location? This is still a good choice as with time you will get stronger and more confident.

Once you have this ALL worked out and feel like the kids AND you are emotionally and physically ready to tackle it- give it a shot on a nice Friday morning or so- I promise although it is nerve racking initially it does get so, SO much easier. And ultimately EVERYONE has a better ‘ride’ to school!

Fourth step, figure out the needs of your equipment. Always have a helmet, lights and a flag and/or bell for the kids on whatever bike your choose. For a choice of bikes, many younger kids may prefer to use balance bikes or bikes with training wheels. This definitely limits the distance and increases safety concerns.

If your child(ren) is (are) ‘ok’ on these types of bikes but you have a fairly long way to travel, consider a trail along bike. You can also buy a tandem trailer bike for multiple kids needing some assistance.

These are amazing at getting your little one used to biking the distance without solely relying on their ability. Have a little one to tag along that can’t quite reach the pedals- NO Problem! Haul your trailer behind the tag along bike OR consider having a friend join to help with pulling the trailer.

Our Ride to School!
Our Ride to School!

We bike 3 miles to and from school daily and my daughter recently got her trail along bike and she loves it! She actually looks forward to going to school and the pedaling definitely works her legs- she sleeps much better at night for it too!

So you have the tools and the knowledge – get out and ride. Whether it is one day, two days, one morning or all week back and forth just starting is the key to laying the foundation for future success. You can do it and you have help I promise!

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Why I haven’t been riding my bike

This will be my last post in this forum, at least for a while.

I’ve come to realize that caring for an infant full-time doesn’t leave a lot of extra wiggle room in my day to do much of anything else. The part-time work I’m doing these days from home is squeezed into the often-unpredictable nap schedule of my rapidly-changing 6 month old (time, I’m told, that I’m somehow supposed to be sleeping myself).

A somewhat gratuitous photo of my 6-month-old.
An admittedly-gratuitous photo of my 6-month-old.

But as I sit at my desk typing these words in the early morning hours while my husband takes the baby out for a walk before heading to his office, I realize that really time constraints, 3 a.m. feedings and the other obstacles to getting anything done but care for a small human being are but one part of the challenges standing in the way of my monthly obligation here.

The other overarching consideration, the one that leaves me who could once list 20 ideas for essays on biking off the top of my head panicking as a deadline nears, that makes me feel a bit silly attempting to offer up meaningful insights on commuting by bike when my turn rolls around, is that, I’m more than a little embarrassed to admit, I really haven’t been riding my bike much at all lately.

For all my swagger about biking while pregnant, my expectation of doing things differently from most, my silent judgment about so many things that other parents do that I vowed not to repeat after having a child of my own, I’ve fallen into the trap of so many others in this car-centric landscape of ours and become far too familiar with the curve of my car seat, the feel of my keys between my fingers.

To my amazement, I can count just three occasions in which I’ve been on my bike in the past six months. And even as I do a good bit of walking around my neighborhood, more than I used to even, and am very thankful to live in a place that affords me the chance to do most of what I need to do on foot, this is the most car-dependent I’ve been in a very long time.

Getting a pedicab tour of Davidson College, my husband's alma mater, earlier this month.
Getting a pedicab tour of Davidson College, my husband’s alma mater, earlier this month.

I can come up with plenty of excuses to help justify my habits of late. For one thing, my favorite bike got stolen a few months back, an apparent casualty of a growing bike theft ring in my city that at once speaks to limited economic opportunity and the growing appeal of biking here.

Tuesday night gatherings of the group GetUpRRide are a testament to the growing popularity of biking in my city. Photo by Stosh Kozlowski
Tuesday night gatherings of the group GetUpRRide are a testament to the growing popularity of biking in my city. Photo by Stosh Kozlowski

Then there’s the point that essential baby supplies, many of which I’d never heard of six months ago, seem to be concentrated in the suburbs, virtually unreachable except by car.

There’s also the fact that at 6 months old, my son is roughly half the age recommended by pediatricians to begin putting a kid on a bike, though a few weeks back, my husband and I rigged our new bike trailer to accommodate his car seat and took a magical 30-mile ride on a protected trail outside the city.

But the unfortunate reality is that I haven’t been riding my bike very much lately because I’m scared. Scared of the drivers out on our roads who seem to not recognize the very high stakes involved in getting behind the wheel of a car. Scared because we live in a society that makes it far more dangerous than it should ever be to get around outside a two-ton steel cage.

It is somewhat ironic that in this car-dependent period of mine I expect will be finite, committed as I am to overcoming my anxiety, that I have become more resolved than ever about the necessity – the urgent obligation even – to do things differently.

This is what comes to mind when I hear that traffic fatalities were dramatically up last year.

Or learn about Karen McKeachie.

Or read about the two people seriously injured in hit-and-runs in recent weeks in my city while riding unsuspectingly in bike lanes, one of them a block away from my house.

Or encounter someone like the drunk driver I met last Saturday when she smashed into the rental car my family was riding in back to our North Carolina hotel after dinner. The woman attempted to drive away but we caught up with her, and as she staggered out of her car unapologetically and I held up my still-sleeping infant, shaking with fear and anger, she declared: “I was on my way to pick up my 3-year-old.”

What if she had another way? I found myself thinking. What if we all did?

beaux and hudson biking
My husband pushing our son part of the way down our street during his ride home from work.

Emilie Bahr is a writer, urban planner and healthy communities advocate living in New Orleans. She is the author of the book Urban Revolutions: A woman’s guide to two-wheeled transportation.

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La. lawmaker to cyclists: Keep off the streets

I live in Louisiana, a place that carries the ignominious designation of being one of the most dangerous places to walk or bicycle in the country. We’re in good company in the Sun Belt and in the Deep South in particular which, with certain important exceptions, is especially hostile to non-motorized transportation.

Part of the problem relates to inadequate infrastructure, the legacy of 1950s-era sprawling development patterns that presumed modern lives would be eternally dependent on the eternal combustion engine. Cities and towns built upon high-speed highways, with strict segregation of residential and commercial land uses — the pattern of most American cities constructed after World War II — tend to require significant retrofitting in order to accommodate more recent growth in demand for walking and bicycling. Fortunately, many American cities are starting to make meaningful investments in improving access to our public rights of way by pedestrians, bicyclists, and others not traveling in two-ton steel vessels.

recently-opened Lafitte Greenway
The recently-opened Lafitte Greenway in New Orleans is one example of new investment in walking
and bicycling of the sort taking off in the U.S.

But another big piece of the safety puzzle when it comes to active transportation relates to the attitudes of the people living in and setting policies for places where cars are even more than other parts of our auto-obsessed country unquestioned king.

I’ve been thinking about the role that our collective mindset plays in securing safety on our roads lately. Even in my own city, which developed well before the rise of the personal automobile and carries a number of inherent advantages that make it well-suited to walking and bicycling, the prevailing ethos continues to be that our roads are the primary – if not the exclusive – domain of the motor vehicle, even though many of those roads were conceived decades before Henry Ford popularized the car among the masses. This mindset is crystal clear to me every time I attempt to cross the street in my neighborhood, where drivers pay no mind to the newly-minted crosswalks on the well-traveled boulevard that runs near my house, even when I have a baby in tow. I wrote about this experience in a letter to the editor recently and was heartened by the number of people who shared my frustrations. But equally troubling were the many who weighed in in the comments section expressing disdain for people like me and who showed an appalling lack of understanding of basic road rules.

Despite new bike lanes and crosswalks, many New Orleans drivers continue to treat Esplanade Avenue as a thoroughfare built for cars exclusively.
Despite new bike lanes and crosswalks, many New Orleans drivers continue to treat Esplanade
Avenue as a thoroughfare built for cars exclusively.

Is it any wonder, I found myself thinking, that New Orleans grapples with such dismal bicycle and pedestrian crash statistics?

So it was with great optimism that I heard a few months back that our state legislature, whose actions rarely elicit any pride, was poised to do something quite positive aimed at reshaping the public consciousness around road safety. Our legislative body was set to consider a vulnerable road user law offering extra legal protections for walkers and bicyclists and other road users not protected by the steel casing of an automobile. VRU laws might be described as a new frontier in active transportation policy in this country. Similar measures to those proposed in my state have been adopted so far by nine states across the U.S. Louisiana would be adding its name to a list that included just one other southern state (Florida) alongside more obvious places like Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii.

To my surprise, SB 171, which called for stiffer penalties for operating a motor vehicle in a “careless” manner that resulted in the injury or death of a bicyclist, pedestrian, or motorcyclist, had garnered significant bipartisan support by the time it came up for consideration. But that’s when Louisiana’s governing body resorted to more typical behavior. The bill was quashed with opposition led by a state representative who is either especially ignorant of the laws governing the state’s public rights of way or who is especially cynical. I suspect it’s a combination of the two.

Rep. Kenny Havard explained that his opposition to the bill was rooted in protecting his constituents from being sent to prison for “accidentally” hitting a pedestrian or bicyclist, reinforcing the notion that the best way to kill someone and get away with it with little more than a slap on the wrist is to “accidentally” hit them with your car.

“When you make bad decisions and take chances with your own safety, don’t blame others for the outcome,” said the Republican, until now best-known for his unsuccessful proposal to place weight limits on the state’s exotic dancers. Yes, I’m serious.

Rep. Kenny Havard thinks the streets are for cars, not people.
Rep. Kenny Havard thinks the streets are for cars, not people.

“If you don’t want to overdose, don’t do drugs. If you don’t want to get hit by a car, don’t play in the street,” Havard wrote on Facebook, channeling the late Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

Havard hails from St. Francisville, a town just outside the state capital known for its antique shops, antebellum plantations, and scenic, hilly terrain that has made it a hotspot for spandex-clad cyclists and elderly window shoppers alike. The town is home to the Rouge Roubaix, the grueling century race that draws amateur and professional riders from across the country to the Tunica Hills of rural West Feliciana Parish each year. It is not far from the spot where last year, beloved Louisiana State University professor Elisabeth Oliver, 63, was killed after being struck by a car while walking her malfunctioning bicycle along a highway.

In the wake of the bill’s defeat, Havard was beset by angry emails and phone calls. Some threatened very publicly via social media and other channels to stop bringing their bicycles and their business to Havard’s district, to which the legislator responded in characteristic fashion that he was fine with cyclists taking their “Fiji water bottles” elsewhere. He
also admitted that he “[didn’t] ride bikes on the open road” and that his “knowledge of cycling is zero,” which was no surprise to anyone who had been paying attention or, to be perfectly frank, seen a recent photograph of the legislator. (Normally, I would refrain from such ad hominem attacks, but in light of Havard’s interest in others’ weight, I feel alright about pointing out the legislator’s own struggles here.)

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that our legislature once again failed to do anything to address a serious problem confronting our state. After all, at a time when our coast is dying, when we rank near the bottom of every indicator related to public health, crime, education, and poverty, and when we are confronting one of the most serious budget crises in the state’s history, our legislature has seen fit in recent sessions take up such issues as barring cities from banning plastic grocery bags; expanding control over women’s reproductive choices; and allowing monkeys to qualify as service animals.

One of the many
One of the many “ghost bikes” erected around New Orleans to memorialize people killed while riding their bikes.

Rarely if ever have I been inspired to correspond with one of our legislators, which has generally struck me as a lost cause. But perhaps it was the woman who sped up as she saw me attempting to cross the street with my infant in my arms the other day and nearly hit me. Or the white bikes that are cropping up with increasing frequency around my city. Or the way I have my husband text me on the days he bikes to work to let me know he made it safely. Or the fact that I hold my breath every time I hear of another pedestrian or bicyclist hit while walking or riding our streets, hoping it’s not someone I know. This time, the disappointment felt very personal. So at a point in my life where some days finding the time to take a shower feels like an accomplishment, I sat down and typed out the following email:

Dear Rep. Havard,

My name is Emilie Bahr, and I am a new mother, an urban planner, and an avid runner, walker, and bicyclist. I was very disheartened to hear your commentary in opposition to SB 171. I believe reasonable minds can disagree, and I understand questioning the necessity of a vulnerable road user law. However, I am extremely disappointed to hear you speak out against the lawful use of public rights of way as “playing in the road.” The same laws that you helped to create provide for the legal use of the roads by many different types of users. When a pedestrian crosses the street or a bicyclist rides down a highway, they are simply exercising their right to move freely through our state. Your comments amount to victim blaming and add fuel to a volatile situation. I expect my legislators to speak and act in a manner that honors the value of all of our lives and fosters a safe environment for me and my family.

Your constituents and I will continue to travel throughout the state on foot, on bikes and in cars. When speaking on matters of public safety, I humbly request that you consider the effect of your words on those who stand to lose the most. I intend to teach my 2-month-old son how to safely walk and bike for transportation. I hope that by the time he is old enough, his legislators recognize his right to do so without the added danger of legally-unsubstantiated and inflammatory rhetoric.

I have yet to receive a response.

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London Cyclist : May Round Up

This roundup is provided by Andreas from London Cyclist. Monthly, we are asking for roundups from your city, town or state area. Email us if you would like to contribute.

In London the so called “cycling revolution” is taking its first initial baby steps. We had the announcement that the London Cycle Hire Scheme which launches at the end of July is to now be referred to as the Barclays Cycle Hire. This branding by Barclays Bank was not received with open arms as Londoners were disappointed we couldn’t come up with a more creative name such as Velib in Paris or VeLov in Lyon for our proud new cycle hire scheme. Every cloud has its silver lining however as it means the scheme now has. 25 million of additional funding and may be able to expand to a wider area more rapidly.

London has also had teams gearing up for the Cycle Challenge which launches in June. This is a competition organized by the mayor to encourage people to cycle as many miles as possible and log them onto the transport website. The winning teams that have cycled the most win prizes such as spa days.

It appears the “cycling revolution” in London doesn’t have one key supporter. The new minister in charge of transportation has gone on record saying he loves his Jaguar, all cyclists should have wing mirrors and he is too scared to cycle in London. The response by the mayor of London was to invite him on a cycle ride during Bike Week which the minister has agreed to.

Join the conversation on Twitter @BikeShopGirlcom.

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Q&A : Bike Lights

A reader wrote in asking questions about lights, read his question and then my personal answer.. From there, I turn the table to you all, what do you think he could do to avoid cars pulling out?


I wanted to get your input on lights/ being seen. Most of my morning commute is in the dark and in a bike lane. I have, on severa. occasions, almost been hit by cars pulling out from a sid. stree. despite the fact that I have a 27. lume. headlight shining in their direction. What else can I do to get their attention? Should I just accept the fact that they aren’t going to pay attention and wait for the to pull out.


#1 a solid and a blinking light : Catch their attention, but be able to be seen
#2 reflective 3m tape that will be “caught” from all sides of your bike. I have it on the rims of my wheels, seat stays, fork legs and downtube on some bikes.
#3 more than one light. It is hard to catch someones attention with just one fixed light, they may think you are a reflection, mail box or not moving very quickly.

Now, what would you do differently?

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Black Friday Deals : Madsen Cycles

While the Thanksgiving holiday is looming, I wanted to share with you any/all Black Friday deals I find on commuting gear. Here is numero uno, from Madsen Cycles. The pretty cool utility bike, with the “bucket” for hauling children, Christmas trees and all your in between.

Madsen Creme Bucket
Madsen Creme Bucket

From Madsen Cycles :

Black Friday is upon us in just a few days, and not to be outdone during this season of madness, we’ll be offering the cream bike (bucket or rack) at a deep discount of $400 off, for one day only.
And it doesn’t even require you to get up at 2:00am and be trampled by a bunch of crazies
We’ll also be selling the cream bike with the Dutch Upgrade for $200 off.

We’ve never offered a price that low, and likely won’t again, but we hope those of you who were hoping to get one in time for Christmas can jump on the deal and save some money.

Remember, bikes come fully assembled right to your front door. You just open the box, pull it out, cut a few straps and ride off on your shiny new cargo bike.

Join the movement!

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Start Healthier Living by Bike Commuting

Everyone that reads this site knows the benefits of commuting by bike.  Not only for the enviroment, saving money, less gas, air pollution and such, but also the health benefits.  You lose weight, while saving money.  There are other health benefits too, I’m certainly much happier when I ride my bike to work or the grocery store then driving.

Over at there is an study that shows the obvious benefits of going by bike and how it would effect the U.S obesity rate.

The average American is both overweight and spends more than 100 hours per year commuting, that vast majority of those hours being spent in a car. Are those numbers correlated? Could we help reduce our societal weight gain by encouraging more commutes by bike or foot? Our latest Transparency is a look at the number of active commutes in several countries, as compared to those countries obesity rates.

Make sure to the rest, and also check out the very nice graphic of various countries commuting by bike compared to their obesity levels.

Online :

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Civia Loring I-Motion Review : Full Review

For background on parts or build questions, check out our Introduction or Initial Thoughts article from last week.  To find all articles on this review check out the Civia Loring Review tag.

Civia Loring

The Civia Loring has been close to my every day ride for over a month now.  We’ve been through all types of weather, conditions and over many variations of terrain.  Below are my longer term thoughts of the bike.  Please take in note that I’ve had the bike for a little over a month and this is a bike in for review.  There are things I would of changed on the bike for long term ownership, but those are stated at the end of the review.

Initial Thoughts

A full recap of my Initial Thoughts can be found over here, but the ones that I would like to expand on :

The Ride, its easy and comfortable but also different.  This is a bike that is meant to go from point a to b, and a decent pace but not a race pace.  It is more efficient than the Batavus BUB I have in for review, but not close to a sporty Trek FX.

The Brooks Saddle, we finally came at peace with each other with many micro adjustments which weren’t made easy with the stock Truvativ seatpost. (Good seatpost, bad to adjust..  The seat still isn’t perfect over 15 miles, but we have become friends.

Civia Loring

The Basket is a beautiful thing and I have begun to wish all my commuter bikes had one with this size.  The biggest downfall, I have found, with something this large on the front of your bike is the lack of track standing.  I simply can’t do one with any extra weight in the front basket.  I’ll take that failure with stride and continue to love the basket!

The Rear Rack is a failure, thankfully the front basket makes up for the rear rack.  It looks nice and maybe with a top rack bag it would work well.  All my attempts to ride with a pannier system failed once my heel clipped the bag continuously (I wear a size 42 EU shoe) and the furthest rear strut back on the rack kept many of my panniers from working (Orlieb and Knog.)

Personality and Details of the Civia Loring

Some of the nicer touches of the Loring include: The light mount under the basket, a U-Lock holder on that basket.  The bamboo fenders, which were mentioned to be weather proofed, and the matching bamboo inlay with the front basket and rear rack.  Finally the head tube badge and model badge on the top tube are awesome.  To the point I want a “Civia” head tube badge for a key ring.

Civia LoringSome touches I personally would like different : The mount that the chain guard bolts to on the chain stay is very easily bent and I could see it broken off.  This would leave the chain guard useless, or needed to be zip-tied..  Don’t put a Brooks seat on a stock bike.  The Brooks seat not only added to the final cost of the bike, but may not be made for everyone.  Maybe even leave a saddle off for their local bike shop to help them with. Finally, make all the attachments the same color.  The handlebar/stem/seatpost/cranks should all match to me.  Make them all black or silver, but just pick one of them please.

Final Thoughts on the Civia Loring

If I lived back in downtown Charlotte, NC this would be my one bike.  Get my milk, ride to work and maybe a rambling ride on the weekends.  I don’t live in the city limits any longer, so this wouldn’t be my one bike but it would be my daily commuter if I could afford it.  This paired with an Xtracycle and perhaps that Cyclocross bike, would be the three bikes to make it so I wouldn’t need to own a car out in the boonies.

For the person that doesn’t want to build a really great commuter bike from scratch but wants all the bells, whistles and amazing looks I think Civia has hit a home run.

Final score :
4 out of 5 points

One last side note : This bike didn’t have a bell, and that really upset me since this is a “commuter bike..  Civia, please look up the BE1091 bell and add them to all your bike builds.
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The Perfect Commuter : Bike Type

If you are just stopping in on our Group Build of the perfect commuter bike let’s catch you up. We had an introduction post, a follow up about what type of person will be riding this bike it is now time to move on to what type or style of bike we will be going with.

Remember that we can adapt each type of bike to go one way or another with the style, but what would be the easiest and most affordable to start off with.