Cycling 10: Warren of Limited Warren T

Do you work in radio? Do you ride a bike?

I only ask because I’ve got a little theory brewing: if you work in radio you’re more inclined to be a cyclist. This is because out of the five people ‘interviewed’ for Cycling 10 (so far) three of them, including Warren T, work for radio stations… it can’t be coincidence, can it?

Anyway, now it’s Warren T’s turn to answer London Cycling Diary’s probing questions about… what else? … commuting by bicycle.

How long have you been commuting by bicycle, and what made you decide to do it?

I probably shouldn’t count the times in the early 1980s so I’m going to say that I’ve been commuting by bike for three years or so; I started riding occasionally after my company moved their offices to an office park closer to my home. The bike path that is a mile away from my house runs through the office park and right by my building.

Two years ago I was sitting at a stop light in my mini-van when I was rear ended by a commercial truck at around 35mph. The 19-year-old driver wasn’t paying attention. The van was totalled and while I was waiting for the settlement cheque, I started riding full time.

I much prefer an enjoyable ride through the woods to sitting in traffic.  I have yet to buy a vehicle to replace the van.

Can you give a brief description of your route? (ie. distance, terrain, traffic conditions etc)

I’ve got two routes.

The easy one is 0.7 miles (1km) of residential streets and 3 miles (5km) of bike path — through the woods next to a stream. There are some hills but nothing major on this route since the path is in the flood plain around the stream, so it’s fairly level. Most days, on the way in, I’ll stay on the path for an extra 2 miles (3.2km) and circle back to make the trip a bit longer.

The second route is half bike path and half traffic. I end up crossing the busiest street in Overland Park, KS and the route is much hillier than the first route. That route is around 6 miles (10km). Pictures of that route, taken in October, are available here.


What’s the best thing about commuting by bicycle?

My attitude for the rest of the day. On the days I don’t get to ride I find that I’m not as focused and I’m grumpier.

And the worst?

In the event of an emergency, I’m a bit more limited in how I can respond.


What sort of bike do you ride?

Hybrid. It’s last year’s Trek 7.5 Disk — although I swapped out the 7.3 frame because I liked the colour.

What’s your favourite piece of cycling kit/clothing/gadget?

The modest Schwinn bike computer. Data and bicycling; just can’t beat the combination.

Helmet or no helmet?

Ever since my children have been old enough to ride, I’ve worn a helmet.  I still do and it would feel odd to hop on a bike without one.

Cycle lane or no cycle lane?

Don’t know how to respond to that one; there are no lanes on the routes I ride.  I think I’d prefer to not have the markings — I think motorists might be tempted to try to enforce the lanes if cyclists have to move out of them…  Again, I’m not the best person to ask.

Are you a member of any cycling organisations/clubs? If so, which ones?

None at this time.

What would you say to convince someone who is considering commuting by bicycle to get on board their bike?

Once you try it, you’ll be hooked.  It won’t be as frightening as you think.  It won’t be as much work as you think it will be.  There is another guy in my office that I finally printed up a Google map that I’d drawn over with a suggested route.  He is now a full time commuter as well.
 
Warren T, 47, has lived in the Kansas City area all his life. He is married with five children and two dogs, and works in radio. His blog is at http://warren-t.blogspot.com. He also posts at http://commutebybike.com
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4 thoughts on “Cycling 10: Warren of Limited Warren T

  1. Having spent a week in Kansas City / Overland Park in July, I am duly impressed – it just about knocked our team on their collective ass and we were in from DC, which is not known for being chilly at that time of year.

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  2. Kimbo, thanks for the post. I’m honored to be part of your series.
    Colin – yep, we are a city of extremes with blistering heat in the summer and arctic cold in the winter. There is a positive side though, the days over 100 F or below freezing cuts down on the other bikers and pedestrians…
    APD, “true that!” Also, you don’t know if you’re going to have a job next week or not. 14 years ago, I went to work for a company that makes radio automation systems. I remained on the air evenings and weekends. A little over a year ago Google bought the company and, um, I’m doing okay. I quit the on-air gig around the same time as the station switched formats and I just wanted to spend more time with the kids. I still consider myself in radio as that is what I’m dealing with all day long. I’ve got some strong opinions about the future of radio but have gone on for way too long as it is.

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