|Kris at Occidental Park|
I ride a custom built 2012 Surly Ogre, most of the shop-based customizations by Wrench Bicycles on Dexter Ave. The bike's name is "Tank", partly due to the Army Green coloring, partly due to the weight. I'm convinced former USSR tank armor was used to build my bike. The dog's name is Betsy (please say hi if you see her, she gets really excited when people do that).
Why do you ride?
This is a multi-part answer.
The first and probably biggest reason is it is the fastest and most reliable way for me to get around for the majority of the trips I do. I can get across the city from the Space Needle to Occidental Park in 11 minutes. I can get back in 15 minutes. That time doesn't change much no matter what the traffic is like, so telling my wife that I'll be home in 15 minutes is pretty much a sure thing. Parking is also pretty easy and almost always free.
The second part is the majority of my trips are less than 2 miles and solo (see the Clif Bar 2 mile challenge from a few years ago for more information). I'm actually a really big car buff and it's pretty rough on car engines, batteries and oil to continuously heat cycle the engine with short trips. I still use a car, just not for solo trips and not for short trips.
The third part is financial. I used to track my expenses with cycling and it ended up being half the running costs per mile compared to a car. It also costs $1440 a year per vehicle in my apartment complex. $1440 is roughly what I pay whenever I fly to Australia and back. I'm not sure whether it will be cheaper to use the Pronto bikes compared to my own bikes but it is likely to be very comparable in costs (including initial purchase) with the amount I plan to use them.
The last part is it's a reminder of something I've done my entire life that's brought me much joy, and something I can do every day. Doing at least one thing you love every day is very important for psychological well being.
Where do you ride?
Pretty much everywhere. If we're only talking rides that start and end in Seattle, I've ridden to Harrison Hot Springs in BC, out as far as Cle Elum on the Iron Horse Trail, South to Portland (STPTS - Seattle to Portland to Seattle in 2 days), but sadly not too far west - just Bainbridge Island and the Kitsap Peninsula, although technically I caught the ferry to get to both of those. The majority of my trips are urban though - West Seattle, Magnolia, UW, Capitol Hill, Costco in SODO, etc. The list is much longer if we talk out of state or out of country.
What's the best thing that happened to you while riding?
Well, pretty much every ride that starts and ends at my desired destination (instead of, say, Harborview Medical) is a candidate for best ride. Finishing with all the skin you started with is very high on the, "best thing" list. Still, if I had to choose one that stood out above everything else... The very first time I met my wife I was on my bike.