Commute by Bike's Top 10 from 2010

2010 was a big year for Commute by Bike. I thought we’d wrap up with a list of the top posts from the year.

Coming up with the top ten wasn’t easy to do. Sure, we know how many people have visited each page, but posts from early in the year have had a head start. Conversely, recently published posts have more visits per day just because they are new. Other posts get lots of inadvertent traffic, because people are searching the Web for something else (see #3).

Commute by Bike has been under new ownership since August (see #9), and to be honest, I hadn’t read some of these posts before. There’s a lot of good stuff on this site.

With all that in mind, we came up with a criteria for picking the top ten posts–partially based on traffic, and partially subjective. Here they are. Give ’em a look.

#10 Commuting 101 : Don't Have a Shower?
by Bike Shop Girl

Action WipesThis post reads like an infomercial for Action Wipes, but concludes with this strategic advice:

If all else fails, start stinking in very important meetings and maybe they will install a shower at your workplace.

#9 I was hit by a car Friday
by Bike Shop Girl

Arleigh (Bike Shop Girl) prompted an outpouring of concern from regular readers of Commute by Bike.

I'm not really ready to post too many details, it is easier to tell you to read my Twitter feed for details.

Trying to mentally wrap my head around it.

A few days later, Arleigh followed up with a post announcing her intention to turn over the handlebars of Commute by Bike to new ownership.

On October 1st, 2010 I was hit by a car in downtown Charlotte.   If you want the full recap check out my personal site.   Since the accident I've dealt with many physical and mental damages.


Quickly, I shot off an email to Josh of Utility Cycling to see if he would be interested in taking over the reins at Commute By Bike.   I know Josh well enough to be assured that he has an invested interest in the soul of Commute By Bike.

#8 The Perfect Commuter Bike : Carrying Things
by Bike Shop Girl

Arleigh started a collaborative effort to build The Perfect Commuter Bike in October of 2009. In April 2010, the series concluded.   It’s a short post–fewer than 200   words–but it’s packed with information, including great links and keywords which partially accounts for the popularity of the post. What bike commuter isn’t looking to carry things? Search Google for “carrying things on your bike,” and this page is in the top five results. Add the word “commute” or “commuter” in there, and it’s number one.

One of the most important things about a commuter or utility bike is aiding in carrying your belongings.   This could be as simple as keeping your backpack off your back or as extensive as an Xtracycle or cargo trailer hauling all of your groceries and children.

There have been many setups I’ve tried, probably my favorite to date is the front basket or generous sized front rack from Civia. For everyday small things, throwing a small bag or box in the front basket is easy to use and easy on the mind as you can easily see your belongings.

#7 5 Things I Wish I Knew When I First Started Bike Commuting

by Andreas Kambanis

Andreas learned a few things the hard way, so you don’t have to.

I started commuting into work by bike in the same way I do many things in life. With little or no plan! The way I look at it is if there is anything I need to learn I'll soon figure it out along the way. Here are 5 of the lessons I soon picked up.

#6 How Not to Wear Spandex
by Bike Shop Girl

Photo Credit : Outlier
Photo Credit : Outlier

This post is less about the wrong ways of wearing spandex, and more about wearing anything but spandex while commuting to a professional environment.

There are days that one is able to wear khakis or even jeans, but on the days when there is a slight chance of a meeting, or of a client call, those clothes won't cut it.

Dress clothes, especially nice ones, don't wear well for riding a bike and sweating. They also don't do well with being shoved into a messenger bag.

#5 Commute By Bike's Holiday Gift Guide 2010
by Ted Johnson

The popularity of this post is proof of two things. First, that I’m not the only one who is continually desperate for gift ideas. Second, that if you put enough links to a page, it will get a lot of visits. In addition to having a persistent link to this page on every blog post, it was also our checkpoint on the Yehuda Moon Virtual Alleycat race. I guess I did just about everything but included the phrase “sex on wheels” somewhere in the text.

#4 Tools for Normalizing the Bike Commute
by Josh Lipton

Josh confesses in this post that even he struggles against the temptations of the car, and against the unlimited excuses that life hands you for not commuting on your bike. But in the end, finding motivation is less about gear, and more about simple preparation.

Normalizing the bike routine doesn't have to be as complicated as buying lots of gear and switching to an electric bike.   These solutions will certainly have a return on investment if implemented thoughtfully.   But I suggest that before making major purchases and changes, perhaps try some basic and very simple adjustments to the daily routine.

  • Wake up 20 minutes earlier.
  • Do some maintenance checks on your bike when you arrive home from work so that your bike is ready for work.
  • Make sure that your commuting gear is organized and ready to go.
  • Always remember to enjoy the ride.

#3 Photo a Day : Sex on Wheels
by Bike Shop Girl

Sex on WheelsThe page consists of that title and this photo. That’s it.

Don’t click the link. Seriously. Don’t give this attention slut of a page any more views than it deserves.

But thousands of people (and I’m guessing they’re mostly disappointed people) viewed this page in 2010. Thanks for the traffic, pervs.

#2 10 Rules For Urban Commuting
by Josh King

Josh KingI hadn’t been running Commute by Bike very long when Josh King sent me this guest post. Little did I realize the controversy it would create. It was a learning experience in running a popular bike blog.

I learned, for example, that when some people read this sentence:

Obeying traffic rules is not your first priority.

This is what they think it means:

Breaking traffic rules is your first priority.

It’s true. (Or so it seemed sometimes.)

King’s post was discussed extensively on other popular cycling blogs, such as EcoVelo, and Let’s Go Ride A Bike. The post has been viewed nearly 4000 times on this site, and countless more times on other Web sites where it has been republished in it’s entirety. (It’s called scraping, folks, and you know who you are.)

Heck, I don’t even agree with all of King’s 10 rules. But that was a great ride.

#1 How to Talk About Cycling to a Conservative
by Tom Bowden

Ronald Reagan and Dorothy Lamour on a tandem bikeWe had published several posts about cycling advocacy, legislation, government funding of infrastructure. Notice that none of these made it to the top ten.

Message received: Most of our readers find that stuff boring. (Don’t think that that’s going to stop us, however.)

Looking through the some of the prior posts on Commute by Bike, and especially the comments (here are some good ones), I realized that only half of the advocacy argument tends to be made. The other half needed a champion, and Tom Bowden volunteered.

Cycling saves money, saves lives and makes us stronger as individuals and as a nation. Spending money to support cycling is like putting money in the bank"“it pays big dividends at low risk. It's as all American as Mom's apple pie. How much more conservative can you get?

Bowden's guest post is the most viral post that Commute By Bike has ever published. More than 1500 Web pages have linked to the article (so far), including The Huffington Post among other prominent political Web sites. The link to the article has been tweeted and re-tweeted more than 170 times.

The last time Commute by Bike got as much traffic, was in 2008 when gas was $4 per gallon–when people were desperate for alternatives to their car commute. Now it seems that people are just as eager for new ideas in cycling advocacy.

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