Love to bike? So do we! Meet a few of the many dedicated cycle commuters who work at our bakeries.
The commuter: Bob Kerr, GCB co-owner and CFO (aka, cash & computer guy)
The bike: Lime green Gunnar road bike with disc brakes.
Daily commute: From Northeast Portland to Grand Central Sawtooth, about 5 miles, or from his kids’ school to the office, 4 miles.
Why he rides: “There are so many reasons, but the main thing is, it’s just fun. You don’t sit in traffic. You can park right in front of the building you’re going to. You get exercise. It’s peaceful. You can see a lot more things. You are outside. I go crazy when I have to drive.”
Road warrior: Formerly employed as a bike messenger in Seattle, at age 28. “I was like an old man among bike messengers. I learned a lot doing that, riding for 8 hours a day in all the traffic. Don’t ride on the sidewalk for starters, because cars can’t see you. And you can’t rush through intersections.”
Road warrior x 2: Bob and his wife Claire Randall, another avid GCB bike commuter, play tag-team every morning, with one bicycling early to the office and the other driving their sons to school, pulling a bike from the minivan and riding to work (. They switch roles and repeat the process for the commute home.
Fave gear: Lobster gloves (like mittens, only with two claws to grab brake calipers and gear shifters).
Memorable rides: “I almost hit a deer once, coming down Skyline Road. It came out in front of me, and when it saw me, it scrambled and its hooves were skittering on the road. I hit my brakes and barely missed it.”
Best time on 2 wheels: Riding his triple (it’s a tandem with a middle section added, made by Bike Friday) with sons Fred, 12, and Ben, 10. He takes it to baseball and soccer practice, and sometimes picks a friend up along the way. “We chat, it’s fun, people love seeing us. I’ve calculated it – we weigh like 370 pounds when we’re on it.”
When it pours: Pure fun, as long as you have the right gear. “In Seattle I used to ride across the Aurora Bridge, which is way up high on Highway 99. On one side are The Olympics and the other The Cascades. If it rained, it was as if you were riding through a river, because there were cars on either side.”
Inside tip: Get a map and ride the bike routes. “It’s safer and easier and it doesn’t make drivers angry. Plus the city has gone to a lot of effort to make these nice routes, and they’re really pleasant.”