Congratulations Bret Winters!
- Thanks to everyone that voted for Bret, the
2016 Bike Commuter of the Year! -
We are beyond excited and proud of Bret who is a shining example of a true and dedicated commuter. There are different types of commuters and it is safe to say that Bret likes to enjoy his ride. You can spot him cycling to and from San Francisco and Mill Valley each weekday, rain or shine, king tide or no king tide.
He is a courteous rider even on the sunny, tourist-packed days on the GGB. He has been known to wave to fellow cyclists and has even stopped a handful of times to lend his mechanical expertise to other cyclists in need.
We had the chance to chat with the crowned 2016 Bike Commuter of the Year and do a quick Q&A to find out how he balances work, life and commuting.
Jeanie: Hi Bret, congrats on the win!! Thanks for taking some time out of your day to answer a few important questions.
Bret: Thanks for the congratulations and thanks to everyone who voted for me.
J: First off, what type of bike do you ride?
B: A handmade disc-equipped road bike. I like to use ultra low gearing so that I can make it home no matter how tired I am after work or if there are strong head winds.
J: What are your most important commuter bike accessories?
B: Tubeless tires, good rechargeable lights, such as those from Light & Motion and for when its wet out it is good to have clip-on fenders... are those accessories?
J: Yes, they are.
B: Also, a good, big backpack is key!
J: What was your most memorable commute?
B: 4th of July, 2013 with Colin when he was still living in the city. We stopped halfway across the bridge to enjoy a brew and the view.
J: What gear or cycling accessories are "must haves"?
B: A good wind vest or shell, packable rain gear, a rain cover for my beloved Brooks saddle, comfy gloves, sunglasses and last but not least, a good helmet!
J: You ride with cages and flats, why is that?
B: That is because I used to ride flats on my MTB and grew accustomed to the ability to hop on and off my bike without cleats. Also, because they are classic Campagnolo pedals and those are the best and everyone knows it. Also, Sean Kelly. (You can Google him later)
J: Along with the obvious health benefits what is another perk of commuting for you?
B: The best part is not having to sit in traffic and also I enjoy the open air and the beauty of the Bay Area.
J: Any tricks of the trade you would like to share? Or do you have helpful hints for other commuters?
B: Besides the obvious newspaper in your wet shoes I would say layer well. A good base layer under a jersey or jacket is key. A big one is make sure you have 2 pairs of shoes and clothes to change into when you get to work. Make sure to hang your clothes out to breathe and dry. I would say "Hang em high and let em dry"
Another thing I would suggest, and need to work on myself, is bringing something to snack on right when you get to work. Otherwise you run the risk of having low energy and moodiness. Can't have that when you work with customers all day!
J: What advice would you give to fellow cyclist looking to get into commuting?
B: I would say be careful out there. Act like you are a car, stopping at stop signs, use your turn signals, also do not assume everyone can see you or is paying attention. Actually, just assume nobody can see you or is paying attention to you. Stay safe out there bike warriors!
J: Last question and this is for all our readers, not just the commuters. What type of beer do you drink?
B: Free. But on Tuesdays, Pliny :)