East Providence, RI – Ask Geoff Williams when he decided that commuting by bike was a viable means of transportation and you”ll likely get a confused look. “It has always been a viable means for me,” says Williams, the spring Super Commuter.
Geoff grew up on his bike in the Seattle area “bombing hills and scraping skin off his bony knees every week.” The bike became his tool for exploration during summers in D.C. As Geoff grew older his love of bikes did as well. The scope of his two-wheeled explorations increased into high school, taking him on a two week tour around the San Juan Islands.
Grad school landed Geoff in Michigan where he started racing mountain bikes. This proved to be the stepping stone to his cyclocross obsession. After learning of a new local series Geoff gave it a try and was instantly hooked. After grad school Geoff landed a job that sadly came with a 70 mile commute to and from work, making him unnaturally bound to his car. He continued to ride and race when he had time, but the massive commute on top of starting a family took its toll. After several years, Geoff was offered a dream job in East Providence, RI. He leaped at the opportunity. For the past six years, his family and his cycling has flourished.
Geoff”s commute to Brown University is now a manageable 17 mile round-trip, which he travels year round. Normally a 40 minute commute, the east coast winters can more than double Geoff”s time on the bike. Being resourceful is always a great attribute for the year round commuter. Geoff concurs saying, “The hardest part of commuting is trying to dry shoes and clothes before the commute home after a wet morning ride.
In addition to reviving Geoff”s bike commuting lifestyle, his move to Rhode Island also landed him in the middle of the East Coast cyclocross hotbed. On top of his daily commutes he also gets his fair share of cross racing nearly every weekend from September through December.
It takes a commitment to become a full-time bike commuter, but once you make the jump it becomes a way of life. As Geoff says, “The best part of the commute is the sunrise riding up the East Bay Bike Path. The former rail bed takes you past a lighthouse. At a few points there is water on both sides. Being surrounded by sea birds and water is the most tranquil scene. It”s what I live for on the commute. I”ll occasionally stop and soak everything in. Nothing unsettles me on days when the morning commute is perfect.”