MELBOURNE, AUS – A supercommuter rides through every season, in all types of weather, day and night. Choosing the simplicity, health and pleasure of bicycling, a supercommuter simply prefers to ride a bike to the grocery store, to work, to a concert or the cafe.
About a year ago, Anthony Netkow and his wife Julie uprooted themselves from the heart of the Lone Star State. Neither Anthony nor Julie had ever lived abroad so when offered the opportunity to work and live in Melbourne, Australia, they took the plunge. It comes as little surprise that a family with such a penchant for adventure also embraces the bicycle as their dominant means of transportation.
The Netkows sold most everything they owned before moving: their home, their cars, but not Anthony”s bikes. Upon arriving in the land down under, the plan was for Anthony to bike everywhere and use public transportation when needed. It didn”t take long for him to realize that he”d “rather ride through rain and hail then take the crowded and often delayed public transport.” Upon arrival, Anthony commuted the 10 miles each way, dodging car traffic on the congested Melbourne streets.
Several months went by and the Netkows were enjoying their new home. However, after learning of a little one on the way, they decided to find a house with a little more room. They quickly discovered that larger and more modernly outfitted homes were tough to come by unless you looked a bit farther from the center of Melbourne. They found a place that would suit their needs, but it also increased Anthony”s bicycle commute to 36 miles round trip. That was fine by him.
According to Julie, Anthony”s long commute is “a white knuckle, stressful ride.” He doesn”t have the luxury of commuting on a bike path because his commute is largely comprised of highly trafficked roads. He does all he can to be seen using two headlights on the front, four Superflashes on the rear and a reflective belt around his backpack. Unfortunately, just days after receiving word that he was named the newest Planet Bike Supercommuter, Anthony was sideswiped by an inattentive driver as the motorist cut across the bike lane directly in front of Anthony. Most of us in the United States are fortunate enough to have bicycle advocacy groups lobbying and getting safe bicycle paths constructed so we don”t have to commute on busy roads as Anthony does. This supercommuter is temporarily down but most certainly not out. Amazingly, less than a week after the accident, Anthony says he has “every intention of returning to the road.”