Surendar Chandra: Bike Commuter Profile

March 02, 2020 • Transportation

Name: Surendar Chandra

Employer: Rubrik

Job Position: Engineer

Where did you grow up? India

Where do bike commute from? Sunnyvale

How many years have you been commuting by bike? And how often?
Nine years (almost to the day). I try to bike to work everyday, except when it rains. And the years when my daughter was an infant, and I had to drop her off at daycare.

Why do you bike?
It started out as a way to teach my son to bike without training wheels. And then it helped me get back in shape. Now biking doesn’t do anything for fitness; however I become lethargic if I don’t bike.

What do you wish drivers knew?
Even though bikers appear to be rolling slow, and even though you might be in a super fast car, there are times when you can’t shoot the gap. I unfortunately was in a crash because a driver thought they could go around me on an exit ramp. It happens far too often for comfort. I know that sometimes drivers don’t see me — even though I am neon-colored with lights.

What would you say to new cyclists / those interested?

  1. If you don’t feel like biking, promise yourself that you will bike in and then decide what to do on the way back. Deciding to Uber back is easy to resist.
  2. Bike predictably, defensively, and be extra safe.
  3. Invest in comfortable bike-friendly clothes. Even though they look weird, they are fantastic.
  4. Track your progress using an app; it’s motivating to see that you commuted 23,000 miles in nine years!

What would you say to those who think they can't bike given physical strength or safety concerns?
It is perfectly acceptable to bike at your own pace; unlike a car that drove 15 mph on El Camino, fellow bikers are mindful of folks who are slower.

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