Hank Pantier

Ditching the Drive

Hank Pantier
Ditching the Drive

Making the most of the daily commute

Here at SmartWool, we take alternative commuting pretty seriously. We offer sweet perks like $20 Tuesday, random free burrito days and even a grand prize ski trip drawing for some steadfast commuters. All you have to do is make it up to the top of the hill into the office.

In honor of National Bike to Work Day, we chatted up a few of our most loyal human-powered commuters to see what motivates them to get in the saddle. And it starts from the top, with our fearless leader Mark having more commuter days logged than pretty much anyone else in the company. It also helps that we can wear the same clothes all day that we wore on the bike, even with that big hill, thanks to the amazing performance benefits of Merino wool layers.

 

Name: Robert Thomas

What you do here at SmartWool: Men’s Performance Product Line Manager

What is your commuting style? I get to commute almost entirely on bike paths, with a few bike lanes. It doesn’t require any risky business, so I usually pop in the headphones and enjoy the ride in.

What’s the best part about your commute? Warm weather wildlife spotting on University Hill.

What are your three favorite piece of gear you use to commute? My bike for sure… it’s a junkyard collection of discarded parts that has somehow become totally dialed with an internally geared hub, fenders, panniers, and dynamo-hub-powered lights. And my helmet, which recently saved me a trip to the ER.

What type of breakfast fuels you up for/after your ride? Usually a strong cup of coffee and a bowl of steel cut oats with peanut butter, cinnamon, and maple syrup.

 

Name: Mark Satkiewicz

What you do here at SmartWool: President

What motivates you to commute? First and foremost I love to be outside and commuting gets me more time outside vs. driving a car. Commuting also is a great vehicle for me to think about some things and solve problems I’m working on my way into work, and it also gives me time to decompress and stop thinking about work when I get home. I am a much better parent, husband and person when I commute to come home vs. drive a car. I also commute as I do some endurance racing and it is an easy way to get a few more miles in for training.

What are your three favorite piece of gear you use to commute? My favorite gear to commute beyond just the core stuff is my SmartWool Micro 150 baselayer because it enables me to not have to change clothes for my commute. I also have some cool straps that keep my pants out of the chain that we partnered with New Belgium on a few years back that I use everyday. The other things I like are fenders. They keep me drier that I would be just on a regular bike.

What would you name THE hill on the way to the office? There is a hill? I would name it “don’t make me sweat”. I hate that I have to work a bit to get up the hill and sometimes I show up a bit sweatier than I would like. Thankful for merino baselayer that handles that like a charm every time.

Anything else? I am proud of the fact that we enable commuting, recognize it and encourage it as a core of how we get ourselves to work. There are so many positives that come from it.

 

Name: Marla Bailey

Role at SmartWool: Strategic Planning & Project Management

What motivates you to commute? The simple fact that I “can”. The Steamboat community supports and encourages biking to work, which is unique and one of the reasons I live here.

Commuting style? I’m habitually late, which dictates focusing on max speed. On a bike that clocks-in at a moderate 107 lbs, that’s about 2.7 mph.

What are your three favorite piece of gear you use to commute? 1. My 107lb Kona Humuhumunukunukuapua’a 2. Coffee Mug with proven leak-free top 3. Basket & bungee transport system. Oh – and my sandbagger helmet. Crap, that’s 4 things.

What’s the best part about your commute? Being outside and burning an extra 120 calories instead of gas.

What would you name THE hill on the way to the office? Punch-in-the-Panties Hill (since I don’t have nuts)

 

Name: Todd Givnish

What you do here at SmartWool: Sales & Marketing Manager – Wintersports

What motivates you to commute? $20 Tuesday, Lil House Big Hill, attempting to be more environmentally friendly, stopping on the way home at two of Steamboat’s finest breweries and being able to taste a few extra beers, not sitting in “traffic”, but most of all the piece of mind gained from being unplugged and enjoying the Yampa Valley.

What is your commuting style? Somewhere between NYC messenger and soccer mom. Where I fit in that spectrum depends if my son is riding in the trailer behind me.

What are your three favorite piece of gear you use to commute? Chrome messenger bag that I have had for as long as I can remember that fits all I need and more.

My early 80’s mountain bike that I purchased from the dump for $40. I added new tires, the largest basket I could find, and a SmartWool bell.

And a Nissan Backpacker coffee mug that closes with confidence so there won’t be coffee all over me or my laptop when I arrive at my destination.

What type of breakfast fuels you up for/after your ride? Coffee. Toast & Avocado – lots of salt and pepper. Coffee. Did I mention coffee?

What’s the best part about your commute? Core trail along the river with my son in the trailer behind me letting me know all of the things he is seeing along the way.

What would you name THE hill on the way to the office? The reason the commute to work could be considered actual exercise.

Anything else? There is always a laundry list of why not to ride to work, but I have never arrived at work or home after riding and been disappointed that I chose to ride.