Frequently Asked Questions on Kayak Commuting

Here is what the Oru kayak plus all my gear look like loaded up on the bike.  While the kayak is not all that heavy, it is a bit awkwardly shaped for my rack.  Coincidentally, it fits perfectly squeezed under my seat and tends to stay put when secured using bungee cables.

Here is what the Oru kayak plus all my gear look like loaded up on the bike. While the kayak is not all that heavy, it is a bit awkwardly shaped for my rack. Fortunately, it squeezes under my seat just right and tends to stay put when secured using bungee cables.

Last Friday I loaded the Oru Kayak onto my bike in the morning for only the second time and headed out to work.  It was to be my first round trip kayak commute.  Given the tricky logistics of a one-way kayak commute, I was very much looking forward to getting in some more paddling without having to carry the kayak half a mile into my office first.  Predictably, the process of setting up and dismantling the boat in Manhattan always attracts a crowd of curious onlookers with myriad questions.  I’ve also gotten quite a few questions from friends and colleagues both online and in real life.  Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions I’ve received.

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My First Kayak Commute

Family kayak trip in the Croton River.

Adventure Sunday kayak trip in the Croton River with family and friends.  We had remarkably beautiful weather for the kayak portion of our adventure on an otherwise rainy day.

In the previous post, I described the genesis of the idea of a kayak commute and some of the initial steps taken towards bringing that idea to reality.  I acquired an Oru folding kayak, went out on a guided trip across the Hudson, and honed my kayaking skills with family and friends.  The foundation had been laid for me to complete my first solo kayak trip across the Hudson as part of my daily commute.

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Building Towards a Kayak Commute

I don’t often get to take the long way to work given my school drop-off responsibilities.  But there I was, on a bright and crisp morning during Spring Break week, crossing the GW bridge with one colleague and on my way to pick up another colleague for a joint bike commute.  Looking out over the Hudson, I thought about how great it would be to cross the river without having to come all the way uptown first.  There must be a way.

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