Tell us a little bit about your cycling history and why you decided to start biking to work. I started biking to work a couple weeks before bike to work week of this year. I started riding as a means to lose some weight, improve my heart health, save money, help the environment, cut down on wear and tear on my vehicle (maintenance cost), you get the picture. I don’t think of myself as a “bicyclist.” I just ride my bike to work four or five times a week. I’ve been thinking of riding longer rides for recreation this Fall. Maybe if I start doing that I will be a bicyclist
What do you like about riding to work? I get to work faster. I live near Sherman Park. My distance travelled is 9.2 miles round trip. It maybe takes me twenty minutes each way. I just get up, throw on a t-shirt and shorts, and go. I pack my work dress clothes the night before and put them in my home-made carrier and ride to work. I don’t have to drive around looking for a parking space, and I save the time walking from the parking space to the office. I also feel refreshed when I hop off my bike at work. Riding my wakes me up better than a cup of coffee.
I noticed you rode to work in the rain on Monday. Do you ride in any weather or are you somewhat of a fair weather commuter? I’ll ride in the rain as long as it is not too heavy of a downpour, however I’m not at the level of riding in the snow. I think I will try riding this winter on some days that are not too cold and don’t have too much snow, maybe then I will be a super-commuter.
You take advantage of the indoor bike parking, showers and lockers provided at work right? Yes
Do you think you would bike to work if we did not have those facilities? Yes, I would still ride to work. I really like the exercise I get riding my bike.
Although you have to follow the state and federal rules, do you think you have a better personal understanding of how to design a bicycle friendly street? Yes I do.
Do you think that people of color face any more barriers to bicycling than white people? No, I don’t think it is a black or white issue. If riding a bike is something you want to do, you will find a way to do it. If going out to dinner or dressing nice is something you want to do, you will find a way to do it. All you have to do is save a little money and get yourself a decent bike.
What do you like best about biking to work or your bike? I get in some exercise and I don’t have to drive (saves gas).
What do you like least about biking to work? There is nothing I dislike.
As a civil engineer who designs roads, has biking to work changed the way you look at projects at work at all? I suppose I have a more personal insight now that I ride my bike. But I have found out that there are quite a few drivers who don’t know how to share the road with bicyclist. I was riding straight through a right turn bypass and somebody honked at me to get out-of-the-way. People need to learn how to share the road and that bicycles have a right to be here too.
Do you have any advice to other people who are thinking about bicycle commuting? Get a good bike and do a test run to determine travel time, route, distance, and terrain. Panniers are a good piece of equipment to have for storing rain gear and extra clothing