Monday, January 11, 2010

2010 Rider Profile #1 Erika Lari

We didn't have a chance to publish all the rider profiles we gathered in 2009, so we'll start posting a few of them now from time to time- maybe you'll see a friend, or find some inspiration to get out on your bike!

Erika Lari:
What is your age?
What is your occupation?
Graphic designer
How many years have you been commuting by bike?
1 year
How many times have you participated in the Bicycle Commuter Contest?
First time this year
Describe your current average or usual commute (distance, terrain, urban/rural, etc.)
2 miles, suburban/urban
What got you started bike commuting?
I inherited some bikes after my dad died and it seemed like the easiest option since my husband and I only have one car. the only thing was that I have never commuted by bike and I hadn't even ridden one in over a dozen years. so, it was a challenge, but I'm glad i started. I eventually bought a bike that fit me better, and I've learned an awful lot thanks to the internet and local bike shops.
How have you adapted to make bike commuting work for you?
I can now how haul a bike up a stair case to keep it in my office. it really doesn't take that long and other than getting some cotton stretch pants to wear under dresses, I don't make many accommodations in my wardrobe.
What are some of the benefits you have experienced from commuting by bike?
I live uphill from where i work, so I've certainly gained stamina and muscle tone as well as the fun ride downhill in the morning. It's like my third cup of coffee.
What is it that keeps you going, especially when the going is tough (weather, darkness, inertia, etc)?
My bike has fenders, dyno hub lights, etc. and most of my winter coats are bright primary colors. I have a bern muse helmet that happened to also be certified as a ski helmet, so it came with a detachable lining. It keeps my head very warm. I even prefer to ride in the cold or rain because I don't sweat as much. With the right gear and such a short ride, it's really not that bad. I only don't ride if it's torrential rain or snow. in those cases, I walk or carpool.
How do you choose your route (most direct, least traffic, most scenic, etc)? Direct and least traffic. The more I ride, the more comfortable I am with traffic.

What style of bike do you ride to commute?
Specialized Globe city commuter bike.
Any words of wisdom for the beginning commuter?
Be patient with yourself. I've never been terribly athletic, and people would tell me that it would get easier in a week or a month, but you just have to do it at your own pace and your own way. I don't feel comfortable in a lot of 'bike gear' either, so I found vintage raincoats and things that make me feel comfortable riding. It really does get easier to fit it into your life and the next thing you know, you miss it when you don't do it.