Tuesday, June 8, 2010

2010 Rider Profile #2: Joy Rogers

What is your age? Screaming up too quickly on 53

What is your occupation? Department assistant
How many years have you been commuting by bike? This is my 3rd year
How many times have you participated in the Bicycle Commuter Contest? This is #3.
How did you hear about the BCC? Thru the workplace
Describe your current average or usual commute(distance, terrain, urban/rural, etc.) 13.5 miles round trip from Tumwater (urban), uphill and down.
What got you started bike commuting? Partly the BCC and partly the supportive environment of my workplace
How have you adapted your habits to make bike commuting work for you? Arising an hour earlier, adjusting the morning routine, planning work attire in advance and remembering to bring in work clothes on carpool days, planning and preparing the night before for the next day.
What are some of the benefits you have experienced from commuting by bike? My husband and I are primary caretakers for my disabled mother, so we have very little discretionary time. We normally carpool together. He works 10-hour days with Mondays off, so bicycling provides flexibility: I don’t need to drive, don’t have to wait until he picks me up after 6 p.m., I don’t have to leave work early to catch the bus, and bicycling is quicker than the bus. Since bicycling also is an excellent aerobic workout, I’m not trying to find additional time for exercise. Plus, I love the quiet, the smell, the sounds, and the views on the way to work in the morning, before the traffic and hubbub begin. And riding home after work is a fabulous de-stressor. Benefits: Combining a great aerobic workout with transportation; gaining excellent use of commute time; enjoying a positive sensory experience on the way to work and arriving happy and in a good mood that generally carries thru the day; the exhilaration of zooming downhill part of the way home; savoring the views on the return trip, arriving home calmer and less stressed; the feeling of accomplishing something positive and good, that I was able to overcome challenges; knowing I am part of the solution, contributing to the “greater good”; and saving money- that's a lot of benefits!
What are some of the challenges you have experienced, and how have you overcome them? In the beginning: getting started, staying motivated, and just being able to make it all the way to work. Sometimes it’s a challenge just to get out of bed at 5 a.m. (part of that is not leaving all the morning “duties” to my husband, such as feeding the dogs, getting mom set up, taking out the garbage, etc.). Feeling guilty for trading the dogs’ walking time for bicycling. Time is often a challenge—it would be so much quicker/easier to carpool with my husband, but then I’d miss all the benefits and euphoria of bicycling. This year, I also am recovering from a broken leg. The first few attempts were uncomfortable and a little painful, so I had to back off and take it slower, but bicycling is helping to strengthen and improve the leg much quicker than I expected.
What is it that keeps you going, especially when the going is tough(weather, darkness, inertia, etc)? At first, it was the contest itself (not wanting to let the team down). Then all those benefits motivate me to continue. I was a real wimp about riding in the rain…until I actually rode in a downpour (without rain pants or proper shoes). Even though I was soaked to the bone from waist down, it wasn’t nearly as bad as expected and that felt good!
How do you choose your route(most direct, least traffic, most scenic, etc)? Usually, the least uphills and traffic. Fortunately, there’s abundant scenery on any route, and since there is less traffic, I’m able to enjoy it more.
What style of bike do you ride to commute? Currently, it’s an inexpensive Schwinn hybrid I bought at Fred Meyer a few years ago, when hubby and I were purely occasional recreational cyclists. However, I’m seriously considering something more comfortable and fitting for commuting.
Ed. note: See the new Trek above! It's a Trek (women-specific design) 7.3XL. "Picked it up Saturday, rode it this morning. Woo hoo! The hills were a breeze in comparison to the other bike!"
Any words of wisdom for the beginning commuter? Take one of the urban cycling courses! It’s well worth the time and money. Before I took the course, I was very hesitant to ride in traffic because there were certain circumstances I didn’t know how to deal with. The course was excellent, the instructors are marvelous, and now I have lots more confidence on the road!

No comments: