Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2011 BCC Rider Profile #1: Scott Pearson

Bicycle Commuter Profile Scott Pearson:

  • What is your age?  50
  • What is your occupation?  Research Scientist at Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • How many years have you been commuting by bike?   Daily for the past five years.  Before that, I walked and biked.
  • How many times have you participated in the Bicycle Commuter Contest?  Around 3 times
  • How did you hear about the BCC?  From fellow employees at WDFW.
  • Describe your current average or usual commute (distance, terrain, urban/rural, etc.).  An easy 2 mile commute through residential neighborhoods, along Capitol Way (briefly), and then back into a residential neighborhood and across the Capitol Campus. 
  • What got you started bike commuting?  I have biked for years (never seriously) as a way to both exercise and get out doors – so, commuting by bike was not a difficult transition.  We intentionally settled in a neighborhood where we could bike or walk to work and one where our daughter could walk or bike to school to minimize our environmental impact and because we enjoy biking and walking.
  • How have you adapted your habits to make bike commuting work for you?  I leave home a bit earlier than I would if driving but, because I live close to work, I really don’t need to leave much earlier than I would if I were driving.  It is also necessary to do some somewhat regular maintenance on my bike but is  far less expensive than taking the car to the shop and much less complicated!  The only other habit is putting on rain gear and booties so that I arrive at my destination dry.
  • What are some of the benefits you have experienced from commuting by bike? I enjoy the exercise and the time provided to make the transition from work to home - it helps me make the transition more smoothly, especially after a difficult day at work.
  • What are some of the challenges you have experienced, and how have you overcome them?  For me, car drivers are the biggest challenge!  I bike daily during the work week and run several days and week.  When doing these activities, I find that some drivers are not fully engaged in driving and don’t yield to bikes and pedestrians and don’t use turn signals.  As a result, I am vigilant and defensive when I bike and run and by being vigilant and selecting relatively safe routes, I feel very comfortable commuting by bike.  I also make myself more visible with bright flashing lights.
  • What is it that keeps you going, especially when the going is tough (weather, darkness, inertia, etc)?  Now, it is just what I do -  I really don’t consider driving unless I need to carry equipment or gear that I cannot transport on my bike or if it would be necessary to leave my bike overnight (bikes and items left on bikes are stolen out of cages provided for bike commuters).  I even like biking in the snow as long as the roads are not too slippery.   Once it becomes a habit, it tends to stick.
  • How do you choose your route (most direct, least traffic, most scenic, etc)?  I select the safest route – which means avoiding cars.  I also prefer to breath in as little exhaust as possible.
  • What style of bike do you ride to commute?  A 1986 touring bike.  To make it a better commuting vehicle, I added fenders, lights front and back and  purchased good waterproof panniers. 
  • Any words of wisdom for the beginning commuter?  Come out and join us – even if you only ride in good weather!

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