· What is your age?
· What is your occupation?
· How many years have you been commuting by bike?
I’ve been commuting, on and off, for roughly 4 years. My bike usually hibernates during the winter.
· How many times have you participated in the Bicycle Commuter Contest?
This will be my 2nd year, and I’m really excited! The contest is a great motivator! Thank you Intercity Transit for organizing this event.
· How did you hear about the BCC?
The bike enthusiasts at work got me started. They do a great job of getting people involved.
· Describe your current average or usual commute (distance, terrain, urban/rural, etc.)
I ride about 10 miles each way, via city streets and the I-5 trail – Lacey to Tumwater.
· What got you started bike commuting?
It was a combination of the health and environmental benefits, not to mention saving gas money. My job is quite sedentary, so any exercise really helps.
· How have you adapted your habits to make bike commuting work for you?
I do have to wake up a little earlier and there is some additional planning/packing the night before. It is really a small price to pay when I look at all the benefits.
· What are some of the benefits you have experienced from commuting by bike?
I can eat soooo much junk food now! It’s awesome – I just burn it off. Oh, and I've met lots of new friends by participating in bike events around town!
· What are some of the challenges you have experienced, and how have you overcome them?
I’ve taken a few spills. Upgrading my bike lights, thicker tires, and changing my route (note to self, avoid railroad ties) have all improved my safety stats. (Ed. note: when crossing railroad tracks, always cross at a 90 degree angle to the tracks. Otherwise your wheel can slip into the gap and down you go! If the tracks cross the road at an angle, this can mean having to swerve into the traffic lane to get the right angle. If you can't see behind you to be sure it is safe to do so, stop and walk across the tracks!)
· What is it that keeps you going, especially when the going is tough (weather, darkness, inertia, etc)?
I like to set goals. It takes quite a bit of determination when the weather changes, but the increased level of fitness is a nice, tangible, outcome that keeps me going.
· How do you choose your route (most direct, least traffic, most scenic, etc)?
My route focuses on safety, and is not as direct as it could be. In the summer I change it up and focuses on hitting as many hills as a can on the way home.
· What style of bike do you ride to commute?
My commute bike has gone through a few iterations over the years. Now I’m riding a cross bike and I'm very happy with it. The need for fenders and fat tires quickly became apparent.
· Any words of wisdom for the beginning commuter?Practice your route on a weekend. Even better, ask a cyclist friend to ride along with you. Also, remember to make it fun!