Tuesday, May 29, 2012

2012 BCC Rider Profile # 4: Sara Eve

• What is your age, roughly speaking? I’m in my mid-40s.

• What is your occupation or area of study? I work for the Washington State Department of Health. I have my Master’s Degree in Public Health, Community Health Education.

• What is your most frequent destination on your bike? Last summer was the first time I had a bike in more than 20 years, and I rode to my office in Lacey from my home on the upper Eastside. I changed jobs to work at the Department of Health in Tumwater, so it’s a longer ride now.

• How did you hear about the BCC? I saw flyers about it for years and longingly wanted to participate, but this is the first year I’ve had a bike!

• How many times have you participated in the Bicycle Commuter Contest? This is my first year.

• What got you started riding your bike to get around (practical cycling)? I wanted to feel like a “true Olympian,” I wanted to get more exercise, and I find that I do best with regular exercise if it is “practical.” I also had an injury about a year ago that made it hard to do what I usually did for exercise – dancing and walking – and needed to find another way to be active, so now it’s biking and swimming.

• How many years have you been getting around by bike?

• Describe your current average or usual trip (distance, terrain, urban/rural, etc.): To get to work, I ride from my house near Bethel and 26th through neighborhoods to Boulevard for about a half mile, through neighborhoods again until I connect to Henderson, and then Henderson to Tumwater Blvd. A mix of neighborhoods and rural, about 8 miles.

• How have you adapted your habits to make practical cycling work for you? When I bought a bike last year, we went from being a two-car family to a one-car family, and that has been a little hard, but it also makes me more likely to ride the bike. The car we bought was big, but burns a lot of gas, so not consuming gas is a big motivator.

• What are some of the benefits you have experienced from commuting by bike? I really feel proud of myself when I do it. I also like how I’m not your “average” rider in terms of how I look, if there is such a thing – I hope it challenges people’s stereotypes of what a bike rider looks like. And, I like being able to hear sounds like birds chirping, and notice things I wouldn’t notice if I were driving or on the bus.

• What are some of the challenges you have experienced, and how have you overcome them? The biggest challenge for me is big hills! So I have planned a route that minimizes big hills, and when I have to, I swallow my pride and walk my bike until I can ride again. I’m sure that the more I ride, there will come a time when I can handle those hills with ease (or at least won’t have to walk up them.) I was also worried about how to manage changes of clothes, showering, etc. but I’ve figured those out, too, thanks to the facilities at my workplace. But when I had a shorter ride, I figured out how to make it work with a change of clothes but not always a shower, and no one ever told me I didn’t smell nice.

How do you choose your route (most direct, least traffic, most scenic, etc)? I prefer a route that has the least traffic, the fewest hills, has a dedicated bike lane on busy streets, and where people won’t mind how slow I am.

What style of bike do you ride to commute? I ride a commuter bike, a Breezer Uptown EX S/17, in dusty metallic pink. My helmet, Nutcase brand, is black with pink and white flowers.

Any words of wisdom for the beginning practical cyclist? Talk about wanting to do it with people who already do it! They will be a great source of information. Someone who I didn’t know yet at work drew me a lovely map so I would be able to find the foot/bike trails. Also, I did a test ride on a Saturday so I could see how much time it would take and what the route would be like (and then took a nice long nap). And, when I was first starting out, I got advice from an expert who taught me now to use the online Thurston County Bike Map, and learned which routes had the least traffic that way.

Less than 1 year.


Karen M said...

Love the pink bike! And the flowers on the helmet - now that is fun style!
Karen M

Tango said...

Me too! Where did you get that cool helmet?

Karen M said...

I saw a similar helmet at OlyBikes downtown Olympia.
Another 'color' option looks like half of a watermelon.
So fun.
Karen M