Tuesday, May 1, 2012
2012 Commuter Profile #1: Ashley H.
• What is your most frequent destination on your bike? Since I graduated, it'd have to be the grocery store or other errands around town. I am currently unemployed but am seeking an internship in the environmental field.
• How many years have you been getting around by bike? I've been commuting for a little over four years now.
• How many times have you participated in the Bicycle Commuter Contest? This year will be my fourth year participating in the BCC
• How did you hear about the BCC? I heard about the BCC through the paper and I also saw it advertised on a bus.
• What got you started with practical cycling? My sophomore year of high school I decided to go to an extension school, which gives you the option to attend for only 3 hours a day. Obviously they didn't provide transportation for those who chose not to stay all day so I decided to ride my bike instead. The days turned into weeks, the weeks into months and I was still riding!
• What are some of the benefits you have experienced from commuting by bike? Well there's the obvious, I haven't wasted my money on a car! To say the least cycling has improved my mind, body, and soul in ways I'd never imagined.
• What are some of the challenges you have experienced, and how have you overcome them? My biggest challenge was not giving up. As some commuters know, it's not always easy. My commutes used to be as long as 20 miles in one day, not forgetting to mention that I carried loaded panniers that had my bike pushing towards 70lbs.. Washington's oh so beautiful weather didn't always help either. Trying to find the right rain gear was a pain in the butt. At the end of each day knowing that I had gotten from point A to point B on my own power was about as rewarding as it gets.
• What is it that keeps you going, especially when the going is tough (weather, darkness, inertia, etc)? What keeps me going is my passion for cycling. Since I'm a year-round commuter I get to see other cyclists disappear as the winter months and the rainy season approaches. Knowing that I continue commuting throughout the rain and sometimes even snow when so many others wimp out rocks!
• What style of bike do you ride to commute? My commuter bike is a b-e-a-utiful 2009 Surly Long Haul Trucker a.k.a Jenny! :)
• Any words of wisdom for the beginning commuter? My words of wisdom to any beginner out there: It's mind over matter. At first the miles will seem long but as you continue to ride they will grow shorter and shorter. Oh yeah, for all you folks who live here in western Washington, let the weather be your challenge, not your enemy!
• My favorite aspect about practical cycling is getting places on your own power! As for the BCC, I just love being able to count my miles for something other than my own pleasure.