Here are Antonio's answers to our "Interview Questions":
What is your age, roughly speaking?
What is your occupation or area of study?
What is your most frequent destination on your bike?
--Downtown Olympia from the Westside
How did you hear about the Bicycle Commuter Contest?
--I can't remember how I heard about the BCC the first time, but I've been on my work-team for a couple years now.
How many times have you participated in the Bicycle Commuter Contest?
--Four; I think. Enough to know it's awesome!
What got you started riding your bike to get around (practical cycling)?
--I've always lived in areas close to town, so cycling was a great form of transportation when I didn't have money/inclination for a car(gas-guzzler.)
How many years have you been getting around by bike?
--About seven years.
Describe your current average or usual trip (distance, terrain, urban/rural, etc.)
-- After my oatmeal/banana/water/coffee for breakfast, I take a few minutes to stretch and get my head on straight. Then it's time to take off. From my place it's a straight shot across the Westside to Downtown. Depending on traffic/weather I'll either take Harrison hill or detour through the neighborhoods. Either way, listen for me on the downhills; the Indiana Jones Theme song being whistled is me.
How have you adapted your habits to make practical cycling work for you?
-- I have to make a point to eat something before I ride. Normally I'm not a breakfast person but I can always feel the effect if I take off on an empty stomach.
What are some of the benefits you have experienced from commuting by bike?
--Two things I've noticed. First: I've lost a hundred pounds over seven years of cycling and I've never felt better (go Thunder Thighs!!) Second: civic responsibility. Being able to stop and hop off my bike has encouraged me to pick up trash, glass and storm debris as well as push stuck cars and help little old ladies cross the street (for reals.) Get out of the car, get on the bike and start smelling the roses!
What are some of the challenges you have experienced, and how have you overcome them?
-- In the Winter, I've had to get used to bringing spare clothes with me everywhere I go (I hate clothes.) Beyond that, my challenges are the same I have in day-to-day life, only on a bike they're much more enjoyable.
What is it that keeps you going, especially when the going is tough (weather, darkness, inertia, etc)?
--Honestly I try to slow the Winter down and make it last longer. I'm definitely a Neanderthal/cave dweller when it comes to the weather. Soon enough the sun will be back in full force and I'll start sweating again. I love the COLD.
How do you choose your route (most direct, least traffic, most scenic, etc)?
--Since I live in town I usually take traffic into account. If I'm biking for pleasure I usually play the game Get Lost! (Here's how you play: take turns at random until you don't know where you are, then get home!)
What style of bike do you ride to commute?
--I own a Specialized Hard Rock, but I'm looking to get a touring bike or at least some drop-down bars for my current ride.
Any words of wisdom for the beginning practical cyclist?
--Don't be deceived by the "just woke up blues"! I always feel a million times better than I thought I would once I'm out and about on my bike. It can feel like more work than it actually is, so don't let sleepiness or rain trick you into driving!
What’s your favorite thing about practical cycling and/or the BCC?
--I love being in tune with my surroundings. There's nothing like coasting through the smell of baking bread at Vics or seeing a massive flock of songbirds flying above you. Being on a bike just makes life better.