Tuesday, May 30, 2017

2017 BCC Rider Profile Number 2- Maxine


Maxine on her bike in Portland

As the librarian for the Olympia Mountaineers, I make sure that we have a great selection of books for cycling, including how-to’s for Urban Cycling and great maps for biking in Europe, USA, and elsewhere.  I love to help people get started in biking especially those who don’t seem to be “the type”.  I was an earlier “adopter” of Warm Showers, and have virtually never driven to work over my entire career.   A late bloomer, I was the last kid in my neighborhood who could balance on a bike. While in high school in Maryland,  I heard of some kids who had biked to Canada. I was enthralled! For years I couldn’t find anyone to tour with, so finally I just went by myself…took 20 years to work up the desire enough to not worry about having a partner. My first bike tour was for 3 months, alone, camping, in Europe.  I have never stopped since then. For that first tour I starting in Warsaw and biked through Lithuania to my Grandmother’s home town (think 1899) in Latvia.  It was hard to find maps, so I just used a compass. Towns were too far apart so I slept in fields.   I’m not strong or fast, but, who cares? Smile, you can go biking! 
  • What is your age, roughly speaking?  61 1/2
  • What is your occupation or area of study?  Geology and making tile murals.
  • How many years have you been getting around by bike?  54
  • What got you started riding your bike to get around (practical cycling)?  That’s how everyone went places, especially the play ground. Was just totally normal.
  • What are some of the challenges you have experienced, and how have you overcome them?  Noise! Haven’t overcome it.  And I can’t remember how to put the chain back on when I need to clean it or when I travel; I carry a picture or find another bike to copy.
  • What is your most frequent destination on your bike?  Anyplace with food.
  • How did you hear about the Bicycle Commuter Contest?  Don’t remember, didn’t the contest start with the beginning of time?
  • How many times have you participated in the Bicycle Commuter Contest?  Around 10 times?  20? Don’t remember…it’s like other holidays, Black History Month,  Bike Commuter Month.
  • Describe your current average or usual trip (distance, terrain, urban/rural, etc.)    12 miles. We either bike downtown and have the Ames hill or we head for yoga and cross over Woodard Bay, which means a big hill on either side plus 2 more. I do feel them!
  • How have you adapted your habits to make practical cycling work for you?   I make sure I have enough time to bike instead of drive. I probably do less errands in a day as it takes longer and less storage area to carry things.  Good side, is that I have more days in which I have a place to go, to do those other errands. Someday I will get a trailer.
  • What are some of the benefits you have experienced from commuting by bike?  Less stress! Plus, I get my exercise and my good citizenship and my chores (or commute) all done at the same time.  Plus more money in my pocket; less spent on cars and such. I didn’t buy a car until I was 25; I saved lots of money from 19 to 25 and it’s my retirement.  Thousands of dollars became tens of thousands of dollars over time.
  • What is it that keeps you going, especially when the going is tough (weather, darkness, inertia, etc)? Bad weather does stop me;  I stay home or time my rides for better weather.  I don’t experience inertia. Would be nice to perhaps sometime; maybe I would read more.
  • How do you choose your route (most direct, least traffic, most scenic, etc)?   My riding partner likes less traffic, when he wins we take the bike trail; I like to see flowers and houses, so when I win we take less traveled roads.   On my own, I just mix it up and go for variety.
  • What style of bike do you ride to commute?  Upright road bike style, steel, 3 by 9 speed with a big granny gear.
  • Any words of wisdom for the beginning practical cyclist?  Talk to people who you see riding. Have an open mind.  Buy a bike from a bike store not a department store so that it’s has decent components and therefore easy to maintain. A cheap bike is one that is expensive because it won’t get ridden.
  • What’s your favorite thing about practical cycling and/or the BCC?   Free treats at the food COOP.   We treat our foreign vacations much like we treat our town; go hither and yon by bike. We can see more things, smell and feel the air,  and meet more local people.

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