Have you raced in Babes In Bikeland before? If so, how many times? If not, do you plan to race this year? Why does Babes In Bikeland excite you?
My first Babes in Bikeland was last year (2015)! I am looking forward to riding again. The vibe at Babes was great – super positive, very welcoming. As a beginner it was a great feeling, to feel so welcomed and encouraged.
Describe your bike (or favorite bike)! What makes it special to you?
I have a 3-speed bamboo bike I built with the Bamboo Bike Studio back when they were in Red Hook Brooklyn. It is special because I used it when I rode the Ohio to Erie Trail in Ohio, from Cleveland to Cincinnati.
What was the BEST day of biking you’ve ever had?
When I rode in Ohio there was a super tough day in Amish country. It was windy and the hills were ridiculous. I walked several of them. But I finished for the day and pulled into Millersburg and was so happy to have made it.
What does your typical commute look like? Do you consider yourself an avid biker? A novice? What about biking in Minneapolis is special to you?
I am not an avid biker, or a racer. I’m not a novice though. I’m a fair-weather biker. What I like about Minneapolis is that so many people bike to get around, and it’s not seen as this wild thing, as it is in other cities. There are so many biking events (not just races) here, and I especially like the Grease Rag events.
My typical bike commute to work is still new to me, since I’ve only been at my job about 2 months. It’s not far, less than 5 miles. I’m mostly on trails but if I want to mix it up I can also take the bus part of the way. I’m lucky because my work building has showers and lockers, and bike racks. Normally I take the bus to work, or get a ride into work and then take the bus home.
How does biking intersect with the rest of your identity or person? This could be age, ability, race, gender, sexuality, life passions, etc. Basically, how does biking contribute to you being you?
I find that biking is a good tool to meet people and sometimes make friends! Particularly in Minneapolis, where there are multiple bike-related events. There are a lot of events, besides races. (I am a slow bicyclist so races are not my preferred event.) And sometimes there is even a simple expectation that your travels (happy hour, brunching, shopping) will be done via bike. Some of the people I like the most in the Twin Cities – I met them from biking. Bike rides, volunteering related to bikes (shout outs to Cycle 4 Change and their learn to ride classes, and also the Open Streets events that MBC organizes), and Grease Rag open shop nights!
As far as abilities – Since I did the Ohio to Erie Trail I definitely believe in my abilities more. It’s not that I started and didn’t think I would finish, I did. But I feel stronger sometimes, because I remember what I did. (Although I did walk the bike on some of the Amish hills, ha ha.)
Life passions – I have been fortunate enough to be able to do bicycle-related work and get paid for it sometimes. I work as a transportation planner and engineer for a company called HNTB. At this company and at my previous jobs I have been able to work on bicycle facilities design, Complete Streets, that type of thing. That’s very fulfilling for me.
The one time I was on TV was for a segment the local news did on the Winter Cycling Congress. A friend and I were leading a bike tour, and it was the morning after that one big snow we got this winter, maybe 6 inches of snow? They were doing a bit on the Congress and our tour came back and they talked to a few of us. So that was fun. My clip was about 5 seconds long, but there you go! Without biking I wouldn’t have met this friend, we wouldn’t have led a bike tour, and I wouldn’t have ended up on TV for my 5 seconds of non-fame. 🙂