Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Why I Bike: Heather

Thank you to Heather for participating in my weekly column! Heather is also a blogger and writes at Dietitian on the Run - it's fabulous! Check it out here

When did you learn to ride your bike? Who taught you?
I assume I was 4-5 years old but don’t have much memory of who taught me/when, which I guess is good in some ways – no traumatic falling memories, and all I do remember is riding my bike around our neighborhood a lot!

The bike & I took a long break until I bought a road-bike in the spring of 2010, at the encouragement my best friend (a very avid and  competitive cyclist). I’m still learning to ride that….

In what city and state do you live?
Washington, DC

What is the biking culture like there?

Short answer: amazing.

Long answer: they are creating more and more bike-only lanes along the busiest streets of downtown, our bike-share system has hubs/bikes ALL OVER the place and you see cyclists of all types out every single day, no matter what the weather.

What kind of bike do you have?
Cannondale Synapse (road bike).

How often do you ride your bike?
I’m very much a fair-weather rider – in the spring/summer I occasionally use it to commute to work (25 mile ride, round-trip) and may ride once during the week and once on the weekend. During the winter, it sadly collects dust and loses tire air.

I wish drivers...
Looked both ways before turning in any direction! If you’re coming up on them from the opposite way they plan to turn, there’s no hope. Just stop & wait. (Same could be said for running.) I also wish they weren’t always so timid of cyclists – if we’re on the road, we trust ourselves to be there.

I would ride my bike even more if...
I didn’t have to carry my helmet around afterward….I didn’t rely on the padded bike-shorts to
stay comfortable (those look very awkward off-the-bike)…I was better at changing a flat!

My favorite bike snack:
Larabars! Easy to pack, nutrient dense and so tasty.

My favorite piece of bike gear is:
The clothing pockets – I love that cycling gear is always ready to be your pack-mule.

Do you ride your bike in all weather?

Nope. I’m very much partial to the skies & seasons.

Do you own a car?
Yes, I have to have one for work. I’ll celebrate the day that that isn’t the case.

I mostly ride my bike:

A little bit of everything! Mostly for exercise/touring, but when all systems cooperate I love to commute with it.

My favorite thing about riding my bike....
How far you can go in such a short time! As someone who is primarily a runner, this is a big

The coolest trip I’ve done on my bike….

From Denver à Golden, CO and back. We rode through some city neighborhoods, up a lot of hills, past the Coors Brewery, toward the Rockies, through downtown Golden and then up Lookout Mountain (not all the way, for me). Then turned around and did it all over again, heading toward the city skyline.

The bike trip I’m dying to do…

is go to France to chase the stages of the Tour (de France) in July!
One clip in shoe!

Craziest thing I did on my bike:
One clip-in shoe on, one Nike Free on. It may not sound crazy, but I think it looked a little crazy. I was trying to improve my clip in/out technique, and it’s much less nerve-wracking when you have one foot that’s free. So I carried each alternate shoe in a back-pack and switched half-way through the ride.

Does your house/apt/work have special accommodations that make biking more feasible?
I live in a row-house with plenty of foyer space for bikes, not that they really match the décor.

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