Sheryl Imperati caught our eye -- and everyone else's -- at last year's NYC Century Bike Tour. She rode 55 miles on a beautiful pink cruiser in fishnets, heels and a leopard bustier. If that weren't reason enough to love this lady, her daily commute to White Plains involves a bus, a subway, the MetroNorth train, and a mile-long walk. Oh, and she was the first person to register for this year's NYC Century. She'll be riding 75 miles. Sheryl, we salute you!
Occupation? Project Manager/IT Analyst for a health care company
How long have you been riding? I started three years ago, and it's changed my life.
Where do you live, and where are you from? I live in Greenpoint, and I was born in the Bronx.
You've got quite a commute. Have you ever thought about biking parts of it? I have. I've thought about getting a bike for the last bit, from the train station to my office, or riding to the subway, but my pencil skirts are too tight. Even without biking, it's an adventure. That's why I blog about it .
Any favorite rides? Ooooh, good question: Prospect Park and Park Slope, Ocean Parkway to Coney Island, Riverside Drive in Manhattan.
What do you do at Coney Island: Sun, swim, rides or all of the above? I actually don't do any of that. I like taking pictures of signs and neon and other things I like. I look for details I haven't noticed on my last trip.
Do you think riding your bike helps you with that? I do, yes. I love that it gives me a height advantage that I would not have if I were walking, that I see more (because I cover more ground) than I could if I were walking, and that I am exposed to certain streets and neighborhoods I might not otherwise see if I were using public transportation. That's why biking rules!
You're so quotable! Do you ever ride with friends? No! Like Pee Wee Herman says, "I'm a loner, a rebel." I have my own agenda when I ride and I just want to do what I want to do. People often ask to ride with me. I have to politely say, "No, sorry." My bike time is ME time, it's my therapy, I don't want to have to worry about someone else navigating through traffic or keeping up or stopping where and when they want.
What do you think of all the new bike lanes? I like the fact that they are there, and like seeing new ones, but I know it's not a perfect solution. For one thing many people (drivers/ pedestrians/delivery trucks) don't respect them and don't seem to understand how they put cyclists at risk when they block bike lanes. But I do think seeing the painted cyclist on the streets makes some people more aware of the fact that they need to share the road.
You're a stylish lady. Can you talk to us about bike style? Well, I like to look good and think there's no reason you shouldn't look good all the time, including on a bike. I ride in skirts and dresses. They just need to have enough movement from the waist down (as opposed to the tight pencil skirts I wear to work). I think halter tops look great, and fun tights (pattern and colors), and three-inch heels, of course.
I only wish I could find a more stylish helmet. That's my only gripe. Seriously, how has no one figured out how to make an attractive helmet yet? Not to mention I hate what they do to my hair and how it makes me look but I love my brain and want to protect it.
Sheryl is the author of the blog *BITCH CAKES*: A NEUROTIC GLAMOUR GIRL'S WEIGHT WATCHERS.