Fall 2001, p.20

Commuter Profile: Katharine Clark

Neighborhood: Astoria
Occupation: Theatre Artist
T.A. member since: 1999
Bike: It's a Raleigh. A mountain-trail-thing.
T.A. member since: Not yet a member!
You have been commuting by bike for less than a month. Why did you start?
I had my folks bring my bike to me and assumed I would ride it on weekends around Astoria and maybe ride it into the city to avoid slow weekend trains. The WTC disaster on top of train changes from Manhattan Bridge re-construction made getting around by public transit difficult. So I started riding everyday everywhere and I don't want to go back to using the subway.
Where do you ride?
I am a temp worker so I spend a lot of time in East Midtown. I also rehearse in Chelsea and on the Upper West Side. I bike everywhere really. My typical day takes me over the Queensboro Bridge then to the Grand Central area. If I am going to rehearsal I go straight to the studio on 22nd St. or the Upper West Side.
How do you park your bike?
I park on the street to a traffic sign or parking meter. When parking outside it helps if in the back of your mind you know something could happen to your bike. But if you are going to ride, you just have to let those feelings go.
I use two locks - a Kryptonite chain, and a cable lock for the back wheel.
I try to park where other bikes are and at night, my bike is in my apartment.
What has the bike commuting experience been like so far?
It's been amazingly liberating for someone that is impatient with traffic, and who has to move around the city a lot very quickly. I am surprised that more people haven't figured this commuting by bike thing out. You get to zip by limos stuck in traffic and feel like a queen! It would be nice to see more bike lanes and paths. The first time I saw the bike lanes on Broadway and 6th Ave., I thought it was a miracle! I have also learned to decipher different types of car honking. The polite "I'm coming, move over honk", and the "you don't deserve to be on the road honk."
Any special gear or clothing?
I don't look like a cyclist. No special shoes or clothes. I roll up my pants so they don't get caught in the chain.
I have started to layer my clothes though. If you have 45-minute trip it is nice to be able to adjust along the way.

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