Commuter of the Month:
By Heather Nelson
Commute: 3.5 miles, From West 72nd Street, she rides into Central Park
and heads south, biking most of a lap to 110th Street, and then only a few
blocks to work at St. Luke's Hospital.
Bike Commuter Since: 1979, when she sold her car and moved from Queens
into Manhattan, "I've always owned bikes. I just started using the bike
for all of my errands."
Why? "It's the most enjoyable way to get to work, the easiest way,
and the most reliable. It saves me a fortune on a gym, and keeps me young and
Commuting Bike: KHS mountain bike with hybrid tires.
Weather: "I haven't missed a day this year. Rain's not a problem:
I've got my Gore-Tex and my fenders."
Wardrobe: "In the morning, I listen to the radio. I wear long
Johns if it's cold, wool biking tights if it's below freezing, wool I Socks or
double socks or...whatever! I have a zillion different pair of gloves for
different temperatures. The last time I suited up (in full yellow Go re-Tex
suit) at school, one of my kids said 'You look just like a big yellow banana.
I mean a little yellow banana.''
Parking: Bike rack across the street, in full view of a guard.
Locks: Standard U-lock plus a cable for the seat, and "I ALWAYS
bring the front wheel with me."
Theft: 3 bikes though none since she started using two locks.
How Things Have Changed Since She Started Commuting: "When I
started, there were no mountain bikes and no messenger. Now there are
definitely more bikers out there."
Faves: Central Park before they plow it. "It's like a Currier and
Best Moments: In Midtown, some guy (messenger, over-geared macho mart,
whatever) pulls up next to her. The light changes, and she takes off, leaving
him in her dust. At the text light, he sucks air and mumbles something like
"Hey, pretty good." with his head down.
Historical Note: She rode the First T.A, Century, and as the #1
fundraiser won a workstand, with which she performs all her own repairs, even
the tough stuff like installation of new component groups and bottom bracket
The City: "Considering all its problems, from traffic to air
pollution, it needs Transportation Alternatives.
more commuter profiles.