Commuter of the Month:
By Heather Nelson
Occupation: Software Developer
Home: Upper West Side
TA. Member Since: 1993
How long bike commuting: Two years
Why? Fastest way to get to train.
Getting Started: Inspired by Bike-to-Work Week '94, one Sunday afternoon
I dusted off my bike after not riding it at all for three years. The next day I
took my bike to work for the first time.
Current commute? From the Upper West Side, through Central Park and
Harlem to the 125th Street Metro-North station. I bring my bike on the train to
White Plains, and ride about six blocks to my office downtown.
Bike? Raleigh 14-speed touring model.
Helmet? I'd feel naked without one.
Theft? Not since I was a kid.
Parking? I use a large closet in our office.
All seasons? Yes.
All weather? Everything but slush and heavy rain.
How would you improve your commute? A dedicated bike space on the
Metro-North trains, and a car-free Central Park.
What do you think TA should be focusing on? Publicizing and getting NYPD
to enforce the 30 mph speed limit and red lights. Traffic calming measures in
residential neighborhoods are also positive.
Craziest bike story: One morning, running late, at Marcus Garvey Park a
woman in her fifties was standing in the street, shouting that someone had
stolen her purse. Without thinking, I sprinted to catch up with the man, adding
my voice to the cry of "Stop thief!" The purse-snatcher outran all
those chasing him. When he reached 125th Street, I started shouting that I was
right behind him. He kept running and I kept shouting until he reached Park
Avenue, where a Metro-North police officer came out of the station. At the same
time, an undercover NYPD officer standing on the corner pulled a gun. As I stood
catching my breath, I heard the 9:57 express pulling into the station overhead.
I took my bike and dashed upstairs to the platform. If it hadn't been for the
purse-snatcher, I never would have made the express that morning.
What do you keep in your bike bag? Tools, patch kit, book or magazine,
lunch, Metro-North schedule, Brooklyn bike map.
A quote? Rediscovering bicycling was like taking a swim in the ocean
after living in the desert for years.
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