Commuter of the Month
By Delphine Taylor
Occupation: Manager of Bicycle Habitat.
Commuting history: 25 years, about 265,000 miles.
Longest commute: 4,200 miles, from Santa Cruz to New York.
Current commute: From 204th Street to Soho, about 25 miles round-trip.
I usually take Broadway to 165th Street, down to Riverside and the West Side
Highway and cross-town. I ride back up 10th Avenue. Sometimes I ride through
the wood paths through Riverside Park just to spice up my ride and get away
from the exhaust. Although I love to commute by bike, exhaust can be
Bike: Maruishi 10-speed with a Bianchi decal, a psychedelic paint job,
fenders, a rack, and lights.
Locking: I try not to lock up on the street, but if I have to, I lock
my bike with a big chain to a light post high up in the air, where it's hard
to reach, then stick a U-lock through the frame and wheels. I also keep my
bikes locked in my apartment.
Bikes stolen: Only one, when I was 18, from outside my Dad's candy
store on Wall Street.
Helmet: I threw it in the Wallkill River about 15 years ago-it's too
Clothes: Cycling clothes are overrated-actually, clothes in general are
overrated. I wear a rain jacket in the rain and wool (with $6 gloves) in the
Weather: I missed a total of four days last winter. I just kind of surf
through the snow.
Advice for safety: I ride like a grandmother in traffic, and keep to
the extreme east or west side of Manhattan when going up or downtown.
Best commuting story: A friend and I were riding uptown and a cabby
kept cutting us off. When he stopped at a light, I started pounding on his
hood to distract him. When he got out of the cab, my buddy reached in and
grabbed his keys and threw them into the sewer. My friend and I then rode off
into the sunset, and the cabby was left pulling his hair out.
Worst: I came out of a restaurant in Chinatown and saw that someone had
stolen my rear derailleur and let the air out of my tires. When I bent over to
start pumping up my tires, a German Shepard took a bite out of my butt. I
couldn't sit for a week.
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