Commuter of the Month:
Ariane van Buren
for Shareholder Relations on Environmental Issues
Why bike commute: It's the best way to get around, even over
How did you get started: In junior high, I played competitive sports
and created a cycling team. Cycling, along with soccer, was then considered
unchallenging. In college, I went to Italy for a year and insisted on riding
in a skirt - I got pursued on a bicycle. Since then, no matter where I've
lived - England, Berlin or D.C. - I've always used my bike. But Holland, more
than anywhere, taught me what bicycling could be. I lived there three years.
What a treat! Bike paths are everywhere, and the members of parliament, mayor
and everybody is on a bicycle.
Your Bike: A lady's Raleigh 10-speed with rear rack, panniers, child
seat and bell.
Gear: I need a good looking briefcase that snaps onto the rear rack.
Commute: These days, it's shorter - from home, about 15 blocks to work
on the Upper West Side.
Parking at work: I use the garage in the building basement, but after
hours and on weekends it's closed. No bikes are allowed in the building and
the manager seems absolutely unsympathetic to the idea.
Bad Weather Biking: I have a rain poncho and pants and always used to
ride in the rain. These days I'm less adamant.
Frustrations: The lack of bike lanes in New York City. Sometimes, I'm
tempted to ride the wrong way. Well designed bike paths would make me feel
much safer, especially with my daughter. Also, car drivers treat you like
you're the scum of the earth. Meanwhile you take up less space, do not clog
city streets and use no fuel.
Favorite Rides: My daughter and I ride through Central Park to the
carousel and then across town to catch the Roosevelt Island tram. We ride
around and then go back home through the park.
Bike Feats: I like to do all my grocery shopping at once, filling every
single cupboard in one trip. I look like a sherpa carrying everything. I've
also carried skis on my bike.
Cycling Highpoints: Seeing the mayor of Amsterdam on a bicycle and
looking elegant. I'd feel proud if I saw Mayor Giuliani on a bike.
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