March/April 1998, p.17

Commuter of the Month: Ariane van Buren

Occupation: Negotiator for Shareholder Relations on Environmental Issues
Why bike commute: It's the best way to get around, even over considerable distances.
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.

To "nominate" a commuter of the month, e-mail info@transalt.org.

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