July/August 1998, p.16

Volunteer of the Month: Daniel Lerch

Age: 23
Occupation: Student, admin assistant, temp, bartender.
Neighborhood: Manhattanville
T.A. Member Since: 1996
How Joined T.A.: I picked up a City Cyclist at Bike Habitat. I had been living in (more bike-friendly) Germany the year before. I was so happy to see there was an organization doing something for cycling in the city.
Volunteer Activities: Database management, events like the Auction and Bike NY, volunteer nights, and in-office doughnut consumption.
Hours / Week: About eight per week, the last two months. I'm going to India for several months before starting grad school, but I plan to get involved again when I return.
Why Volunteer w/T.A.: Cycling in NY is very important to me because of the way I live and my career. I want to get involved in ecologically sustainable development, especially in NY.
High Points: The donuts. No, seriously, the Auction. It was really interesting to see the cross section of people involved in cycling in NYC. And it was inspiring to see so many people interested in what we're doing.
On Biking: For me, biking in NY is almost spiritual. The whole rush and freedom of riding down the avenues is very relaxing. It's how I clear my mind. I used to randomly explore neighborhoods in Brooklyn; now I go to different parks. There's always something different to try.
Wish List: I want to see streetcars and jitney buses in NY to replace taxis. Having gigantic taxis in such a crowded city is ludicrous. Anything that reduces the number of cars and makes it easier for pedestrians and cyclists is good.
Future: I've been highly influenced by what I saw in Europe. Ecological sustainability has a huge transportation element whether it's transit-oriented development, or bike lanes or street cars. There are a lot of things out there we could do to improve the environment. I hope to help make some of those things happen.
Advice: If you're thinking about it, you know in your heart that you should. So do it. Besides, you get free donuts and good music. Well, sometimes.