November/December 1998, p.17

Commuter of the Month: Danny Lieberman

Age: 38
Occupation: Project Manager
Neighborhood: Lower East Side
T.A. Member Since: 1991
What prompted you to commute? Years ago I really took Bike to Work week to heart. Instead of just riding during the summer, I decided to do it as often as I could. It's more pleasant to ride and a timesaver.
Route: One and a half miles. I just switched to using the new East River Bikeway under the FDR drive. From there I take South Street. Having the highway overhead protects you from the elements. I ride year round, but I'm a fair weather rider. I only take the subway when I have to.
Bike: I have five bikes. I use my Prism Aluminum Road Bike for commuting.
Parking Woes: My building has been very resistant to indoor bike parking - they're even against outdoor racks. I always use a series of locks, at least a chain or U-lock for the front wheel and another master padlock for the back. I haven't had any problem with theft for a number of years.
Best thing about biking in NYC? The variety of people and neighborhoods.
Worst? The challenge of NYC traffic - the thickest, meanest, nastiest traffic on the planet.
On Activism: T.A. is a powerful voice in a city that can be pretty apathetic. But they can only do so much. It's really up to people to measure their dedication and interest. If you want a safer city, it's not just enough to support T.A.
How do you manifest that? By getting out on your bike and taking part in as many bike-related activities as possible. Take part in a critical mass ride. Join group rides. Show up to demonstrations. When you see something you don't agree with, write a letter.
Is that why you started ebikes? ebikes began as a group of activists and recreational riders trying to create an online dialogue about the process of cycling in NYC. It has grown to nearly 300 users who represent a wide range of bicycling backgrounds: messengers, advocates, racers, and people who work in government. Sometimes it reaches extremes; people are very critical and you can be sure they'll share their opinions.
If you could implement one beneficial strategy for cyclists, what would it be? Tolls on the East River bridges. Bikes lanes are great, and I use them, but the only way to significantly reduce the amount of traffic in Manhattan is by making drivers pay an expense for using their vehicles. By increasing the burden on drivers, they would be forced to look at other forms of transit. Then, increase subway service and improve all forms of alternative transit.
How'd you get involved with the Five Boro Bike Club? One year after riding in the annual Five Boro Bike Tour, I decided I wanted to get more involved with the club. One of the things I take pleasure from now is planning and participating in events for other people to enjoy. These days, I lead many rides for the 5BBC and marshal other rides throughout the year including T.A.'s NYC Century.
Advice: Ride defensively. Always try to anticipate problems ahead of you and assume you will be the one to stop. Don't allow your fear of traffic to keep you from riding. It's my favorite hobby and activity.

Read more commuter profiles.