May/June 1999, p.18

Commuter of the Month: Cordelia Rose

Age: 58
Occupation: Museum Registrar, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum
Neighborhood: Times Square
T.A. Member Since: 1997
What kind of bike do you own? Brompton folding bike. I love it! I'm the U.S. correspondent for a British folding bike magazine A to B. My daughter called me one day from Berkeley and said "I've found you the perfect bicycle for NYC," so I flew out there and got it. To me, it's very nippy going through traffic if you apply your legs to it. It folds up in about 15 seconds. It's got three speeds, which seems to me to be perfectly fine for Manhattan. I've never been defeated by a hill.
Frequent Flyer: Once a month or more, I fly down to Washington, D.C. for meetings at the Smithsonian. I can catch my plane in less than an hour. I ride my bicycle to 34th street and take the bus to the 34th St. pier to catch the Delta Water Shuttle. My bicycle has a bag that I put it in, and then the people at Delta - they call me the "Bike Lady" - check it as baggage. I don't have to pay anything, because it's smaller than most people's suitcases. It fits in overhead compartments in very large planes. When I get to National Airport in D.C., the baggage carousel is right by the automatic doors leading outside. So I unfold my bike at the carousel, ride through the doors, along the taxi queues and then straight onto the bike path, which goes along the river, over a bridge, and then on to the Smithsonian.
Why do you commute by bike? For a feeling of well-being and independence and not having to wait for the bus. Being able to come through the park everyday is really lovely. Sometimes I just can't quite stop and I go all the way round the loop again and then to work.
What kinds of cycling improvements would you like to see in NYC? In Central Park, the bike lane is marked for bicycles, but runners and in-line skaters have to use it as well. Meanwhile, there's two great, big lanes for cars and one teeny-weeny lane for the rest of us to argue over. I'd like one lane of cars, one lane of bikes and then a lane for runners, with a buffer zone in-between each.
What are your pet peeves? Tourists who step off a curb to look at the top of a skyscraper mid-block. I have a very loud bicycle bell, and if that doesn't work I have a friendly yell, and if that doesn't work I have a very piercing yell. I once lived on this particular island in the Indian Ocean where all the women called to each other across the rooftops and they have this wonderful piercing call which I learned to do. That wakes people up.

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