Occupation: Coastal Resilience Specialist for the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. I spend my time thinking about what makes NH’s coastal communities “resilient,” particularly when faced with natural disasters that are amplified by climate change. Research shows that well-planned transportation networks and community members knowing their neighbors lead to more resilient communities. Biking plays a major role in both those factors—I think.
What bike (s) are you riding: I primarily ride a second-hand Trek road bike as my commuter. I also have a fabulous Raleigh cruiser complete with basket that comes in handy for groceries or when I feel a need for some vintage style.
Favorite bike route: The ride I take to work is actually quite lovely. I go from Cabot St. to Pease via Woodbury Avenue and the bike/pedestrian bridge to cross Route 16. I often see some good bird life, the occasional deer, and last week I encountered a snapping turtle and a rabbit!
Most prized bike accessory: That detachable rain fender on the back wheel is pretty handy when I get caught in a morning rainstorm.
Helpful hint for other women bicyclists: Wherever I happen to be living, my rough rule is that if I live up to four miles from work, I can bike to work in my work clothes. If I’m worried about sweating on a hot day, I leave a little earlier and ride extra slowly. People often think they have to wear some flashy bike workout outfit to ride to work. That’s not always true and doesn’t have to be the reason you keep from trying the bike ride to the office.
My photo is from the seersucker social bike ride in Washington, DC! I wore that outfit for an 8-hour ride around the city in the summer.
Why you bicycle: My good friend Carly got me hooked on bike commuting in Washington DC. My entire reason for doing it was because it cut my commute time in half, from 40 minutes to 20 minutes. Sure, there are some other great benefits too—it adds a little built in activity to my desk-based work day, it’s energy smart, it’s cheaper than driving, and I am usually happier and more confident on days I bike to work.
But honestly, I really do it because it’s the fastest, most convenient form of transportation for getting around Portsmouth—especially since it means I completely avoid spending time finding parking downtown! (Slight aside: I’m a great example of why parking should be hard to find downtown in Portsmouth—it gets more people riding bikes (and walking)!)