Despite the growing popularity of bike commuting, it can be intimidating for a beginner. Riding with traffic can admittedly be a scary experience until one acclimates to being so close to cars and trucks. There are also other issues that arise, like different types of weather, choosing appropriate attire, etc. The internet can be a wealth of commuter advice, but not all advice is worth taking and some advice out there is dangerous. It is not enough to simply have more people on the roads commuting, but to have more people on the roads commuting safely who are educated in both bike safety and road safety. Enter the idea for Taking the Lane, a weekly column written by a group of Sheclismo members.
Part of the Sheclismo mission is get people from all walks of life excited about riding bicycles, whether it be for transportation, pleasure, or sport. In our annual meeting this past January, one topic that came up was how we can impact global cycling commuting. Sheclismo presently is very involved and successful in growing the numbers of women who race. Team members are always available for commuting and transport cycling advice. This is excellent for local members, but we wanted to share our commuting knowledge to a larger audience, since it is a global issue. Our goal is to provide a source of regular educational articles for commuters, both new and seasoned, on safety, attire options, and having fun getting to work. New Taking the Lane columns will come out every .
We have a team of writers who come from different professions and commuting conditions. So meet your Sheclismo Taking the Lane editorial team:
|Emily Grace - Physics PhD Student|
Emily Grace (Lead Editor) is a 28-year-old physics PhD student at the Royal Holloway, University of London. She started commuting on a bike in fall of 2011 while she was living in Mishawaka, Indiana. She went car free while she was living in Lincoln, Nebraska in the summer of 2012. Her current commute from Chertsey to Egham is anywhere between 5.5 and 10 miles one way, depending the rout she goes. She primarily cycles on narrow British roads in traffic. Her beloved Kona Jake cross bike is her choice for commuting, training and racing. When she is not riding her bike to commute, she enjoys long day bike trips and competing in cyclocross and gravel races. She is also training for her first duathlon. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Andrea Cohen - Bike Shop Employee/School Bus Driver|
Andrea Cohen (Correspondent) is a 24 year-old bike shop employee/school bus driver(yes, they even let her drive around kindergartners around). She became a commuter halfway through her college career in Iowa City when her car broke down, and she was also downright broke. Coming from a bicycle friendly family she easily secured a bike and began commuting out of necessity. Commuting quickly went from being a chore to something she looked forward to everyday. Once free from college she picked up a job delivering Jimmy John’s sandwiches on her bike integrating the commuting skills into money-making skills! Fast forward to 2014 Andrea still holds onto that first commuting bike and will probably keep it for life. Commuting is what started her cycling career which is now defining her life more than ever. You never know what’s around that next corner and it’s always better to tackle it on a bike!
|Crystal Day - Scientist|
Crystal Day (Correspondent) is a 40 year old scientist living, working, and raising a family in Lincoln, NE. She began commuting to work a few times a week during the summer of 2013 in an effort to save gas, stay fit, and motivate others. Her current commute round trip is 21 miles, and always into the wind. The commute can be a little longer when she chooses to bike the kids to school before work, stops for ice cream on the way home, or bikes through a local spray park for a nice cool down. Her favorite bike to commute on is her Giant mountain bike, but when she is running late and needs to push the pace a little more, she jumps on her cheap cross bike, and once in awhile rides the hilly sections of town to give her legs a good workout. While in her mid 30’s, Crystal tried and became addicted to Adventure Racing, and more recently has added Triathlon, and CycloCross.
Laura Anderson (Correspondent) is a fair weather commuter-she's cold blooded and only rides in the warmer months! she finds the calm of the bike path really squashes her road rage and gets her ready for the day ahead. She's always got a change of clothes in her bag, some water in her cages, and a smile on her face! She's a fairly new commuter, with only 1-2 seasons under her belt, and the ride is 5 miles each way-3 if she's in a hurry!
|Laura Anderson - Data Specialist|
|Ann Ringlein - Running Store Manager/Coach|
Ann Ringlein (Correspondent) has been a bicycle commuter (almost 100%) for 12 years…after the last child left for college. As manager of the Lincoln Running Co., and assistant cross country and track coach at Nebraska Wesleyan University, work attire lends itself to commuting! For 11.5 years her commute was on a mountain bike the latest being a lovely Klein. That changed this fall when she signed up to ride Gravel Worlds and went for a cyclo-cross bike – her new commute is a Jake the Snake (Jacinta the Snake is Ann's loving name for her). Her “school year” commute is 15 miles, and her summer commute is a measly 5-6 miles….so gravel roads are added for some fun and miles! Warmth is huge for her so she has learned the art of layering as a biker and has found some really sweet items that work great! She has never regretted a day of commuting and is usually sad if she must drive.
|Janine Copple -Translator|
Janine Copple (Correspondent) has been a bicycle commuter for some years now, but decided to try winter commuting several years ago when a friend offered that he commuted “just 12 months a year.” Citing “if He can do it I can” another winter commuter hit the streets. After a lot of trial and error she seems to have figured out how to arrive looking business casual whether 100º or 0º. The opportunity to change clothes is rarely an option. Her job as an interpreter has her riding all over the city, sometimes on short notice, up to 40 miles a day, though the mileage varies widely. She considers the opportunity to ride around the city a big perk of her job.