Editor’s note: This is one in an occasional series of profiles in brief of random cyclists encountered on the streets of the Twin Cities. To see previous profiles, go online to startribune.com/icycle. Below are edited excerpts from a recent conversation.
Assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health at the University of Minnesota; cancer researcher
Seen: Morning of Feb. 15, Franklin Avenue Bridge
Regular bike commuter?
I have been doing it for about 15 years now.
Our bridge turned from a nonfriendly bridge for bikes into a friendly bridge for bikes, and Franklin going from two lanes to one lane for bikes. It’s been an amazing change.
How have you stay committed?
Well, it helps having expensive parking at the University of Minnesota. So it makes it a lot more tenable. Plus I’m not that hard-core in that I only have a mile-1 ½ miles to go everyday, so 10-15 minutes. The only days I can’t go are when it snows really heavily at night, and then they can’t get it cleared off early enough. But they are amazing fast at cleaning this off, and I’ve got the river road, which is also really nice.
What about the bike?
It’s a Fuji that is probably about 30 years old that a friend of mine bought at a yard sale for 20 bucks. The nice thing about it is I don’t have to worry too much about it getting stolen. It’s a workhorse. I’ve been riding it for 15 years. Everything has probably been new at one point in time on this bike. It suffices.
What of the evolution in cycling in the Twin Cities?
I think it is great. I do park at the U. And I joke about the car parking, but there is a bike rack by my door, and for the first 10 years I never had a problem. Now, if I don’t get there by 9 in the morning my bike rack is filled up, so I have to go another 50 yards away. The Nice Ride bikes, too, seem to have taken off. I know a lot of people who use those.
How about riding in general?
I’ll use it to go to the grocery store, and to go short places and long places.
What’s top of mind for the future of cycling in the metro?
Make it easier for people to bike to work. This includes a bunch of things that would help, including more dedicated lanes giving access to regions with lots of employees, continued support for putting bikes on buses and trains, and possibly getting employers to give financial perks to employees that ride their bikes to work (like some of them do for people who ride mass transit to work).