Editor’s note: City bike counts show there are more cyclists on metro streets than ever. Bike traffic has increased 53 percent in Minneapolis between 2007 and 2015, and 33 percent in St. Paul. This is one in an occasional series of brief profiles of random cyclists encountered in the Twin Cities. See previous profiles at startribune.com/icycle. Below are edited excerpts from an e-mail conversation. Text by Bob Timmons, photo by David Joles, Star Tribune
of Minneapolis, U.S. Bank human resources employee
Seen: Morning of Sept. 13, intersection of Bryant Avenue S. and W. 26th Street
Tell us about your ride
My ride is a Origin8 Cutler Fixie. I got it for 80 bucks on Craigslist, and it’s the best investment I’ve ever made. I’m not sure there are really any interesting features as I don’t know enough about bikes to modify it in any way, but there are dents and rust and other elements that give it “charm.”
How often do you commute?
I bike to work from Uptown to U.S. Bank Plaza every day that the weather and my bike allow. I started fairly recently, as I was riding the bus before, and while the bus is a good option there is (in my mind) no replacement for having agency over your commute.
How do you use your bike in your everyday life?
I use my bike every day that I can. It’s cost-efficient, grants agency (like I mentioned) to my commute and my schedule, and I have found the exercise and fresh air crucial to my personal mental health.
How long have you been rolling like this? What motivated you?
I’ve really only owned a bike in a metro area (I am a transplant from Fargo) for the past year or so, and I only got one due to the urging of my dear, dear friend who is heavily involved in the cycling community. However, it changed my life. I understand this city to a degree I never could have if I continued to bus or drive around, and more importantly I understand how everything is connected. This has made each neighborhood infinitely more accessible.
What’s your take on the biking scene in the Twin Cities?
Having bike accessibility is essential to the health of any community. I know for me, I did not feel like a citizen of Minneapolis (as opposed to just Uptown or Northeast, or wherever) until I owned a bike and took advantage of the accessibility already wisely built into this city. Continuing to expand on this is key to the growth and health of our city.