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 to star­tribune.com/icycle. Below are edited excerpts from a recent conversation:

Natalie Bontrager

30, Minneapolis

Employed at Health Careers Center, University of Minnesota; also part-time public health student

Seen: Morning of Feb. 15, Franklin Avenue Bridge

Tell us about your ride

I commute to work every day, both ways. It’s about four miles, and I commute on the (Mississippi) river parkway, which is really wonderful because they work really hard to keep it clear for the most part. And it’s much easier than riding in the road. We moved from Chicago where there was significant infrastructure for public transit but not so much for bikes, and it is a little bit flipped here in Minneapolis.

Do you ride for other things?

If it’s within a five-mile radius, yes, I would. Groceries, that’s a little bit harder. I do have a lot of panniers, so in the summertime if I am feeling up to it, I will get groceries.

Tell me about your bike kit. What do you like about it?

It’s a secondhand Schwinn purchase from the Twin Cities Bicycle Trading Post. My favorite part are the pogies. They’ve made winter riding so much better this year.

You mentioned you rode in Chicago when you lived there. What started you getting around by bike?

In college and while living overseas, cycling was just how folks got around, so I started with that and haven’t really stopped. It’s now more of conscious decision to live and work in cities that make it easier to get around via bicycle or public transit — which is what led me to live in Chicago and Minneapolis.

What do you think are some challenges for riders in the metro?

We have great infrastructure here in Minneapolis and St. Paul compared to many places in the U.S., but we still have a lot of work to do to create more dedicated spaces for cyclists AND pedestrians. I’m happy to see that pedestrians are being included in certain plans for how we think about transportation infrastructure in the Twin Cities — there are so many ways people get around without cars.

How often do people remind you that you have the same name as a ubiquitous and popular cycling brand?

Actually not very often! However, bike shops tend to be the only place I don’t have to spell it.