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 conversation:
Cyclist Jonathan Cook
63, St. Paul
Radiation and imaging medical equipment repair at Abbott Northwestern Hospital
Seen: Morning of Nov. 30, 2016, Midtown Greenway, west of Hiawatha Avenue, Minneapolis
His ride: Mountain bike, studded tires and fenders
On his cycling background
I’ve been commuting by bicycle for a long time (almost 35 years). I am sure glad (the Greenway) came in, I’ll tell you what. It’s so much more enjoyable. I can ride on the trail right to work from the Mississippi River Boulevard. I live in Midway in St. Paul. The only street I am ever on is Marshall Avenue that is actually very busy, and that’s got lanes. Before it was a little more dodgy because I would ride up Franklin (Avenue) or 26th (Street) or Lake Street. It wasn’t as nice as it is now, and I sure am glad a lot of other people are doing it, too. There weren’t a lot of us back then.
On his longevity
Riding my bike gets me started in the morning. I have always enjoyed riding.
Only commuter bike?
I have other bikes (recumbent and a road bike). This is my winter beater. We bought it for my wife. It’s from the 1980s, an old mountain bike, and I put studded tires on it and fenders. It goes OK. It’s pretty heavy. Kind of a tank, but it works pretty well. I’ve put new wheels on it and other things. I’ve kept it updated as I go, as much as it can be.
Sort of. When it gets really cold, I will take transit. I have in the past been a year-round commuter.
On his commute to and from the hospital
Seven miles or so. Usually takes about half-hour or a little more to get to work. It’s not bad.
On the burgeoning cycling community and infrastructure in the Twin Cities
I think it’s cool. I really do. I am really happy that kind of stuff is happening. I’ve been involved with advocacy a little bit over the years, and it’s really cool to see all this. Coming out here in the summer time and there are hundreds of people on the trail ... and there’s plenty of room, it’s a big place, so it works really well. I enjoy it a lot. I think it is pretty cool.
Bob Timmons • 612-673-7899; David Joles • 612-673-7904