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. Below are edited excerpts from a conversation.
Cyclist: Lisa Day, 43, of Minneapolis, Minnesota Academy of Science outreach coordinator and fundraiser, worker-owner at The Hub Bike Co-op (Minnehaha Avenue)
Seen: Nov. 30, Midtown Greenway, west of Hiawatha Avenue, Minneapolis
Her ride (and kit): All-City Space Horse commuter bike, Nokian studded tires, high-lumen headlight (550) and rearlight, 45NRTH Wolvhammer boots, goggles
On why she cycles
I don’t own a car, so it’s just what I do. When you are a commuter you just start organizing your life in a kind of way that makes it workable. Sometimes when I schedule going out to eat with a friend, we tend to stay within a certain vicinity. There is a lot of that. I probably put in about 25 miles a day on average (between commute to two jobs and nonwork activity).
On winter riding
Winter commuters will vary on how studded they want their tires to be, and I have a lot of studs on my tires, which slow you down. But it gives you more traction, of course. I am a very cautious rider, so I will go with any kind of protection I can have. (Goggles) help immensely. It’s surprising how much it helps. Not even when it’s raining, but when its windy, keeping you warm and feeling protected.
On how she has adjusted
I think when someone’s majority of transportation is driving, they have a certain framework for how long it takes to get to a place. You just have certain considerations. For me as a winter commuter, there are certain things I have to think about differently in the winter than I have to do in the summer. If I am doing three activities, how much do I have to fit into my bags and how to make that work? Winter commuting is very, very doable. It does take more thought in terms of apparel and gear, so I have to (plan ahead).
On how the cycling has grown and evolved in the Twin Cities
I feel like it’s becoming more and more of a manageable thing for lots of different types of people. In all honesty, I don’t think of myself as super dialed-in. When I came into working at the Hub about five years ago, I saw myself as not typical of the typical person who would work at a bike shop. I had a lot to learn about cycling and the whole community. Throughout my years both working in the industry and prior to it, I see lots and lots of opportunities. There seems to be something about the Twin Cities community that really wants to educate people and help people know that this is something that can be done.
On misconceptions about bike commuters
Often people look at winter cycling specifically as, like, that person must really be a maniac, really fit. And it’s not (that way). It just requires a little bit more planning. On the scheme of physical abilities, it’s a doable thing. When people do discover winter riding or summer riding or commuting to work two or three times a week, it’s a really empowering, life-giving activity, just to realize ‘I can fit this into my life in some capacity. And I feel better. I feel more fit. I’m saving gas’ — whatever the reasons are for people.