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. These are edited excerpts from a conversation.
Cyclist Eric Smith
Physician’s assistant, Central Clinic, northeast Minneapolis
Seen: Morning of Jan. 18, Central Av. NE near 18th Av.
His ride: SE Lager single-speed from The Alt bikes and boards shop in Minneapolis
“It works pretty good in the wintertime when things get clogged up with snow and salt. Cleans off pretty easily, too.”
On his winter commutes to work
I work four days a week, Monday through Thursday. The only time I won’t is if there is freezing rain, or if it’s in that 31-32 degrees [range] and it’s actively snowing I probably won’t. Most any other time.
On using a bike to get around
I always wanted to, but I was on the East Coast for a while. I biked everywhere there, and then I just kept doing it when I got back.
On his bike
Less than three years, I’ve been doing the single-speed. I had a geared one before this. This works pretty well. It’s pretty flat the whole way. You really don’t need anything more. I use the bike everywhere.
On cycling in the metro
It’s getting better. They are getting more bike boulevards in. They just put the 3rd (Avenue) lane in, which is nice. I used that everyday. (It runs between S 1st and 16th streets.) They need to get a few more dedicated bike boulevards for just bikes. I think that will be a little safer for everybody in the end. It’s getting better, especially for wintertime stuff, it’s still pretty good.
On general attitudes toward cyclists
I think in the city it is getting better. I think people are fairly accepting of it, but if you get out further from the city it gets a little trickier. The more there is access, the more people are going to use it.