Occupation: Active Transportation Assistant
Employer: City of Tacoma, Office of Environmental Policy and Sustainability
Gets around by: bike, feet, bus, the Link
Where do you live and where do you work?
I live in Hilltop and I work at the Center for Urban Waters
How do you get there?
I bike mostly
How does it all add up?
I fill up my gas tank once every two months, if that—I can’t quantify how much I save because driving is rarely an option I consider.
What’s in it for you?
I feel safer on a bike than in a car—I am much more aware of my surroundings while cycling and this makes me a better road user. I also really enjoy being outside and leading an active lifestyle and my job(s) don’t always allow for the time to do that. When I make the choice to walk or bike to work or when I run errands, I’m just creating a win/win situation for myself by getting done what I need to in a way that I enjoy.
Do you have any tips for people who may be trying this mode for the first time?
I really don’t think that you need to be fearless to get on a bike and take to the streets of Tacoma. I think the best advice for a new cyclist is to be patient with the limits of your comfort on those first few rides, but be willing to test those boundaries in the long run. I started riding a few short blocks from my house to the University of Puget Sound a few years ago and now I ride every day for almost all of the my trips—including using my bike to travel on tours. In short, don’t let the fear of what might happen prevent you from trying at all—you have no idea what you could be missing out on!
It’s the people who let the intimidation get in the way that never feel success. My advice to someone who is thinking of trying to bike to work or the library or the grocery store or wherever, is be patient with yourself and know that the next time will feel easier.