Commuter Profile: Bike Skirt’s Elisa Munoz

As promised, here is part two of our two-part commuter profiles of the lovely and talented ladies of Bike Skirt. Today I present Elisa Munoz, the other stylish mastermind behind Bike Skirt (in partnership with Anna Carrigan):

elisa
(photo courtesy of T. Scott Carlisle, www.t-photographic.com)

How long have you been a bike commuter?

4 months, give or take.

Why did you start riding your bike to work and how long is your commute?

I was part of an online contest with friends, Triathablog.com, where each had a sport (running, swimming, cycling) and I decided the best way to get rides in was to combine my commute and my rides. So, I became a bike commuter! It was something I had wanted to do; Triathablog just gave me the boost (and the healthy competition) I needed. My commute is 6 miles each way.

How does Bike Commuting help you with your lifestyle (economics, health, relationships)?

It keeps me in shape for sure. Bike Commuting saves me on gas money and a gym membership. It has also introduced me to a small group of urban riders in Birmingham that I am so thankful for. Plus, I get to meet hot guys on bikes!

What do you do for a living and in what city do you bike commute?

I am a Book Buyer for a large book chain that is based out of Birmingham, AL. I commute from the city to the suburbs. Birmingham is 87/100 of the Unhealthiest Cities for Women, with the lowest % of women riders. Anna (the other half of BikeSkirt) and I are trying to change that, one ride at a time.

What kind(s) of bike do you have?

I have one bike, Mick Jagger. He is a Lemond eTape. The love of my life.

mick
(photo courtesy of T. Scott Carlisle, www.t-photographic.com)

Any funny or interesting commuting story that you may want to share?

I was recently profiled for both the newspaper and the local CBS station for being a bike commuter. (editor’s note: Here’s another of her profiles) It makes me laugh that the fact that I do what people all over the world do daily is so foreign in Birmingham that it is ‘news’. That says a lot about the bike culture here.

What do people (coworkers, friends) say when you tell them that you are a bike commuter?

“Are you CRAZY?” and “Watch out for cars”. It makes me laugh when non-bikers try to give me cycling advice. I want to say “You know that I ride every day don’t you?” Instead I smile and thank them. I also get looks and questions when people find out that I ride most of the time in a skirt. They are so much more comfortable than pants to me, and much more awesome!! And when your legs start to look like you ride everyday, you want to show them off…

route
(photo courtesy of T. Scott Carlisle, www.t-photographic.com)

How about bicycling advocacy? Are you active in any local or regional advocacy groups?

We don’t have many advocacy groups in Birmingham, but we are trying to change that. I am in the process of starting a Bike Co-op with friends, Bici Coop (www.bicicoop.org) and we are hoping to have a large advocacy presence.

Anything else that you want to share with us?

I can’t imagine anything more fun than riding my bike. Occasionally, I want nothing more than to throw Mick Jagger off of the mountain, but most of the time I arrive at work smiling and thinking that I just had the most fun getting to work. I feel sorry for the folks who will never know that feeling.

refresh
(photo courtesy of T. Scott Carlisle, www.t-photographic.com)

We’d like to thank Elisa for taking the time to submit her profile and photographs…do yourself a favor and check out Bike Skirt — these ladies really know how to roll in style!

We’ve got a few more profiles of stylish commuters in the works…and, as always, if you want to be profiled on Bikecommuters.com, just send us an email.


61 Comments

  1. Trisha February 5, 2009 5:40 am 

    So fun! Great pictures. B’ham looks good and so do you. :)

  2. Ghost Rider February 5, 2009 7:23 am 

    Funny you mention that bit about being profiled in the local papers…when gas hit an all-time high, newspapers, TV stations and everyone else wanted to profile commuters…we were suddenly the “smart folks” instead of the quaint freaks most Americans usually think of us as.

    Then, when gas prices dropped back, the newspapers stopped calling. Oh well, a lot of us got a “celebrity turn” for a few weeks, and we’re still out there spinning our wheels. When the next gas crisis comes, we’ll be back in the spotlight as “early adopters” or somesuch.

  3. Ghost Rider February 5, 2009 7:25 am 

    By the way, calf-length boots + a sweet road bike = awe-inspiring bikey love!

  4. Iron Man February 5, 2009 9:32 am 

    Yeah! Good on you! I get a kick out of the “concerned advice” I get too. “Watch out for cars!” My reply, “Oh yes, good tip, hadn’t thought of that.”

    I’m curious why no helmet though? Anna too. Are these just personal fashionable shots or do you all really ride without a brain bucket? Just curious.

  5. Elisa February 5, 2009 9:57 am 

    i KNEW the helmet question would come! ok, complete honesty. I do wear a helmet when commuting to work, but do not most other times. My commute is my longest trek and is on bad cycling roads, so I always ‘suit up’. All of my other rides are within a mile or two and I prefer to go without. I don’t feel any safer with my helmet on as opposed to without. Call me stupid, crazy, whatever…but that is how I roll.

  6. Iron Man February 5, 2009 10:19 am 

    That’s cool. The quality of the photos made me think they were more image oriented (for lack of a better term) than actual experience. For the record I’m not militant on the helmet either. I often don’t wear one when riding with my son (even though I make him wear one).

  7. Elisa February 5, 2009 10:40 am 

    Iron Man-I may have taken my helmet lecture angst out on you…sorry about that! :)

  8. Anna February 5, 2009 11:02 am 

    Yay Elisa!!! HOT HOT HOT
    As far as the helmet question – I have one, I wear it sometimes, but it’s certainly not a habit. I feel kind of guilty about it because I am a public health professional and we are supposed to promote that sort of thing (i.e. prevention), but most of the time I just don’t care enough.
    In one of my bike pictures you can see it sitting on a table, and it’s still there now.
    Fashion over function I suppose, but at least I’m being honest.

  9. Iron Man February 5, 2009 11:16 am 

    Nah, no big deal. Had it been Ghost I’d be hacked! Ha!

  10. wade G. February 5, 2009 11:33 am 

    I live in Clinton, MS and have been commuting everyday that it’s not raining or my wife won’t let me into downtown Jackson, MS. Round trip is 22 miles. I wear my helmet all the time considering two things. 1 the roads here are full of potholes and they pop up with know warning. 2 People here are not use to seeing bike commuters. I religous about it b/c I have seen what a head injury can do. Anna and Elisa be careful please.

  11. Ghost Rider February 5, 2009 11:41 am 

    Ha ha…I can be somewhat of a militant helmet advocate, I’ll give you that ;). Gotta keep up my “streed cred” — after all, I was featured on the blog “You’d Look Hotter in a Helmet” last year!

    Where my child is concerned there can be no doubt that I set an example — when we’re on the bike, we wear helmets. That’s that. When he’s old enough I’ll let him make his own decisions about it but until then, I don’t ever want him to see ME without one, even if we’re just cruising around the block. Kids follow the examples of their parents.

    I don’t particularly care for the thought of getting bone splinters picked out of my brain, either. As a former public health official and the husband of a critical care nurse, I am ALL TOO familiar with the consequences of head injuries.

  12. wade G. February 5, 2009 12:15 pm 

    My helmet makes me look like I belong with the special ed clown team. I suppose the bright orange balaclava does not help but these 23 degree mornings we have been having makes that a need more that a fashion statement. I don’t worry about looking good until I get to work anyway.

  13. Charlotte February 5, 2009 12:34 pm 

    E-I’m glad I’m not the only one telling you to wear your helmet. :)

  14. ksteinhoff February 5, 2009 12:43 pm 

    Eilsa,

    I like your site. I have fond memories of Birmingham.

    I try to stay out of the helmet wars, but read this account of how my riding partner’s life was changed forever.

    http://www.palmbeachbiketours.com/2008/07/09/do-bike-helmets-really-save-your-life/

    Magic foam hats are the answer to every crash, but it’s been over two years since she fractured her skull in five places and hasn’t been able to work nor ride her bike.

    I’ve got your site on my daily must-read list now.

  15. ksteinhoff February 5, 2009 12:46 pm 

    Oops. That should have been “magic foam hats AREN’T the answer to every crash.”

    Amazing how leaving out that word “not” changes things.

    (That’s why old-time newspaper writers would say a defendant was found “innocent” at trial instead of “not guilty.” There was less chance of a dropped “not” along the way.

  16. Iron Man February 5, 2009 1:11 pm 

    Jack, I gotta know, did you ride today? Is freezing temps a deal breaker for the Florida set?

  17. wade G. February 5, 2009 1:34 pm 

    Eilsa,
    Just curious but are what are the streets like in
    Birmingham? They have got to be better than Jackson.

  18. Elisa February 5, 2009 1:41 pm 

    Wade-
    they are pothole-y and a mess. Mississippi has roads that are much worse, for sure, but they are pretty bad in the city here. I have some roads that are smooth…but have no street lights! The best part of downtown is that the roads are pretty empty at night. I wish it were different, but the lack of cars make it easier for we cyclists.

  19. Abhishek February 5, 2009 2:14 pm 

    cool profile…not appropriate for a helmet debate though. For the record…it is too cold for Florida today.

  20. james February 5, 2009 2:43 pm 

    Nice photos and profile – enjoyed reading :)

  21. Ghost Rider February 5, 2009 3:33 pm 

    For the record, I DID ride today…chilly out there!

    I didn’t ride far…about 2 miles total. Just to and from my son’s school. We have matching wool balaclavas for days like this!

  22. raw February 5, 2009 5:43 pm 

    Lame. Neither of you girls are real bike commuters. You have done it for how long now? A few months? And your attitude about helmets is what? Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t? Give me a break. You’ve gotten some attention because cycling and awareness of our carbon footprint is a hot topic, and because you’re both relatively attractive (i.e. in this day and age that basically means you’re not 250 lbs.) Talk to me when you’ve been doing it for years, when you promote the consistent use of a helmet, and when you get rid of your car. Until then you’re just a side show and a novelty. Put on some more lipstick.

  23. Ghost Rider February 5, 2009 5:50 pm 

    Normally I don’t respond to trolls, but know this: I have VERY LITTLE tolerance for dickheads — especially when comments are designed to just be mean.

    Raw: No one asked you . Go back to your hole and let us ride in peace.

  24. Mike Myers February 5, 2009 6:57 pm 

    What is the deal with all the jerks lately? We had the militant vegan who bitched about leather, and now this guy who attacks these cool chicks who are setting a good example for other young women IN A MOST BIKE UNFRIENDLY PLACE. Alabama ain’t exactly Portland. The Bike Skirt girls are true rebels and should be commended, not harangued by some dickhead.

  25. Elisa M February 5, 2009 7:48 pm 

    Raw-f*#k off.

    Ghost and Mike-thanks for the support

  26. Ghost Rider February 5, 2009 8:04 pm 

    Mike, don’t forget the “steel is real” guy. Oh, wait: that was YOU! 😉

    Just kidding, bud.

  27. RL February 5, 2009 8:25 pm 

    Wow this Raw guy must be real popular with the ladies…

  28. Anna February 5, 2009 8:39 pm 

    HaHa yeah, I’d say our pal “raw” has some serious sexual frustration that’s causing him to lash out at skinny chicks.

  29. Ghost Rider February 5, 2009 8:55 pm 

    In solidarity with our new friends at Bike Skirt, I am going to put a photo together of yours truly in a skirt and boots. It’s not going to be pretty — I can assure you of that, but I hope it is at least a little bit funny…

  30. Dottie February 5, 2009 9:02 pm 

    Great profile! These pictures are gorgeous! Send T. Scott Carlisle my way :)

    I think the Bici Co-op project is so cool. Way to roll up your sleeves and get things done!!

  31. Dottie February 5, 2009 9:29 pm 

    See, simply getting on a bike and looking like a woman while doing it opens us up to whatever derision men feel like throwing our way. Whether it’s sexual catcalls, drivers yelling at us to get out of the way, or stupid pig “cyclists” acting as if they’re superior for no reason at all – we deal with it all. Good for you Elisa, Anna, and every other woman who gets on a bike every day. Woot!

  32. raw February 5, 2009 10:19 pm 

    HA. So that is the response? Calling me names and saying I “must be popular with the ladies?” (I do quite well actually.) The problem I have with these girls is NOT that they are commuting by bike (great!) It’s the fact that they have been doing it for such a short time and we are being told about them ..WHO CARES? and I have a problem with idiots that ride sans helmets. You are fools that have zero experience. You haven’t put in the miles and you don’t know that you WILL go down eventually. WEARING A HELMET IS VITAL. Deal with it. It might mess up your hair. It might not look so great with your SKIRT. (Awww. Isn’t that so pretty the way you posed with your bike?) This isn’t about “sexual frustration” or about me being a “dickhead.” (Profanity is a crutch for the inarticulate and name-calling is the domain of grammar school children.) My comments are in regard to aggrandizing two girls that are getting attention for doing nothing. Put in some miles. Do some long term bike advocacy. Be at it for a while before you seek attention. And wear a helmet. Always. Call me names if you’d like children. I don’t care. (And by the way, I have been using a bicycle as my primary means of transportation for over 20 years. I have done an 80 mile-per-day round trip to work by bicycle for years.) I believe that American’s reliance on gas powered transportation is a bane that has reared it’s ugly head in numerous ways in our society, from our wars in the middle East to the frighteningly poor physical condition of Americans in general. Keep it up ladies. Good for you. Get back to us in a year. And wear a helmet. For your own sake.

  33. Ghost Rider February 6, 2009 4:36 am 

    See, Raw? That time you actually articulated something that could vaguely be considered constructive criticism!

    I still disagree, however — helmets are a personal choice; I’d like for everyone to wear one, of course, especially my commuting friends, but I can’t and won’t force that upon them.

    And, the bottom line is that everyone has to start somewhere. The fact that Anna and Elisa are newish commuters is utterly irrelevant, but the fact that they’ve chosen to use bikes as transportation in a very bike-unfriendly/woman-unfriendly city speaks volumes about their good character. I’ve been to the ‘Ham so I know what it’s like.

    Whether a person has been a commuter for two decades or two weeks means nothing to me — and WE chose to offer these ladies some exposure, not the other way around. Putting a human face on our fellow commuters is what we’re all about, and if profiles such as Anna’s and Elisa’s help inspire even ONE other woman to use a bike, we’ve all done our job.

  34. Mike Myers February 6, 2009 4:42 am 

    Raw—the whole purpose of the commuter profile is to give attention to people who ride their bikes to work. It doesn’t matter how far or for how long. It’s a good thing—especially since they’re doing in in ALABAMA. I think you should lighten up. Seriously.

  35. Dman February 6, 2009 5:36 am 

    I think raw has some good points, but he surely could have said it in a nicer way. As far as helmets, please wear them all the time ladies! I’ve been mtn biking and riding free style BMX for about 5 years. Skateparks, street, dirt jumps, endurance racing, you name it. Worst injury I’ve had happened in a parking lot testing the shifting on a bike. I was rolling along at walking pace and the front wheel came off and I landed on my face. Cracked two teeth, road rash on my hands and cheek, and one of my top front teeth went through my lower lip and out the other side. I had to get stitches. It SUCKED.

    My point is, you never know when an accident will happen, might as well be prepared.

    Keep up the good work girls!

    And keep the commuter profiles coming guys, those are probably my favorite feature of the site (along w/product reviews).

  36. Dottie February 6, 2009 6:05 am 

    A quick review of commuter profiles here shows no fewer than seven people who had been commuting for less than a year – all men and none with vitrol in the comments section. So let’s not pretend that this has much of anything to do with anything other than BikeSkirt’s gender, especially considering the blatantly sexists language used. Ghost Rider, you wondered why more female commuters don’t submit profiles – this is your answer.

  37. Ghost Rider February 6, 2009 6:37 am 

    Dottie…I sort of knew why — women get lots of grief for just being women. I hope like hell that comments like the above don’t discourage other women from riding their bikes AND submitting profiles to us (we can still count on you, right?).

    Good point about the other “newbie” commuters we’ve featured — no vitriol in any of those comments. Double standards or something?

    Around here, we don’t offer medals for longevity or distance — if you’ve ridden 2 miles one day a week for the past month or 100 miles every day for 30 years is all the same to me. The fact that you’re on a bike is the thing that puts a smile on my face!

    My wife is a bike commuter, too, and she gets catcalled all the time. Strangely enough, no one ever catcalls ME, even when I’m wearing my lycra racing tights! Because I know what she goes through every day, I get particularly pissy when someone makes unwarranted negative comments that are focused on gender rather than anything really constructive.

    And, as far as the posing with bikes and the skirts go, we should all be so lucky to look so good! Without folks like Anna and Elisa, the crowd over here looks a lot like the cantina scene in Star Wars — not a pretty sight at all (and I include myself in that crowd).

  38. Trisha February 6, 2009 7:07 am 

    I smell sexism too, especially in the sneering comments about their appearances (put on some more lipstick? seriously?). Raw, good on you for commuting for 20 years, but as Ghost Rider pointed out, everyone has to start somewhere — and in less bike-friendly areas like the southeast, the support of the internet community is sometimes all you get, making profiles like these even more important. If starting a bike co-op isn’t proof enough for you that Anna and Elisa are serious about encouraging bicycle commuting, I don’t know what would be — except maybe morphing them into unattractive middle-aged men.

  39. Iron Man February 6, 2009 7:14 am 

    Raw, I would argue that the longer someone commutes the less relevant they become in inspiring folks to take it up. You need to keep in mind that this site attracts plenty of newbies directed by a Google search, not just seasoned commuters looking to argue the finer points of internally geared hubs or wheel lacing.

    I believe a newcomer would be attracted to the stories of two gals that have only just jumped into it, particularly in a town that does not embrace cycling. The longer a commuter is in the activity the more specialized their gear and attire can become and the more gear they accumulate. I have been commuting for six years now, I don’t know if I inspire anyone as much now as I did when I first started. I ride a pricey bike, have a pricey light kit, pricey clothing, etc. The fact that they are female, which is sorely lacking in bike commuting, is another good reason to hear their stories. I can almost guarantee that I’m not inspiring many women when I show up at work—at least in anything less than a carnal nature—boom chicka wah wah!

    And finally get off your high horse. You called them lame at the get go and you gave them a backhanded compliment about their looks. Your first comment was condescending, laced with disdain, and you know it. You had valid points that you chose to deliver with the tone of a troll.

  40. Abhishek February 6, 2009 7:25 am 

    …and I thought VCers were annoying…

    Anyone who can manage to keep up bicycle commuting for over 2 weeks when every person they meet daily tells them how stupid it is of them to not drive deserves an applause. Trying to revive bicycling and projecting a more human face like Anna and Elisa is commendable. Starting a bike co-op is down right inspirational.

  41. Elisa February 6, 2009 7:57 am 

    Thanks everyone for the support. Cycling in one of the most unfriendly cities is hard and support is sorely lacking, so I do appreciate the support I get online. It makes me feel less like a “side show” and more part of a community. So comments like Raws are particularly discouraging. I applaud hard-core bike commuters and hope to be that one day. Until then, I will ride when and how I can.

    If my wearing a skirt and proving you can get to work on a bike without having to bring everything on your back and wear spandex helps get someone on the road, then I will wear a skirt everyday. Why can’t commuting be fun and silly, yet a good thing? I ride my bike because I love it and it makes me feel like a kid. Sue me. I want to look cute doing it…why is that a problem?

    I can tell you that I have friends (and strangers) coming up to me now saying that they are thinking about getting a bike because they didn’t realize how fun and low maintenance it can be. That is what I want, for people to see that cycling is fun and easy and efficient. NOT to be scared off by snobbery and elitism. I applaud anyone on a bike, be it for a grocery trip once a month, a friendly weekend ride or a 25 mile daily commute.

    ok-done justifying myself.

    Raw-I stand by my request for you to f*#k off.

    Now excuse me while I go reapply my lipstick.

  42. jacob February 6, 2009 9:21 am 

    well said elisa.

    for the record, i’m a long-time competitive cyclist and short-time commuter, and am privileged to share zip codes, roads, and the occasional adult beverages with elisa. and i can tell you a few things:

    1 – birmingham is a tough place to be a cyclist of any flavor. it takes huge (figurative) balls and a great deal of (literal / figurative) cool to get it done on the bike.

    2 – helmets are great, but if the idea of a good-looking girl in a skirt riding a bike gets more butts on bikes, should any of us give a damn if said girl poses in a professionally-staged photograph without one? jesus h. christ on a popsickle stick. if congress banned cars tomorrow and opened every paved surface in america to bikes only, there’d be a line of raw-like trolls outside the capitol bitching about the crowds.

    3 – and, finally, since we must address this: repugnant, insignificant, pissant trolls like raw will always be cycling’s biggest liability. the elitist, putrid snobbery that oozes out of his one tiny, flaccid comment does more to harm cycling’s viability as a lifestyle / sport / transportation alternative than 95 degree heat with 90% humidity and tens of thousands of road-raging rednecks in monster trucks. raw (and the legions of trolls like him) are still a small and obnoxiously vocal minority, but in attempting to make some feeble display of proprietary ‘ownership’ of the commuter lifestyle, they turn newcomers — who are the pure, life-giving, hopeful future of cycling — off in droves. whatever shortcomings raw is trying to compensate for in his own unfulfilling life (and they are undoubtedly numerous), vomiting out this sort of vitriolic, sexist, irrelevant, and extraordinarily misguided (elisa’s even hotter in person, yall) garbage in a forum like this tells us more than we would ever care to know about his utter lack of character and inability to make a meaningful contribution to humanity (not to mention what it says about his (lack of) manhood).

    elisa, ignoring people like raw is the fortunately the best way to deal with them as the inconsequential, festering-yet-typically-benign warts that they are, but raw chose to soil a celebration of someone i personally know to be a genuinely delightful, un-pretentious, inspiring, motivating force for a positive change in a place that desperately needs it.

    so, raw, because she’s a good girl, elisa politely requested that you f*#k off. i’m not nearly that nice, and i’m not asking. we’ve seen your kind before:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IZE-4ZjPVI
    and, frankly, we’ve had about enough.

  43. majalane February 6, 2009 10:05 am 

    First off to the Elsa and Anna, congratulations on starting and best of luck continuing commuting by bike for a long time and even more kudos on the co-op and the blog.

    raw –
    You sure do not treat bicycle commuters that you do not perceive as being worthy enough very well. That tells more me all I need to know about you.

    Regarding helmets –
    I’ve been commuting via bike on and off for about a year and a half and I’m tired of this helmet debate. Safety is more than wearing a helmet.

    The attitude that everyone needs to wear a helmet at all times while riding a bike in order to be safe is dangerous. This leads the public perception that a bicyclist is at least partially responsible for their injuries sustained through no fault of their own if they are not wearing a helmet.

    We have enough to do to combat the perception that riding a bike is dangerous to begin with. We’ve all seen the comments like “…if [the bicyclist(s)] weren’t there, there would not have been an accident…” in the comment sections of accounts of accidents involving our fellow bicyclists.

    That video that Jacob provided does seem to get some use, doesn’t it.

  44. majalane February 6, 2009 10:43 am 

    Elisa, not Elsa. Sorry. I need to work on my proof reading.

  45. raw February 6, 2009 11:26 am 

    I’m happy to see that people are passionate about cycling here. I’m glad that more are taking up the bike as a primary form of transportation. I wish the girls that were profiled the best of luck in their commuting, and I hope they have some great experiences, and most of all stay safe. It was (finally) intelligently articulated that I took the wrong tone with my original points, and I’d like to issue an apology. I wish ALL of you happy riding and all of the amazing benefits that go along with it. Being fit. Smelling the flowers. Feeling alive. I do stand by my comment though, that wearing a helmet at all times is essential. I hope some will take that to heart. Apologies Elisa. I wish you the best.

  46. Abhishek February 6, 2009 12:12 pm 

    awww

  47. Moe February 6, 2009 12:29 pm 

    Thank you everyone for participating in this discussion, We at BikeCommuters.com don’t like to censor or erase negative comments. As you all can see, we all are in this together, whether you ride 2 miles, 30 miles, a fixie, a 10 speed in my book, if you use a bicycle for purposes of transportation, cargo or grocery shopping, you ARE a bike commuter.

  48. Elisa February 6, 2009 12:40 pm 

    Thanks. I doubt we will ever be friends, Raw, but I accept your apology.
    And thanks again to everyone for their support. Feeling all bike warm and fuzzy.

  49. wade G. February 6, 2009 3:42 pm 

    I don’t think Anna or Elisa have to justify themselves to anyone! Considering the fact that bicycle commuting is somewhat looked down upon by “folks” in
    our part of the south (which tends to be less progressive) I greatly admire these two women for just breaking the mold placed on them by the society in which they live. Here in Jackson MS there are no women COMMUTERS that I know of. There are a lot of female cyclists. Many of which I would not even TRY to keep up with on my best days. The barrier of commuting with out a MAN seems to be unbroken at this time in this place. (again that I know of).
    As far as their road time goes…well..time will tell. I personally look forward to hearing about them in the future. Gender has nothing to do with it just keep pedaling and be safe. Your trendsetters in your AREA keep it up and others will follow.

  50. TimK February 6, 2009 3:54 pm 

    Hey Wade,

    A couple of years ago when I was looking for advice on the best route to commute from Fondren to “over by the Y on 55,” I posted to the JMC mailing list and got a response from…a woman commuter. :) So there is, or was, at least one.

    Best,
    Tim

  51. wade G. February 6, 2009 4:04 pm 

    Maybe there are a few out there. I am joining JMC if they will have me. Maybe I’ll meet some. Now that HB389 has passed the house today maybe we will see more. I actually got to see the vote! Now on to the Senate!

  52. Mike Myers February 6, 2009 5:54 pm 

    Wade—of course, women have to worry about a whole different set of dangers than men do. Somebody might try to kick my butt(and they would end up on the wrong end of that deal—ask GR what I mean), but that’s about it. I can ride at night without fear of running afoul of some perv. It certainly hope the Bike Skirt ladies are being careful.

    Youthful enthusiasm is one thing. Common sense is another. Be safe. Ride with a buddy. And be home before dark. Birmingham is a rough town.

  53. Elisa M February 6, 2009 9:05 pm 

    Mike-y0u have clearly heard about how Bham is in the top 10 most dangerous cities.
    I carry a U lock with me for close encounters (of which I have only had one…phew!) after dark. and occasionally a knife in my boot.

  54. Mike Myers February 6, 2009 9:34 pm 

    Elisa—U-locks and knives are OK, but I would suggest you invest in something that allows you some distance between yourself and an attacker. I’m sure that Alabama, being a southern state, allows the carrying of pepper spray. Get some. There are plenty of places online that sell it. I carry Fox Labs Mean Green pepper spray:

    http://www.defensedevices.com/fox-labs-mean-green-pepper-spray.html

    And I carry it with this neato bike mount:

    http://www.defensedevices.com/bike-mount-bicyle-pepper-spray.html

    You don’t want to get into a situation where you’re swing a U-lock or trying to defend yourself with a pocket knife. And always carry your cell phone. Program 911 into it, and program your voice dial with something simple like “Help”. If you’re in trouble, call “Help”, spray ’em, and pedal away. Keep your cell on and the police will find you. And if you use the Mean Green, it will be easy for them to find your attacker—because he’ll have a green face.

    I’m sure I’m opening a can of worms, because the introduction of the weapons topic usually ignites a firestorm of indignation, but women face different threats than men do, and are less physically capable of fighting. If I had a daughter I’d have her carrying pepper spray for sure.

  55. BlackBear February 7, 2009 6:43 am 

    I’ve visited the Ham before and even though I’ve never had any problems, I WAS wondering if those thigh-high boots were purely decorative!

    Stay safe, ladies!

  56. Ken Sturrock February 7, 2009 12:36 pm 

    Wow, quite the thread.

    Anna: I’m a public health professional also. I do wear a helmet for 95% of my riding.

    However, from a public health persepctive, if we wanted to seriously prevent head injuries in this country then we wouldn’t worry about bicyclists, we’d require ANY adult over aged 65 to wear a helmet at all times. *That* would measurably reduce morbidity and mortality. It would also make public health even less popular than it already is.

    Best regards all.

  57. What’s BiCiCoop? | The Terminal - Birmingham AL's hub February 19, 2009 10:53 am 

    […] you’re still looking for more information, how about checking out this interview with co-founder Elisa Munoz courtesy of Bike Commuters from February 4 and the blog worked on by Elisa and Anna Carrigan, […]

  58. Elisa M October 12, 2009 8:34 am 

    I am sure no one still reads this comment thread…but just in case….

    Raw-I sold my car and now am totally a bike commuter. I ride every day and kick ass.

    And I still think about this article and what a dick you were. I also think about how I may have chosen to give it up because of people like Raw. But I didn’t and now can probably smoke his ass on the road.

    Just sayin’ :)

  59. Thomas May 31, 2013 11:59 am 

    Looks like you had a fun time! Aside from all the helmet talk in this comment section, I’d like to comment on Mike Myers’s comment about the bicycle pepper spray. That is a great product so I went to search if there are anymore like it and I was able to just find one here http://www.buy-pepper-spray-today.com/bicycle-pepper-spray.html It is more expensive by about 50% however it may look like it is easier to access since it mounts right on the handle bar of your bicycle.

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