Howdy from the west coast again, cyclegators! For this week’s commuter profile series, we present to you MORE architects and Los Angeles Bike Commuters: Freddie & Vi! Freddie and Vi are both friends of mine who responded to much internet poking and cajoling to show off their ultimate cuteness as a cycling couple. Vi is a friend of the recently-profiled super hot strong bike chick, Sarah Eberhardt, and Freddie joined Task Force Chicago (a.k.a. me and Elizabeth) last summer for some midwestern two-wheeled excursions. Get ready for some bikealicious fotogs and bikey adventures, peeps. Without further ado: a combo-profile from two of my favorite kids from Ohio who ride bikes in L.A.!
(Freddie) Michael Frederick
(Vi) Ha-Vi Tran
How long have you been a bike commuter?
(Freddie) since grad school at UCLA started in Fall of 2009.
(Vi) Since 2010! Two, almost 3 whole years better! You could say living in the LA “bicycle district” that I call Silverlake has had quite the influence…
Why did you start riding your bike to work and how long is your commute?
(Freddie) Because being on my bike is 10 million times better than sitting in LA traffic and it takes just as long! My commute is 16 miles. I mostly commute by bike on Fridays.
(Vi) Why ride when you can walk?! My current commute is a 10 minute walk but hasn’t always been. Before I developed “assertive” road riding skills, I took the bus and subway to work. I love bikes as much as public transportation and use them for fun weekend rides and utility cycling.
How does Bike Commuting help you with your lifestyle (economics, health, relationships)?
(Freddie) Bike riding saves money and kills two birds with one stone. I get exercise for the day and get to work all in the same time I usually spend in my car… oh, and it’s awesome fun so that’s a double bonus. My girlfriend (Vi) and I both love our bikes so its pretty awesome when we get to share our riding time too.
(Vi) So so grumpy in my car, so so happy on my bicycle! I have no problems searching for a parking spot and get to fly by traffic. It’s exercise that doesn’t FEEL like exercise, and I show up more positive to wherever it is that I’m going. I save money on gas, and it’s the cheapest date EVER. Luckily my boyfriend (Freddie) likes nighttime adventures on our bikes; it’s an awesome way to explore the city together.
What do you do for a living and in what city do you bike commute?
(Freddie) I’m an architect in Los Angeles.
(Vi) Architect / interior designer in LA-LA land!
What kind(s) of bike do you have?
(Freddie) Surly Pacer
(Vi) Just my trusty hodgepodge of a road bike, Mr. Soma Smoothie.
Any funny or interesting commuting story that you may want to share?
(Freddie) No funny stories to share yet. Just a massive hatred for extended length buses and how big and slow they are and always in the way!
(Vi) Don’t you just love it when you’re climbing uphill all hot and sweaty on your bike and a runner passes you by? Yeah.
What do people (coworkers, friends) say when you tell them that you are a bike commuter?
(Freddie) People in Los Angeles think your nuts if you don’t get in your car to go across the street.
(Vi) You biked how many miles?! You biked where?! You’re going to get hit by a car! My favorite is my dad’s reaction, “Why do you choose to ride in the street? Couldn’t you pick a safer hobby?”
How about bicycling advocacy? Are you active in any local or regional advocacy groups?
(Freddie) I try to encourage my friends to ride with me on the weekends and after work as much as possible. I participate and support CicLAvia when I can.
(Vi) Isn’t the best advocacy showing up at a friend’s door so excited, sweaty, beet-red in the face, with helmet hair? Come on, you know you want a hug and to ride with me… I have friends come up to me all excited telling me about their weekend rides which is absolutely fantastic. That to me is advocacy at its best. In all fairness, CicLAvia (based on Colombia’s original Ciclovia) is my favorite holiday to gather everyone and anyone to participate in the ride for the first, second, and whatever time.
Anything else that you want to share with us?
(Freddie) Carmageddon and CicLAvia should team up to make a annual shut the freeways down and ride your bike holiday in Los Angeles!
(Vi) I love the fact that regardless of socio-economic background, bikes give people some commonality to talk to each other. That is such a beautiful thing.
Well Freddie and Vi, thanks for hooking it up with your bikely adventures throughout the west coast and cute couple cycle craziness! You might have a stalker with that yellow man in red overalls… watch your backs, yo! Any of you other readers want to show us your ride and tell us all about it? Then send an email and we’ll send you our Commuter Profile questionnaire! Email mir[at]bikecommuters[dot]com for details.