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Tag Archive: commuter profile

Commuter Profile: Emily Shellabarger

Hey Bike Commuters! Mir.I.Am here to share a super commuter profile with you for your after-turkey-afterglow enjoyment. Say “hello” to Emily Shellabarger, a Bay Area train and bike commuting gal on the go.  Although the Bike Commuter staff guys may argue that we indiscriminately love ALL commuter profiles, I’ve gotta say: I personally love when Cycle Ladies rep the commute because women on bikes are just plain hot!   Alright, enough hype-man shiz, introducing… Miss Emily Shellabarger!

Emily is a hipster

Emily S., posing as a hipster!

Name: Emily Shellabarger

How long have you been a bike commuter?

I’ve been bike commuting since I was a wee lass in the jump seat on the back of my dad’s 1983 silver Peugeot. He pedaled me all over the streets of Eugene, Oregon–including the hilly commute to daycare. And, even though I have to do all the work these days, my love for biking and two-wheeled commuting endures. I’ve been regularly bike commuting for the last five years––two years in Sacramento and three years in San Francisco.

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The wee lass in her bike commuter beginnings in Eugene, Oregon.

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And the grown-up Emily, bike commuting in Norcal!

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

I started riding my bike to work in Sacramento because it was faster than driving. I lived less than two-miles from the office. And let me tell you, that was an easy bike commute. Downtown Sacramento has all of one hill––actually, calling it a “hill” is generous, I’ll go with “incline”––and it was not on my route. Just the right kind of ride for me and my creaky old Schwinn, Stallion.

Boy, was I spoiled. After the company I work for relocated from the sunny flats of Sacramento to the Bay Area, I moved to San Francisco. My current commute includes 4-miles of biking + 30-miles of train riding + 2 more miles of biking. All told, it takes me just under an hour each way and beats the pants off of sitting in traffic on Highway 101.

 

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Beating the pants off sitting in craptastic traffic on Highway 101.

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

Bike commuting in the Bay Area keeps me sane. Nothing puts me in a bad mood like sitting in stop-and-go traffic. I’d much rather start the day whooshing down hills as the sun rises and pedaling my way to the train station. Plus, thanks to those San Francisco hills, I don’t have to invest in a gym membership and my money can be saved for more important things like happy hour.

 

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

I manage consumer marketing and social media for a renewable fuel company in Redwood City, California. I live in San Francisco, so my bike commute spans the Peninsula of Silicon Valley. When feeling ambitious, I’ve been known to bike the entire 34-mile route, especially on Bike-to-Work Day (and not just because six-miles from my office, Oracle hosts the most amazing free breakfast buffet for cyclists).

Emily & Roy on the way to RWC

Whoa! Catch that sunset on the long way home from Redwood City. Emily on Roy the Road Bike.

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Oracle free breakfast reward – from 2012 Bike to Work Week

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More Bike to Work Week 2012

What kinds of bikes do you have?

My trusty steed, Stallion, a big Schwinn cruiser from the 80’s. And my daily commuter, a 2007 Raleigh Cadent affectionately dubbed, Roy the Road Bike.

Emily & Stallion Sacramento

Emily and “Stallion” cruising in Sacramento, CA.

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“Roy” the Raleigh roadie, hiding in the back of the rack at work.

 

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

After moving to San Francisco I was anxious to dial in my bike route. I hunted online for the safest, flattest route and poured over my handy San Francisco Bike Routes map. I wrote out a turn-by-turn directions list. I had screenshots of the street route on my phone. I clicked through all the turns on Google street view, so I’d be fully prepared for visual queues. And I was still a bit nervous to venture out on the rowdy city streets, so I ended up bribing my roommate with coffee to accompany me on my first ride to the train station. Sometimes all you really  need is a bike buddy to help get you out on the streets!

 

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

When folks find out I bike/train commute from San Francisco to Redwood City, most people are impressed that I make the effort––or are slightly horrified.

 

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

I’d love to be more active in bike advocacy, especially since there is such a strong cycling community in San Francisco. Currently, I’m most active with Commute.org, participating in their San Mateo County Bike-to-Work activities and clean commute challenges.

Larry & Em in Calistoga

Bike Buddy Advocacy – Emily on a ride in Calistoga

Moonlighting as  bike mechanic

Or moonlighting as a bike mechanic – just in time for Movember Moustaches!

Emily Shellabarger (oh man – such a good “two-name” name, who can resist holding back that Shellabarger?!), thanks for sharing your commuter profile and a little bit of west coast sunshine with Bike Commuters!  I am personally jealous of your sweet commute with that killer sunset.   Want to show us your ride and plaster your fantastic commute all over the internet?  Then send an email and we’ll hook you up with a Commuter Profile questionnaire. Email Mir.I.Am for details.

Commuter Profile – Christian P. Kittelson

Lookout, cycle gators: it’s commuter profile season again! This bike commuter is one of my original bike heroes, and good, good friend, CPK. Not California Pizza Kitchen, I’m talkin’ Christian P. Kittelson, yo. Hailing from Seattle, where riding a bike to work is what all the cool kids do… Kittels makes pale look good!

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On the bike path leading towards the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle – sweet commute captured by a sweet photographer! (Okay… that was Mir behind the lens, not even looking in the direction of travel.)

Name:

Christian Kittelson

How long have you been a bike commuter? 

13 years

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

I started commuting when I was in college in San Luis Obispo, California.  I continued when I moved to Seattle because I was tired of being dry and warm.  I quickly learned the importance of fenders with mud-flaps.  My commute is 4 miles each way, and I ride year round in all weather.

 

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

Biking helps me afford good beer so I don’t have to drink cheap, crappy, PBR.

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Yachts along the bike path towards Belltown in the Emerald City

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

I am architect in the Emerald City, Seattle.

What kind(s) of bike do you have?

I have 6 bikes:

  1. Red Bike – built for commuting
  2. Blue Bike – built for looks
  3. Black Bike – built for distance
  4. White Bike – built for speed
  5. Chrome Bike – built for hipness
  6. Mini Bike – built for travel
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Red Bike – Commuting with Skis… why not?

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Blue bike is perfect for picnics

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Black Bike kills it for team riding!

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White Bike for intense Mountain Climbing adventures

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The vintage folder – travel friendly and guest bike

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

My commute home is a major bike path that goes along the rail-yards.  In the winter when its dark, there tends to be a few rats that hang out on or along the path in the bushes.  Its not uncommon to see one from time to time, but a lot of times I don’t see the glow of their eye until it is under my wheel.  I have started to add a tick mark to the chainstay of my bike for each rat I hit, and have subsequently coined it “the exterminator”.

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Watch out rats, you’re about to get EXTERMINATER’d!

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

I usually don’t bring it up, but most people can usually tell because I am always wearing Velcro shoes with my jeans rolled up to the knee.  Sometimes I will walk around the office all day like this not realizing it until someone laughs at me and asks me where I am going.

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

As part of bike to work month each May I organize teams for my office for the Cascade Bike Club Commute Challenge here in Seattle.  We track miles to encourage people to ride more.  It’s been so popular I have started organizing the “Pineapple Challenge” in November.  Similar to the commute challenge, we have teams that log mileage, but November is the rainiest month in Seattle so its intended to reward pain and suffering my multiplying the total mileage times a ‘misery factor’ for the day.  The misery factor is based on daily rainfall amounts.  It’s epic.

Editor’s note: Here’s a plug for Christian’s fledgling bike blog: BikeCascadia.Blogspot


Anything else that you want to share with us?

Rock Flannel:  Not only is it comfortable and fashion forward, it also makes the best bike wear for the Northwest.

I luff it.  (P.S. – did you see the Mir.I.Am making a cameo face in that commute?) Arigato for sharing your bike love with the world of Bike Commuters, CPK – I’m gonna check that red bike next time for the latest “Exterminator” stats. So kiddies, if any of you cycle ladies and gents want to show your ride to the world, hook it up with an email to Mir and we’ll plaster your bike goodies all over the webby-web! 

Commuter Profile: Hannah Decker

The first cycle lady of the summer to be featured in our ongoing Commuter Profile series is Miss Hannah Decker! A dear friend of mine, Hannah and I met in Buenos Aires through a language exchange meetup. She turned out to be my Palermo neighbor, and we had tons of South American fun on and off the cruiser bikes in B.A. Read on to catch up with Hannah on her commute from her hometown of Boise, Idaho!

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Name: Hannah Decker

How long have you been a bike commuter?

I’ve been commuting since 2007.

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

I started commuting while still in school. I would commute to campus and to work. I try to ride my bike as much as I can. In Boise we have a beautiful Greenbelt pedestrian path that winds through the city next to the Boise river. The Greenbelt makes commuting awesome and it’s only a block away from my where I live. Overall, my bike commute averages 5-6 miles roundtrip.

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

It helps save on gas and it also feels great to be outside and exercising.

 

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

I live in Boise, Idaho and I’m doing freelance graphic design and tutoring Spanish. Now that I have my fancy new degrees I’m looking to get a bigger kid job. In true fashion I’ve been bike commuting to my interviews. I also commute daily to coffee shops or wherever I go to get my freelance work done.

MoreBikesDowntown

 

What kind(s) of bike do you have?

I commute with my incredibly cool Crescent “Pepita” Racer. It’s a classic Swedish racing bike. My Aunt was the original owner and then it was passed on to my Mom, who was hit by a driver that quickly fled the scene and left my mom unconscious… but don’t worry they both survived relatively unscathed.

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So, the insurance company paid for my mom to get a fancy new road bike as I happily took the old Crescent. The frame has some scrapes but overall it’s still in great condition. I’ve been riding my Crescent since I started bike commuting regularly in 2007. I’ve gotten used to some of it’s design quirks… e.g. while making a sharp turn the foot cage ‘overlaps’ with the front wheel. I also have an old American Eagle cruiser made in Japan. The frame was a gift and I rebuilt it. It’s a cute little bike and so fun to ride!

GoingForaJoyRide

MyCruiser

AmericanEagle

 

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

I was riding my road bike to the store once and I hit a cat… How did that happen?! It was like a game of chicken gone horribly wrong! Haha! Not really. What actually happened was this chubby orange cat decided to sprint right in front of my wheel as two horrified kids saw the whole thing unfold. The cat was okay because I braked and slowed down just enough not to actually run him over (I love animals).  Does that count as interesting?

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

Bike commuting is big in Boise, it’s normal for people to bike commute to work or wherever they’re headed. Usually people respond with “That’s great, I need to start commuting more”. I always get a positive response from people.

 

DowntownBikes

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

I am not currently active in any, but there is a really great bike cooperative called the Boise Bicycle Project. They do awesome stuff for the community. Here’s their link so you can check them out! http://www.boisebicycleproject.org/about.html

Muchisimas Gracias Hannah for hooking it up with your summer bike adventures and sharing some inspiring photos of your bike commute! 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… easy as pie. Email mir[at]bikecommuters[dot]com for details.

Commuter Profile: Dave Simmons

Name: Dave Simmons

Dave goofing around on a bike that was raffled off at the Tour of Elk Grove

How long have you been a bike commuter?
20 years. I’ve commuted by bike since high school. I used to commute to my after school jobs, then at

Dave created a Lego version of himself

college, and finally to my job.

Why did you start riding your bike to work and how long is your commute?
I started biking to work at my last job for the exercise, to pollute less, and save money (and wear and tear on the car). Now that I work closer to home, it’s a no-brainer. I bike to work almost year-round.

How does Bike Commuting help you with your lifestyle (economics, health, relationships)?
Biking to work has saved me some serious cash over the years. I haven’t quantified it, but if I had to guess, it’s somewhere in the $5,000 to $10,000 range. I’ve always been active, so biking fits my lifestyle quite well. Biking has been great to my family too. My wife and kids bike quite a bit. The kids don’t even realize how much it helps them in sports from a conditioning standpoint. Cyclists are definitely a different breed. I’ve met quite a variety of cyclists over the years and have built a nice network of like-minded individuals.

Dave & family sporting their Friends of Cycling in Elk Grove shirts

What do you do for a living and in what city do you bike commute?
I am the manager of Technical Production Services at Riverside Publishing. I bike from Elk Grove Village and commute to Rolling Meadows. I have a great route – through Busse Woods each day.

Dave's commute on a foggy morning through Busse Woods. A good part of his route includes the trail at Busse Woods. He used to commute from Elk Grove to Skokie!

What kind(s) of bike do you have?
I have a 1993 Trek 820 mountain bike and a 2002 Felt SR81 road bike. The majority of my miles are on the Trek. I love the stability of the steel beast!

All smiles on a ride in central IL in 2010

Any funny or interesting commuting story that you may want to share?
I bike through Busse Woods even during the winter. Of course, I don’t always leave work before dark. I really enjoy biking at night (with a bright LED headlight, of course), but the forest preserves are closed at dusk. So, there have been lots of times when I’m racing along the trail while being hollered at by the police to leave. That makes for a more exciting ride home.

What do people (coworkers, friends) say when you tell them that you are a bike commuter?
They are very interested in how I make it all work. So many people think that commuting by bike is difficult, but that’s just not true. I tell them that, in order to commute by bike, they have to stop thinking like a motorist. The route that is best for cars is not always best for bikes.

How about bicycling advocacy?
Are you active in any local or regional advocacy groups? I started the Friends of Cycling in Elk Grove. We’re a local advocacy group that is working to “promote, support, and improve cycling in Elk Grove”. We’ve been around for just about a year and have made some real progress in the community. I am excited about the future of FCEG. Aside from that, I am a member of Active Transportation Alliance, League of Illinois Bicyclists, and League of American Bicyclists.

The cycling advocacy group he created, the Friends of Cycling in Elk Grove

Anything else that you want to share with us?
I was certified as a League Cycling Instructor (LCI) since 2009. I’ve had the opportunity to teach cyclists of all ages the benefits of Smart Cycling. I see education as the most important piece of advocacy. The most enjoyable aspect of being an LCI is teaching first time riders, most of who are adults.

A photo of the Traffic Skills 101 class Dave taught on 9/16/12

To see the smile of someone who just learned to ride a bike is truly priceless!

Dave with his nephew after he taught him how to ride a two-wheeler

Thank you, Dave, for sharing your commuting story and photos with us. If you’d like your glory of minor Internet stardom, just drop us a line at elizabeth [at] bikecommuters [dot] com and we’ll send you the details about sending in your own profile!

Commuter Profile: Sarah Eberhardt

Oooh Cycle Ladies and Gents – please give a round of applause for our latest Commuter Profile starlette – hot, strong, and ready to bike down the red carpet… SARAH EBERHARDT hailing from Los Angeles, California!

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Sarah Eberhardt commutes in downtown L.A.

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Sarah bikes to LIVE, here she is in San Diego, CA.

Name: Sarah Eberhardt

How long have you been a bike commuter?

Since 2005- the inception of my cycling life as we know it! 1/4 of my life I have been commuting via bike! Yeah! =)

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

Let’s rephrase the Q – I bike to live and know that 2 miles is my ideal commute. I drew a 2 miles radius around my workplace, and chose where to live that was precisely 2 miles away from work. Any more than that, I’d get lazy some days (come on – who doesn’t find an excuse to drive their car if they have one?); any less, it wouldn’t be enough cardio to jump start my day.

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Sarah with the baby blue Fuji Bordeaux, prior to thieving thievery... in Taos, NM.

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

How does bike commuting NOT help my lifestyle? I could go on for days, but bike commuting was the primary purpose of my move to Los Angeles – where all conditions align for the epitome of bike commuting environments – sunshine 364 days a year, no rain, no flash storms, acute temperature deviations from 70 degrees, mildly conscious drivers – all giving me a daily commute unlike the norm in Los Angeles.

sarahe

Definitely all smiles in Downtown LA, I love it!

I have a smile on my face every day I am going to work. My commute time is not based on traffic pattern surprises or sudden road closures – it is 12 minutes each way, plus or minus one minute for red lights. I save gas money. I save parking fees. I save parking hunt headache in downtown LA.

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Hmmm, this one doesn't look like commuting in Copenhagen... must be mountain biking the Rio Grande in Taos, NM!

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

Architect by degree and banquet server by recession, I bike commute daily within downtown Los Angeles. I have owned a bike and commuted while living months at a time in Cleveland, OH; Cincinnati, OH; Copenhagen, Denmark; Berkeley, CA; and Taos, NM.

What kind(s) of bike do you have?

I’m on my 3rd road bike since 2005 and her name is Igriega (because it sounds like “egret” and it is my favorite Spanish word – she makes me fly past the egrets that wade in the LA River along many of my weekend warrior rides). She is a solid carbon fiber Trek Madone and the bike of my dreams. She soars me through the heavy clouds (cough cough *smog*) of LA.

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Thugs for Life, Bikes for Life - laying down with her black Bianchi in Cincinnati, OH.

Prior to her, my virgin roadie was an aluminum baby blue Fuji Bordeaux- stolen on Berkeley’s campus (NEVER USE CABLE LOCKS!!). My interim roadie was a steel black and teal Bianchi Imola – the thug bike – I suspect it was a stolen bike (even though I checked it with stolenbicycleregistry.com) and again, was stolen off the trunk rack of my car in Koreatown LA. That bike had bad bike karma – it was destined to be passed from thief to rider to thief to rider.

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Using the Iron Horse MTB for a leisure MTB ride on Catalina Island off coast of Cali

I also own a less momentous Iron Horse mountain bike for non-road friendly treks.

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"What the hell?!" - Mir.I.Am's reaction.

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

While living in New Mexico, I once carried home a 3 foot diameter tumbleweed on my back that I found to use as décor. It is a lot harder to bike one-handed with a large prickly odd-shaped object strewn over your shoulder!

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Response from Sarah, "Tumbleweed in Taos, NM!" Obviously.

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

“Oh my, is that safe?” “Do you even bike at night?”

If you’re surrounded in steel, it’s not necessarily safer than riding on top of steel. So yes, it is as safe as driving in a car, and yes I use bike lights.

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

No.

Anything else that you want to share with us?

YES, I’m renowned for a series of jumping photos in epic places — some of these places I was lucky enough to have had my bike along for the journey.

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Jump photo time on the LA River trail.

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Coronado Island in San Diego, leisure ride with Sarah's man Valentin for weekend warrior adventures.

Sarah, thanks for sharing your fun-fun photogs and awesome sauce profile with us.  You’ve reaffirmed my personal belief that women on bikes are just plain hot!  Want to show us your ride and tell us all about it, lovely Bike Commuters?  Then send an email and we’ll hook you up with a Commuter Profile questionnaire!  Email mir[at]bikecommuters[dot]com for details.