Monday, May 17, 2010

Women Who Bike: Kathleen

BIKE NOPA & Bikes And The City have spun out a new collaborative bike series, Women Who Bike. Each Monday and Wednesday we will feature San Francisco women and their bicycles. Check both our blogs for the experiences, stories, and ideas that women who bike the city want to share with you.
Let us know your thoughts and leave comments for the featured riders.
Kathleen

Kathleen
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Women Who Bike: Kathleen

How would you characterize your bicycling style? assertive, carefree, cautious, competitive, law abiding, slow and steady

K. I think my style is a mixture of cautious, assertive, defensive and law abiding- expect for when following the law is not safe. The main bike lane in our area is on Alemany, which is essentially a small freeway. People often park in the bike lane, cars are going too fast and there appears to be a lack of basic knowledge, awareness and consideration for cyclist so instead I usually ride through neighborhood streets. On rare occasions, I will ride slowly on a portion of the sidewalk to get around an obstacle, but only if there are no pedestrians. I'm not trying to prove anything on my bike- my goal is to get from one place to the next in one piece.

Something basic: how often do you bike and what for?
K. I ride my bike every day. I use my bike to get to work, but also for errands and just getting around town. I try to bike and use Bart as much as possible.
Kathleen

What could be done in SF to encourage more women, including teens and younger, to bike?
K. San Francisco has to be more thoughtful about putting safe, well maintained bike lanes throughout the city. We have a few really great bikes lanes in the heart of the city, but those don't extend or safely connect to lanes in the other districts. If someone wants to give cycling a try- it is difficult and intimidating to do without tangible safe bike lanes throughout the city. I also think that SF has to do a better job enforcing basic traffic laws like parking in bike lanes and speeding. These changes would make it safer for everyone, not just women.

How many of your best dates/friendships started with biking?
K. I haven't had any dates start with biking, but biking has been a great component of some of my friendships. My husband and I ride our bikes to Bart every morning- it is the best way to start my day.
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How many of your best dates/friendships started with biking?
K. I think people are always surprised when I tell them I prefer and choose to bike instead of drive especially when it is raining.

My message to women who want to try biking:
K. My message would be to have fun and be smart about biking. I love biking- it will make you feel energized, confident and strong.

Kathleen and I chatted over coffee about the obstacles, experiences and encounters both positives and negative as women on bicycles in San Francisco. I was very happy to meet Kathleen and to learn about the bicycle and her city life. It is also very inspiring to know she is the only one in her workplace to bicycle to work, and even though it is in the Bay Area, people seem 'shocked' that she does so. Keep pedaling woman - because as they say, it takes one!!

& Many thanks to Barna, her husband, for the initial introduction!
It was a great pleasure meeting this lovely couple.
Kathleen + Barna
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Gracias Kathleen!!

Don't forget to check out BIKE NOPA for more Women Who Bike profiles.
Women who bike: Take the Writing Women Back into Bicycling survey online by May 15th. More than 7300 women already have. Survey conducted by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP). See survey here: link

If you or someone you know would like to participate email me at bikesandthecity +at+ gmail
For women in the NOPA area, contact Michael at BIKE NOPA
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See previous Bikes & The City profiles here:
Women Who Bike Series

6 comments:

  1. Me encanta la bicicleta naranja y ella muy guapa con su abrigo marrón.Montando en bici con estilo.saludos

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  2. Meli,
    Nice profile and pics!!
    Kathleen,
    I like the thought of not trying to prove anything
    on your bike. Your bike is a real beauty.
    Cheers,
    Jon C.

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  3. So good to hear some of your bicycling story, Kathleen. Really like the practical Amsterdam/Copenhagen-like attitude of using a bike to get where you want to go. period. Soon to be known far and wide as the "San Francisco-like" attitude as well.

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  4. I love that her jacket is color coordinated with her bike!

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  5. I love the Jacket! Must have... Nice bike... Orange is so nice, especially with a nice pea green. :) Nice woman! Go Kathleen!

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  6. isnt she adorable?! It was great meeting her (and her hubby!)

    thanks all for your comments :D

    +michael, yes!! that's a good one 'sf-like' <3

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