|Kim rides a lugged Miyata frame converted to fixed gear for easy cleaning and upkeep in the winter|
Tell me more about your bike: This is my winter-weather bike I got from Pete Rangel. He does awesome prints that you should check out here: Cool art by Pete Rangel.
Why ride? I ride because I feel I'm actually living - experiencing what is around me instead of being cut off from the sights, sounds, and smells of Chicago (for better or worse). I sometimes drive a car in the city, but biking is much faster. It keeps me in shape so I can keep eating... I love eating.
So I hear you work at West Town Bikes, tell me about that: I teach the Womens/Trans Night at West Town Bikes and see Chicagoans from all walks of life come in with bikes of all shapes and sizes. Anyone can do it, and everyone should, because once you start you realize it's easier and less messy than you think. At the end of the day, it's about you, your bike, and your time spent living in this city. Even one day a week on a bike will change someone's whole perspective, and show them things they never would notice. I help run the Bike Commuter Campaign for Active Trans (through July). I encourage everyone (suburbs especially) to check out this year's commuter pit stops and register as a Team Leader.
Do you have a favorite ride? In Minneapolis, where I moved from three years ago, there is one stretch of bike path that goes for miles and miles. In the springtime, one curve of the path has tons of blossoming trees that surround you, and it's always my dream ride. In Chicago, I like taking Hubbard to and from downtown. It's quiet and the city has repaved parts of it. You can relax and go at your own pace.
While riding you … watch every single door and pedestrian in my line. Sometimes I sing Britney Spears or Kelly Clarkson... if the weather is nice out and I feel inspired.
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly? Education and upholding the laws that protect cyclists is key. The work of the Active Transportation Alliance is instrumental in giving cyclists and pedestrians a stronger voice. Ideally, I would like to see more off-street bike paths, not for recreation, but for getting around this city without as much interaction with cars and pedestrians. I miss the Greenway in Minneapolis and the other pathways for that reason.