Commuter Spotlight (June 2016): Ivette
““The first thing I did when I moved to the East Coast was buy a bike.”
A California native, Ivette comes to Boston by way of Brooklyn, NY. Working at the Boston University Science and Engineering Library, Ivette commutes from the Brighton area and logs her miles through Allston Brighton TMA’s Workout to Work program. Ivette is a two-time marathoner, rugby player, and movie buff. As a recent Boston transplant, she enjoys exploring the city – on her bike of course.
In what ways is biking in Boston different than biking in New York:
I was surprised to find a strong and unique biking community in Boston. Biking in NYC can be a bit like the film "The Warriors" in getting from point A to point B--always fighting for your space on the road. And Boston is more... chill in comparison.
Living in Allston/Brighton – what are your experiences biking & taking public transit.
With biking, my commute is pretty straightforward. I avoid rush hour and it’s really nice. In the winter when it’s really bad, I sometimes take the bus. When I do, I have to make sure I have plenty of time to catch it. With biking you just get there, even if there is a traffic jam.
What’s your best commuting moment?
When I finish work at midnight and there are no cars out driving. Sometimes my boyfriend will pick me up and it feels like it’s just me and him on the whole road riding home.
Favorite non-commute biking location?
I’m new to the city, so I’m still exploring it. Biking anywhere is great for me. You learn a city by actually seeing it, not being underground. Like the other day I biked to Castle Island for the first time. I went along the Charles River waterfront, passed the downtown area to get to this nice and peaceful place. Also, the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, because it takes you right by the Greenway Carousel which I want to take my friends to ride when they visit. Who can resist a carousel that plays the Star Wars theme song?!
What’s your gear like?
Pretty simple, I have a single-speed with breaks. I like the app Strava which is for biking, but you can also run with it. Certain routes are marked so the person that rides it the fastest can become “King or Queen of the Mountain,” and it tells you when you do your personal best along routes.
How did you get started on biking?
My dad got me started on biking when I was a kid. We did it together, and I continued all through college. The first thing I did when I moved to the East Coast was buy a bike!
Congratulations, Ivette! Want to be part of our next Commuter Spotlight? Commute with our programs at allstonbrightontma.com
Commuter Spotlight (May 2016): Yun Saksena
“I get on my bike and bike as hard as I can. I clear my head, I get a good workout, and I feel great.”
Yun Saksena works as a Professor at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and commutes by bike from Newton Highlands, Massachusetts. Outside of work, Yun has a bicycle hobby spanning decades and hundreds of thousands of miles. She currently enjoys spending time with her husband and three children. Last year, Yun placed in the top 3 during the Masscommute Bicycle Challenge!
What’s your favorite part of MassCommute Bicycle Challenge?
Looking at my miles and keeping track -- because now I’ve got something to beat!
What’s the “must-have” item for any bike commuter?
A helmet! But also any type of safety light.
What do you think could get more people in Boston biking to work?
Safety is a big thing. If you had protected lanes around everywhere (not just regular bike lanes), I’m sure more people would be biking. Being out of traffic with some distance between the bikers and cars would make a huge difference, otherwise people won’t bike because they think it’s too risky.
What’s your opinion on winter biking?
It beats the T. If I commute on the T, I’m not guaranteed a seat and you’re stuck waiting. Sometimes when I’m biking I see people waiting for the T and they look colder than I am!
How do you use A Better City’s TMA Programs like Workout to Work and Guaranteed Ride home?
I like being able to log my miles and keep track of what I’m doing [with Workout to Work]. And I think the voucher system [of Guaranteed Ride Home] makes a big difference…knowing that you can be rescued if you get stuck, because things can happen. Especially if people are new and just started biking.