Ten Questions With: Susan of LoveOfBikes.com

Love Of Bikes
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

Here at Endomondo, we love our users and Susan happens to be one of them. She runs the blog LoveOfBikes.com and was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.

  1. Can you tell us a little about Love of Bikes? All for the Love of Bikesis my Love Of Bikeswebsite and blog that grew from a longtime love of cycling and bikes. I started blogging about 3 years ago, initially under a different blog name.I write about my bike tours, local and national issues related to biking, rider rights issues (not just those of us that consider ourselves cyclists, but anyone who rides a bike), photos, videos, daily posts on the Tour de France every July (I have to justify the hours and hours and hours of the Tour I watch) and just the joy of biking in general. Recently I took a supported bike tour with a company that gave me a discount on the cost of my tour to write about the ride, I hope to do more of that in the future.All for the Love of Bikes can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.
  2. When and why did you decide to make cycling your preferred mode of transportation? I retired from my career several years ago which has allowed me the time and flexibility to use my bike for running errands and doing activities I would have done by car in the past.I don’t commute by bike nearly as much as I would like to but I’m committed to doing it more and more. I definitely enjoy those types of rides. I feel like when I ride my bike in regular clothes to the grocery store or library or downtown to the coffee shop, that other people may see that as something they could do.When we’re clad in spandex I think it makes cycling look like something for athletes only instead of a form of recreation and transportation that most everyone can enjoy—regardless of age or fitness level. That’s one of the great things about biking—just about anyone can do it.
  3. What kind of bike do you ride? My road bike, which is what I ride most of the time, is a 2005 Scott CR1 Pro – all carbon fiber, my commuter/touring bike is a “steel is real” 2010 Jamis Aurora Elite and I also have a 1994 Giant Cadex road bike which I rarely ride and should probably sell but I get attached to bikes so it’s hard to think about selling one.I would like to add a mixte to my cycling corral with more of an upright position for riding in town.I subscribe to the philosophy that the correct number of bikes to own is: [number of bikes currently owned] +1.
  4. What do you love most about cycling? That’s a tough one, but I would have to say it is the freedom I feel when riding. I can be in a funk, or just not in the mood to ride, but by the time I’m 5-10 miles into it I’m having fun and by the end of the ride I’m not ready to stop. That never happens when I run or swim, but it is common with biking.I love the way biking not only transports you physically but it transports you mentally and emotionally too.I also love the experience of riding—the sights, sounds and movement of riding. I love transporting myself with nothing more than my bike and body.
  5. Where is the most beautiful place you’ve ridden? Probably along Highway 1 in California, but Quebec province was also very beautiful. I find that on a bike you can see the beauty of wherever you happen to be riding.Love Of Bikes
  6. What are the biggest challenges of cycling in your city? The biggest challenge is the lack of bicycling infrastructure—lanes, paths, signage and the lack of acceptance (understanding) of drivers—although both are improving. In 1991 when I started biking again I rarely saw another cyclist and I almost never saw another woman on a bike—that has certainly changed, but it is still uncommon to see people riding bikes for transportation here. We just returned from a trip to Vancouver Island and Seattle, both areas are filled with people commuting by bike and their infrastructure supports it.The single reason most people state why they don’t ride a bike is because they do not feel safe. We need the infrastructure first so people can feel safe to ride on the roads. Once we have that, the cyclists will follow.
  7. Ever had any accidents or run-ins with the law? Unfortunately, yes and yes. A couple of weeks ago I received a ticket for “disregard of a traffic signal (red)”. I had the misfortune of being caught at a stoplight that doesn’t recognize bikes and there were no cars to trip the light, so when it was safe to do so I proceeded through the intersection and red light. There just so happened to be a police officer on a motorcycle there (who I didn’t see) and he stopped me and gave me a ticket. My frustration was that he didn’t give me an opportunity to explain why I took the action I did. We are expected to behave as vehicles yet the infrastructure here does not always allow us to do so.As far as accidents, I was hit by a car in 1995, a girl that had had her drivers license for 2 weeks ran a stop sign and we collided. My lovely old Trek was totaled, but I sustained relatively minor injuries so I consider myself fortunate.
  8. Have a favorite cyclist and/or bike tour? I mentioned being a fan of the Tour de France, I’m a big fan of French cyclist, Thomas Voeckler, who I met in 2010 when we were in Quebec City (after riding there from Burlington, VT) to watch the Grand Prix Quebec bike race. He won the race and came close to winning the Tour last year.I find I love all the bike tours we have done, I think it matters less where I am riding and more about the experience of riding. Last year I rode King Ridge road in Sonoma County and part of Levi Leipheimer’s Gran Fondo route which was by far the most challenging riding I’ve ever done and loved it. We did a one week tour in the Texas Hill Country this spring and I found it to be a perfect place for riding. I’ve yet to ride anywhere that I didn’t enjoy it.
  9. If you could ride anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? Probably France, in part because of my love of the Tour de France, but also because cycling is such a part of the European culture it has to be a great place to ride—not to mention the beautiful scenery and quaint towns.
  10. What would you tell someone who is on the fence about taking up cycling? As a true-believer of cycling and all its many benefits, I would encourage them to just get on a bike and ride—even if it is just a block—to recreate the experience that most of us had as children when we rode our bikes and felt that sense of joy and freedom that bicycling brings. Once they get a taste of it, they are likely to want to do it again, I know I did. Cycling is great exercise but it is so much fun you don’t think of it as exercise. I always say if you want to feel like a kid again, go ride a bike!Love Of Bikes

Related Articles

Leave a Reply