This is the first in a series of profiles of Birmingham Cyclists of all shapes, sizes and riding habits. I want to highlight and celebrate those of us who brave it all and ride in Birmingham. I have quite a few people who have agreed to be part of this, so I hope you will enjoy it. Each week will be a new rider in a variety of profile formats, from stories to Q&A, etc. World-meet Birmingham!
First brave subject is a new friend of mine. We belong to the same Community Group through church and let me tell you folks, she makes a mean dessert. Say hello to Stacey
Currently in Nursing School
1. What kind of bike do you ride? Is there a story behind that? I ride a Fuji Absolute 3.0. Her name is Gabriella, I named her after an Avett Brothers song, and she’s a road/path hybrid. I had been looking on Craigslist for a gently used bike, but couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for. A friend that I was visiting in Oxford, MS took me to the local bike shop, Active Oxford. When we pulled up, Gabby was sitting in the window and I fell in love. She was exactly what I had been looking for. I instantly loved her color. I took her for a spin in the parking lot and was sold.
2. When did you start riding? I loved to ride bikes when I was growing up, but just in the past year I reconnected with a friend that lives in Oxford, MS. Oxford is a such a bike friendly town that I always felt left out when I would visit. Everyone would ride bikes instead of driving, talk about bikes, build new bikes, etc. One weekend we went on a ride and I had forgotten how much I loved it.
3. What is your favorite aspect of riding in Birmingham? My favorite aspect of riding in Birmingham would have to be the varied terrain. Where ever I may ride, there are always several climbs involved. I used to dread it and there are still plenty of hills that intimidate me, but it’s made me a much stronger rider.
4. What are the things you would like to change about riding in Bham? I would love if Birmingham had extensive bike lanes throughout the city and into the suburbs. Riding in traffic still stresses me out. It’s amazing how much more relaxed I am if I ride in a city that has bike lanes. Earlier this summer I drove through Albuquerque, New Mexico. After stopping in a local bike shop, I found out that Albuquerque had an extensive bike path/lane system throughout the city. I was able to go for a ride and after my ride, I had a new appreciation for bike lanes. Its amazing the peace that 3-5 extra feet of asphalt will give you.
5. Why do you ride? I ride because it takes me to another place. I feel organic and self sufficient when I ride. I don’t have to pay for gas or insurance, I honestly earn every mile I pedal and find such freedom in that. I know that I’m doing a good thing for the environment and for myself.
Thanks for playing Stacey! A girl who names her bike after a song? That I can behind. Oh, and check out the cute skirt!
Stay tuned for another profile next week.
Live in Birmingham? Let us profile you. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.