First Lady of Portland
What kind of bike do you currently ride?
A Trek Allant
How long have you had your other bike, the Schwinn?
Since I was 15. A very long time.
What does it mean to you?
I could never let go of my first set of real wheels! That bike has been with me in Red Bank, NJ; Burlington, VT; Yakima, WA; Carson, WA; Stevenson, WA and now here - and it's yellow :)
How do you carry all your stuff when you’re biking?
A Looptworks backpack.
What do you do with it when you arrive?
I clip my helmet to the pack, and take it wherever.
Tell us more about First Stop, how did this get started?
Portland gets barraged with requests to learn about its "green city" efforts. The program was developed to share our strategies with these in-bound delegations.
Why is it important for you to support local designers?
I believe in supporting all kinds of local makers. Design and fashion are just one aspect. I use a Looptworks backpack, I carry a Leatherman tool, I bank with a local bank. One of the most powerful tools we have is the power of our own pocketbook.
Describe this newspaper article you’re featured in (the one where you’re leading a bike tour.
Wow, it was a pretty long time ago, I was studying in Mölnlycke, outside of Gothenburg in 1975-76. I had been issued one of those three-speed military bicycles to get around. I took an outdoor leadership class and we organized a 3-day ride into the countryside. My Swedish wasn't great but my sense of direction was spot on.
Tell us more about your experience biking in Scandinavia. What’s different about that type of European-style commuting vs. biking here in Portland?
More people bike so it just seems a little safer. We wore whatever we had on - there really wasn't a "bike apparel" look; and I don't remember ever locking my bike, but I must have.
What’s your favorite meal to make at home?
Anything that brings family and friends into the kitchen (usually something with curry or garlic).
Where are you from originally?
How long have you been biking?
A very long time....
In what ways do you use your bike? (to/from work, on leisurely rides, to get groceries, pop wheelies...)
Never to pop wheelies.
If you could change one thing about your bike commute to make it easier or more comfortable what would that be?
Move the completion of the Dirce and Nohad Toulan Transit Bridge up a year!
How would you describe your current style?
What's the weirdest job you've ever had?
As a lifeguard for a beach club on the Jersey Shore, one of my jobs was to strap a section of chain link fence behind me each morning and "comb" the beach so it looked groomed. Huh?? Only had to do for one summer, thankfully.
What are the best and worst parts of getting there by bike?
Best - the breeze you feel when you ride. Worst - streetcar tracks.
Is there a song, album or book that changed everything for you? What and why?
My all time favorite book is by Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop - I love her writing and I love Santa Fe. I've given it to many, many friends.
What are some of your favorite local haunts?
Jade, Ugly Mug, Powell's, Peninsula Park, Racion, Radio Room, Rhododendron Garden, Arleta Cafe, I can go on...
If someone you knew wanted to start riding to work (or play) instead of driving, what advice would you give him or her?
Ride with someone. When I started riding in Portland, one of my students, Derek Abe, rode with me all over so I learned the routes, the etiquette, and the rules of the road.
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