Monday, August 13, 2007

Commuter Profile-Becky Alexander

Becky is featured in the Tampa Bay Commuter.

Views from the Road

Becky Alexander
Bicycle Commuter
Research Administrator
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Institute

I started commuting by bicycle two months ago. I live in Temple Terrace and work at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Institute as a Research Administrator. My ride covers mostly neighborhood streets and this makes for very nice morning and afternoon commuting. I started riding instead of driving to save money on gas, wear and tear on my car and for the health benefits of weight loss. I have lost 10 pounds so far! I am also a member of Tampa BayCycle’s Elite 100, and I successfully recruited 10 people who tried cycling during the month of May.
I got into cycling by trail riding on the weekends, and I currently own two mountain bikes. Along with other coworkers, we are trying to help Moffitt have a greater awareness of employees who commute by bicycle to work. We have access to showers at work; so by the time I get to my desk, my coworkers are completely unaware that I rode my bike to work. I bike about 75 miles a week, that’s 60 during the week back and forth to work, and then trail riding on the weekends is around 15 miles.
So far, my commute has been easy. I carry an extra tube, portable pump and a multi-tool just in case I need to change a tire or make small adjustments. I did have a driver harass me from their car at the same spot on my route each day, so I take another route to avoid this driver. Some people tell me its great and some tell me I’m crazy. It’s just something that you get up every morning and do, just like getting in your car to go to work. The best thing that I have learned is to take command of my lane. I noticed that when I do this, drivers respect my space on the road.
I’ve noticed that since I have been bicycle commuting my stress level has gone down. Even when it rains and I’m on my bike, I am not as stressed as when I’m in the car and it’s raining. I’m sure part of it has to do with the fact that my commute is mostly on neighborhood streets, but it’s nice to enjoy the commute to and from work.
I do wish that there were public service announcements or newspaper ads making drivers aware of the fact that there are bicyclists on the road. Drivers should acknowledge and respect the fact that especially during the week, bicyclist are only trying to do the same thing – get to work or home from work and that the same traffic rules apply. Bicycles do belong.

1 comment:

Nick said...

Way to go Becky!