We've started writing up profiles and collecting stories from neighborhood people who ride bikes to work, for fun, and for fitness. Check out our first installment of "Pedaler Profiles" with Maureen Cassidy. If you know anyone that we should interview, of if YOU want to be interviewed, contact us.
Pedaler Profile: Maureen Cassidy
Employer: State of Oregon Health Department
Neighborhood: Mt. Tabor
Commute Distance: 5 Miles each way
Ride (s): Mountain bike with street tires and a Cannondale road bike
Favorite part of riding: She feels more awake and alert when she gets to work and likes to admire the pretty gardens on the way.
Least favorite: Hauling clothes to work, bad car-drivers.
Maureen has lived in Portland for about 22 years and has worked in Lloyd at the State of Oregon Health Department as an epidemiologist for about 20 years. She was recently encouraged to join the Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s Bike More Challenge by her co-workers. She used to ride a bike for transportation and to work, but had a pretty scary near miss with a car a few years that caused her to quit riding. The Bike More Challenge was the encouragement that she needed to get back in the saddle. The improvements that the City of Portland has made in the past few years to bicycling infrastructure have made her feel much safer and more comfortable riding, especially the new bike lanes on the 12th street Bridge over I-84.
After being encouraged by the Bike More Challenge Team Captains to start riding again, Maureen continued to ride into the Summer. She was motivated to keep riding to get more daily exercise and to save some money since she’d rather spend money on something other than parking. Her commute from Mt. Tabor along the Davis-Everett neighborhood Greenway is very pleasant; she passes through Laurelhurst where she enjoys viewing people’s gardens and getting some fresh air. Since its down-hill to work she doesn’t get sweaty. While she initially had to figure out how to haul nice work clothes on her bike, she found a good bag and has a nice locker room at work to change when she needs to. The bike parking area at work is often full and it can be challenging to find a parking space and lifting her bike to park on the wall racks can be difficult, but that’s about her only commute complaint presently.
Maureen says since she started riding to work again 3 days a week, she definitely feels like she is getting more exercise and she is happier. She says she feels more alert and awake when she gets to work and likes saving money on driving and parking, money she can spend on other things like a nice bottle of Oregon Wine or fun evening out. She will continue to ride to her work but may cut back in the dark, damp winter days when she will take MAX or drive. She also enjoys taking an occasional spin to get some fresh air or some more exercise.
Maureen really appreciated the support and encouragement from her co-workers and challenge team captains Judith and Niani. They helped her to remember how fun riding to work can be and to experience the new bicycling infrastructure, also the team party with prizes like a gift-card to Green Zebra Grocery and certificates of accomplishments, were much appreciated.
Thanks Maureen-- see you in the bike lane!