Monday, May 11, 2009

Bike to Work Week: Helen Leung

My Hollywood Field Deputy, Helen Leung, regularly bikes to work and agreed to share her experience today. Helen lives in Elysian Valley and works in our Hollywood Office, but today she started her morning at City Hall and will head to Hollywood for meetings.

Here's what she said about her morning ride:

How many miles (round trip) is your ride to work?
It's about 4 miles to City Hall and about 7.5 to 8 from the District Office to home. I'm taking the Metro Red Line from Downtown to my meetings in Hollywood and the District Office.

How long does it take you to drive?
15 minutes each way

How long does it take you to ride your bike?
30 minutes each way

In what ways did you have to change your morning routine in order to ride your bike to work?
I had to leave my house a little earlier - about 20 minutes. I knew I wouldn't be able to change in between meetings, so I had to wear clothes that are both bike-friendly and work-appropriate. I thought about my day in advance and picked a day where I didn't have too many meetings in the field. Oh, and I couldn't bring my lunch, but I have a lunch meeting today so I don't have to think about what to eat.

How did it go?
Today was a nice, cool day, so I biked slowly and leisurely and didn't break a sweat. My normal road bike is at the Hollywood Office, so I had to ride a different bike. I had to take extra time to make sure there was air in the tires and the brake pads were working. I chose a bike-friendly route to get to City Hall, but I saw two potholes that I am planning to report to 3-1-1. I also saw a bulky item and graffiti in my neighborhood that I'm going to report, too.

Any tips for those contemplating riding a bike to work for the first time?
Give yourself a lot of time in case anything happens.

You'd be surprised -- there are a lot of people out there that are willing to go with you.

There's also a group called Bike Sage founded by Ron Milam that shares tips to encourage people to bike.

I'd also recommend trying your route to work on a Saturday or Sunday to find the streets that are more bicycle-friendly.