Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Roll Model: Theresa Kanter

I enjoy living in Atlanta so much more as a cyclist. In 2008, I moved to the Edgewood neighborhood because of the proximity to MARTA stations and to work (then downtown, now the CDC by Emory). Living in Edgewood has allowed me to appreciate all the great surface streets running through and near the neighborhood that are bicycling thoroughfares: Wylie, Whitefoord and Oakdale, Freedom Parkway, Hosea Williams, Edgewood (which is curiously not in the neighborhood), and now the BeltLine. At the right times of day/night, I also love cycling down DeKalb, Moreland and Briarcliff, and Memorial.

These days, I primarily ride two of my six bicycles: a red hybrid Trek FX (a.k.a. Big Wheel, but I’ll take suggestions for a better name) and a red folding Citizen Miami (a.k.a. Rosa). The staff at Atlanta Cycling’s Ansley location was super helpful to me when I got the Big Wheel, which replaced an ocean blue stolen Trek hybrid. Rosa came by mail from Citizen. Both bikes have racks and panniers; my rides generally include transporting stuff.

Most of my bicycling is commuting to work to avoid parking hassles and because I’m too lazy to workout otherwise. The ride is about 5 miles, mostly through Druid Hills where I must endure The Hills! The last stretch of my ride to work takes me through Emory, and it seems like the elevation change from the Oxford Road entrance to Haygood and Clifton is a bajillion feet. The commute works for me because, given the speed limit, traffic lights, and stop signs, it takes me about 20 minutes to drive to work, and on a bike, it takes me about 25 minutes. My neighbor and I inadvertently confirmed this last week when she drove and I biked, and arrived at Emory at the same time. It’s a tough ride and I appreciate having showers on campus; I’m sure my colleagues do too.

Beyond work, I love being able to bike to dancing, athletic events, the symphony, and flying lessons at PDK. Especially dancing. In addition to clubbing, I’ve been social dancing (east coast swing, salsa, and blues) for a few years. I like biking to meet friends for dancing at Northside Tavern, the Georgia Tech Ballroom, Fernbank, and Kavarna . After hours of twirling on the dance floor, I love cooling off in the night air on the ride home. I wear white/reflective gear and use lights, but here’s the beauty of night riding: there are few cars on the roads. I actually feel much safer bicycling late at night, as do the many of the cyclists who ride the Midnight Full Moon Ride. One memorable ride home happened after dancing at MJQ. When I turned onto Moreland from Freedom Parkway, another cyclist caught up to me at the light in Little Five and we chatted until I turned off at Wylie. It was such a treat to have company and safety (in numbers) late on a Saturday night.

I loved that the Heels on Wheels rides affirmed that cyclists can ride in a broad range of attire. When I bike to work I wear spandex pants and tops appropriate to the season. I try to be visual by wearing white, florescent, or reflective clothing. A good windbreaker and gloves make all the difference to me when it’s cool/cold out. When I bike home, I wear my clothes from that day with the windbreaker from the morning. I tight-roll loose pant legs, and, if I have a particularly flowing skirt, I use a binder clip to turn the skirt into a skort. A-line or knit skirts and dresses work great for me on either bicycle. In the winter, I find clogs keep my feet the warmest; in other seasons I like Mary Janes with a low heel. I’m not sure if the extra strap across the foot makes a big difference, but I feel more secure, and prettier, wearing them. (Pictured, dianaira dress, Uniqlo cardigan, and vintage dragonfly brooch.)

Theresa Kanter

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