Bagels and biking to work for the first time #ghcc

Like many bike commuters, Stephanie Pure got her start riding during Bike Month. She commuted from Fremont to Downtown for the first time this Bike to Work Day.

"I thought I would be alone, but I definitely wasn't!" she said afterward.

F5 Bike to Work Day may be the best day of the year to ride, but that didn't stop Stephanie from riding regularly the next week. She did wonder, however, where all the people were the next time she biked over the Fremont Bridge.

Stephanie is External Relations Director at the Seattle chapter of the American Institute of Architects. After the company decided they wanted to participate in the Group Health Commute Challenge, a board member recruited Stephanie to his team. Luckily, her team captain was on a mission to turn the company into bike commuters. Architect Rick Browning, an avid cyclist, offered to fix everyone’s bikes and taught a self-devised "Biking 101" class. Stephanie said the support of her team and the example set by the executive director got her on the bike for the first time since the 90s.

Visitors enjoy bagels at AIA Seattle "Bagels for Bikers" commute station

After deciding to ride on Bike to Work Day and picking a route, Stephanie had to choose what to wear. On her first few trips she cycled through a variety of options, the full four seasons of bike-wear. The first day she was decked out like “a kid going to the pool the first time, with those water wings.”  Sure, you can never be too visible, but Stephanie felt her outfit was overkill for her daylight commute.

Next she tried biking in street clothes. She wore a dress and regular shoes. She looked good while riding, but the balance wasn't right. She didn’t feel comfortable.

After a couple trial runs, Stephanie decided that for her, the best option is to bike in comfortable clothes, like an athletic top, and bring a change in her bag. She found a dress that rolls up without wrinkling and matches it with a pair of boots. Simple and easy.

When Stephanie arrived at work after her first bike commute, all her co-workers cheered and clapped. Plus, her company had set up a "Bagels for Bikers" station at the office. Not a bad way to arrive to the office.

"The whole thing was fun," Stephanie said. "Not only was the opportunity great for all the bikers who joined us, the effort brought out many of our very close neighbors, some of whom had never been into our place before, even though they are right next door!"

Here's to Stephanie, and all new commuters, continuing to ride over the summer!