Blog - Spotlights

Spotlights
Bike Works' 16th Annual Kids Bike Swap will be held on Saturday, May 12th, 2012, from 10 am - 4 pm...
Spotlights
It's that time of year again when a stretch of Lake Washington Blvd is closed to cars and open to...
Spotlights
Priscilla works at Safeco Field. She wants to star in action movies. And she likes to ride her bike...
Spotlights
This article first appeared as the Cyclist of the Month column in the April 2012 issue of the Cascade Courier , our membership newsletter. Nominate a Cyclist of the Month! Cyclist of the Month: KEITH BOARD Age: 49 Occupation: Chief Editor, NW Cable News Wheels: Bianchi Coast to Coast bicycle; Nimbus commuter unicycle Keith Board has ridden a unicycle since 1974 . But as it turns out, his story begins in 2006, on two wheels, not one. The first time Keith pedaled the two miles between King Street Station and King 5’s offices on Dexter St., where he worked, he wasn’t sure he would make it. “Sweat was pouring off of me,” he said. “I wanted to vomit. I thought, ‘I’m only 43 years old. I’ve got to fix this.’” He had been given an Orca pass by his workplace to commute by train and bus from his home in Buckley, Wash., but it was slow and inconvenient. Then, on Feb. 22, 2006, the man sitting next to him on the bus wet himself. It was the final straw. “I told my wife, ‘I’m done with the bus.’” From there, it was a numbers game. Driving to work would cost the family $18 per day. He weighed 255 pounds. “I bought a bike for $45, and my life changed dramatically,” he said. Within months, he had lost 15 pounds. Seeing Keith’s transformation, his wife decided to join him. “I told her, ‘You’re going to have to catch up.’” The first bike ride they went on together was only five miles long, and her experience was similar to what his had been: she lay on the couch recovering for hours afterward. Slowly but surely, they increased their mileage – and a year after they started riding together, in 2007, they pedaled all 206 miles of the Group Health STP. “Riding together helped us solve family problems,” he told me. “I also lost 75 pounds.” He added, jovially, “I’ve learned not to say how much my wife has lost. So let’s just say that she lost weight, too.” Cascade rides have been at the center of their journey together. Keith also rode Chilly Hilly and High Pass Challenge in 2007. “That first HPC was miserable,” he said. But he finished in seven hours and 57 minutes – just in time to receive a gold medal. “They might as well have handed me treasure from King Tut,” he said. In 2008, he rode HPC with his youngest son, Kasey, who was just 13 years old at the time. In 2009, he and his older son, Jake, rode the STP in one day, on Jake’s 17 th birthday. As a family, they’ve embraced bicycling for transportation as well as recreation. “We’re like born-again Christians,” he said. “We’ve had this life-changing experience, and we’re thinking, ‘How could we have missed out on this for so long?’”
Spotlights
This article first appeared as the Cyclist of the Month column in the December 2011 issue of the Cascade Courier , our membership newsletter. Nominate a Cyclist of the Month! Cyclist of the Month: MILLIE MAGNER Age: 64 Wheels: Cannondale RW 800 Occupation: Freelance writer, retired “I grew up in a bike shop,” Millie Magner told me with a grin. And it’s true. Her dad owned a franchise with Schwinn and Harley Davidson in the 1950s, combining his two hobbies by surrounding himself with both bicycles and motorcycles. It’s clear that this apple didn’t fall too far from that tree. Millie showed up for our interview rosy-cheeked from the cold, wearing a bike jacket in high-visibility orange with lots of reflective tape, helmet still on her head. Before I even asked, Millie was out of the gate, telling me about her earliest memory on a bike. “I vividly remember being taught to ride by two older neighbor boys. They put me on a balloon-tired 26-inch bike, and I couldn’t reach the pedals or sit on the seat. I had to bob down on either side of the bike to pedal. I remember them running alongside me shouting, ‘Pedal, Millie, pedal!’” Since her first ride on that ill-fitting bike, she’s moved on to a succession of others. She took a three-speed Schwinn Traveler on a two-week tour in the hot humidity of central Missouri. This was in the 1960s, when there were few women bicyclists. A decade later, she toured Nova Scotia in cut-off jeans for a month. There have been gaps in her bicycling history, but, she told me, “I’ve always had a bike.” She added with a smile, “I just haven’t always ridden.”
Spotlights
The group of nine bunched up, geared with new cyclocross tires on Redline bikes, ready for the...
Spotlights
Looking for great gifts for all the cyclists on your list this holiday season? We've got you...
Spotlights
This article first appeared as the Cyclist of the Month column in the December 2011 issue of the Cascade Courier , our membership newsletter. Cyclist of the Month: MADI CARLSON Age: 39 Occupation: Stay at home mom Wheels: Bianchi Milano Madi Carlson isn’t afraid of the cold or the rain. And neither is her cargo. All winter long, Madi rides with her kids – Brandt, who’s four-and-a-half years old, and Rijder, who’s just two – strapped into seats mounted to the front and rear of her Celeste Green Bianchi Milano city bike. The bike was a “push present,” given to her by her husband just before Rijder was born. Brandt’s been riding with her since he was a one-year-old, “strong enough to hold his head up.” With Rijder, she started even earlier, towing him in a Burley trailer when he was just eight weeks. Impressed? So was I. I wanted to know: Who is this woman, and how does she do it? What motivates her? The notion that she’s saving our planet from excess CO2 emissions? Or that she’s instilling the value of active transportation in her children? But Madi’s motivations are far from grandiose. “I’m lazy. And I’m incredibly cheap,” she said. “Coming here in a car, I would’ve had to park four blocks away to avoid paying for parking.”
Spotlights
Back in the day, a whistle stop or a whistle stop tour was where a politician would ride the train...
Spotlights
This article first appeared as the Cyclist of the Month column in the November 2011 issue of the Cascade Courier , our membership newsletter. Cyclist of the Month: RON SIMS Age: 63 Occupation: Retired Wheels: Mountain bike Get Ron Sims to talk about community, and he gets excited. The volume of his speech rises, the pace of his words quickens. His eyes shine. And every time he makes a significant statement – about the importance of focusing funding for bike infrastructure improvements within King County’s low-income neighborhoods, say – he drives it home by pounding on the table between us with his right hand, for emphasis. When I met Ron for coffee near his Mt. Baker home on a rainy morning in October, he greeted me with a hug and insisted on paying for my Americano. This former King County Executive, who recently returned home from a stint in Washington, D.C. as Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, is nothing if not humble. When I asked him how he’d like me to list his occupation, he told me with a smile, “I’m retired. I’m going swimming at 11.” Retired or not, he has much to say about the need for dense urban communities connected by multi-use trails, bike lanes and transit lines. But he’s quick to point out that when he started advocating for these so-called “smart communities,” back in the ‘90s, no one had named them yet: “We didn’t call it ‘smart communities,’ ‘sustainable development’ or anything else. We just didn’t want sprawl. We weren’t going to allow that kind of growth.” And how does bicycling fit in to those communities? “Bicycling will be our future,” he tells me. “We will have far more bicycling. The issue is whether we make infrastructure a priority.”

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