Your age: 31
Your occupation: City Planner; Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency
Any other fun fact you want to share: I used to be a professional dancer with the Chattanooga Ballet.
In which neighborhood do you live? Work? I live in Hill City and work Downtown.
Why did you decide to sign up for Bike Chattanooga? I got to try out Bike Chattanooga through a free membership and used it more than I thought I would even though I have my own bike so I decided to become an annual member.
Do you use Bike Chattanooga to get to work/school? I sometimes use Bike Chattanooga to get home from work on days that I take the bus to work and stay downtown later than the bus runs.
What other kinds of trips do you use Bike Chattanooga for? I like using Bike Chattanooga on days that I take the bus or drive to work because the weather is bad in the morning, but then the sun comes out or it warms up midday, and I can grab a bike to run errands or go to the gym.
I have used Bike Chattanooga a few times to extend my runs. If I only have time for a short run, I can go point-to-point instead of making a loop and then grab a bike to get back to my starting point. I’ll probably do that more now that there are two new Bike Chattanooga stations on the new Riverwalk extension.
How did you make those trips before Bike Chattanooga started?Drive, walk, or didn’t make the trip at all
What’s your favorite thing about riding a bike in Chattanooga?I love our scenery and the nearly 360 degree view that you get from a bicycle seat.
Any tips for newer Bike Chattanooga members? I know you’re excited to jump on the bike and get rolling, but take the time to orient yourself to the bike - the brakes, gear shifter, bell, and seat. Make sure your seat is at a good height for you, and that it’s pointing straight forwards. If it has been awhile since you’ve ridden a bike, you might prefer for your seat to be lower, but as you get more comfortable, try raising the saddle higher so that your knees are just slightly bent at the bottom of your pedal stroke, and you will be able to get more power out of your pedaling. Once you start pedaling, shift gears until you find one that feels like the right resistance so you’re not working too hard, but you don’t feel like your legs are spinning uselessly.
Before Bike Chattanooga, I would be stuck driving around when a friend visited town, but now I can check out a bike for them, and we can enjoy the ride together.
Encouraging/Supportive words: Sometimes the expression “It’s just like riding a bike.” is a bit misleading. When I first started riding a bike again as an adult, my balance wasn’t good enough to take a hand off the handlebars and signal when I was turning. Don’t be discouraged if you feel wobbly at first. Try riding somewhere like the Riverwalk where you can ride completely separated from cars. Before you know it you’ll feel steady, confident, and as free as a bird!