Monday, March 8, 2010

Keith Gates- carfreeAmerican Profile

Tell me a little bit about you (name, age, occupation, carfree or carlite, where you live).
"I’m Keith Gates, a 37-year old car-light bicycle commuter working as a staff manager and systems analyst in Olathe, Kansas. My family and I currently own and operate only one car, instead of the usual two. This has, literally, cut our automobile expenses in half. It’s not without its challenges, of course, but it’s very rewarding."

When did you start using a bicycle for commuting?
"Regularly in 1998. Sporadically from 1996-1997"

What inspired you to start?
"Initially, a broken down car. After some time, I embraced recreational and competitive cycling, and commuting was a way to add mileage and training, without adding much time."

What is a day in your bicycling life like?
"The bicycle ride is the best way to start and finish a work-day. I rise early, shower and suit up, and take it easy on the way to the office. In the afternoon, I can increase the intensity and enjoy a shower once I get home."

Do you recommend cycling to friends/family members/others? Have any taken you up on it?
"A good friend of mine finally dropped the car keys after a little nudging, and he’s been commuting regularly for nearly five years now."

What kind of bike are you currently riding?
"Older road bike, with fenders and a rear rack."

In your opinion, what’s the best part about cycling?
"Everything you put into it, it pays back. Cars don’t do that."

What’s the worst?
"Heavy snowfall. It’s difficult when weather says “no” to riding, but it can provide a much-needed break for your legs."

What are three pieces of advice you would give to someone starting/ considering commuting by bike?
"Just TRY. So many battles are surrendered before they begin. Research, plan, ask around – then pack your clothes and give it a shot. ANYONE can do it, with ANY bike."

Anything else you would like to add?
"It’s always a thrill to arrive somewhere by bicycle, especially if you thought it was “impossible”."

(see more of Keith on his inspiring and informational blog )

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