My name is Ana Reinert and I work as a product designer at Hallmark. In my spare time, I write a blog called The Well-Appointed Desk. I'm married to a lovely, Park Tools-trained bike noodler/letterpress printer. I live in the "dodgy end" of Brookside, a suburban neighborhood in Kansas City and I am doing my best to live a carlite life. I don't have any children but I do cater to four very needy cats.
When did you start using a bicycle for transportation and what other
forms of transportation do you use?
A few years ago, I read about the 2-mile challenge(http://2milechallenge.com/map/) so I sat down and mapped out the 2-miles around my house and realized that a lot of my errands fell within that range so I started riding to the store, library and other short-distance errands. Then I just got to where I enjoyed riding my bike so much I just started riding everyday. In the winter, I even put my bike up on a trainer and ride just to keep pedaling.
Do you recommend cycling to friends/family members/others? Have any
taken you up on it?
I often recommend riding for low-impact fitness and the sheer joy of pedaling with the wind in your face. I joke that riding my bike is my favorite stress-reliever and it "keeps me from killing people" at work.
Right now, I'm riding a 2008 Giant Transend which has been nicknamed "The Pigeon". I am in the process of restoring a couple vintage bikes-- an 80s-era Raleigh Mixte and a late 50/early 60s era Fleet Wing which is a fixed-gear cruiser. Oddly, all my bikes are blue.
In your opinion, what's the best part about cycling for transportation?
What's the worst?
Cold weather. I have asthma and riding in the cold is absolute misery for me. I am trying to find ways to lessen the risk of an attack while riding in the fall and winter because I so miss riding outside during those cold months.
Do you have a favorite carfree/carlite story?
I love being able to skirt all parking issues when using a bike for transport. I used to park my bike on Michigan Avenue in Chicago in front of whatever shop I needed to visit. Even in Brookside, I don't have to loop the block to get a spot near the Roasterie or the drugstore, I just sidle up to the nearest post, pole or bike rack and I'm done.
considering commuting by bike?
1) Find a good bike that is comfortable for you. It might not be the fixie, road bike, or beach cruiser you had your heart set on but if its comfortable and you feel like you can control it, you are going to ride it a lot more and enjoy doing it.
2) if you're going to commute, you'll need fenders, handlebar cupholder (so you can stop at the coffee shop on the way) and a messenger bag. Lights come in handy too.
|Ana and her husband|
Anything else you would like to add?
My next plan is to get a folding bike to keep at the office for running lunchtime errands and just to have an excuse to get outside during the day.
Thanks for the interview Ana. If you too would like to be featured on Carfree American, just reach out to me or, maybe, I will bump into you on the road like I did Ana.