Amy Kuretsky, Age 25

Lives: Harrison

Works: Walker Art Center, Membership Benefits Coordinator

What sort of trips do you take by bicycle?
I usually bike to work, as well as to the coffee shop, co-op, stores, etc. in Uptown. I also bike to the bars, shows, movies at night, hanging out with friends, and the YWCA.  In the summertime I’ll take longer trips on the Greenway and other paths to St. Paul or Hopkins.  My parents live in Hopkins and it’s incredibly easy to access their house via bike paths.

How often do you bike?
In the spring, summer, and fall I bike almost every day.  As the winter creeps up I’ll probably only bike 3-5 times a week.  It’s really hard trying to look "professional" when you have to make accommodations for the weather on your bike.  I’ve tried bringing a change of clothes to work but that never seems to work since I’m already sweaty, gross, and covered in salt and/or snow by the time I get to work in the winter.  I finally gave up on this whole "professionalism" thing and just look kind of ragged while still completing my work with excellence.  The days I end up driving or taking the bus are the days that I do have to dress nicely for a meeting or reception with the museum donors.

How long have you been riding your bike?
I started riding bikes more when I was living in Bloomington, Indiana (year: 2000).  I was living in a small town where driving was silly.  Why drive to your friends’ house on the other side of town when it’s really only 10 blocks away?  When I moved back to Minneapolis (year: 2005) I rented a place in the middle of Uptown and it just made sense to ride my bike instead of drive.  Finding vehicle parking in Minneapolis is obnoxious.  Finding a no-parking sign to lock up to is totally easy.

What keeps you pedaling?
I have to.  My body literally gets mad at me if I don’t ride my bike or do something physically active for more than 3 or 4 days.  I’ve been known to become severely grumpy if a broken bike keeps me from riding for more than a few days.  I love the fact that I can get somewhere without sitting in a car.  Sitting in traffic is stressful.  Riding your bike is exhilarating.

What kind of bike do you ride?
I ride a road bike that was built for me as a birthday present by my friend Pablo.  It was originally a single speed and I later converted it to a fixed gear.  It was built from mostly dumpster parts (only the actual brakes and freewheel were bought new), but over the years I’ve put some new things (such as tires) on it.

Where is your favorite place to ride?
I love riding along waterways.  Either side of the Mississippi, around Lake Nokomis, over by Minnehaha Falls.  Since I’ve moved out of Uptown I’ve had to ride through downtown almost every day to get to or from home, and I’ve really enjoyed it.  Biking downtown on a weekend night can be horrific, but riding through an empty downtown at 5:00 in the morning as the sun is rising is great.

How do you stay safe when you ride?
I try to use a helmet whenever I remember.  I always use a red blinking light on the back of my bag or bike when I’m riding at night.  I used to have a white light for the front of my bike, but it was stolen a while back and I haven’t replaced it yet.  My old tires had this really great circle of reflective material around tire close to the rim.  That was great, it would almost glow white circles as I moved through the darkness.  I plan on re-using those tires on a new bike someday.

Do you have a shining moment with a motorist, or something you really appreciate from motorists?
As I’ve become more and more of an avid biker I’ve noticed both my parents becoming more aware of other cyclists on the road.  I think it’s really great.

What are your pet peeves, either from motorists or other cyclists?
I hate how in a hurry everyone has become.  I have to constantly check myself because I’m totally guilty of it too.  When motorists are in a hurry they are more careless about their driving and are more of a danger to the cyclists that share the road with them.  If everyone would just take the time to slow down and actually look at their surroundings maybe there would be fewer accidents (both bike related and non-bike related) on the roads.

What is the most unusual thing you do on your bike?
I think I’m a much tamer biker than many of my friends (no bike jousting for me!), but once a year for the last two years some friends and I have organized a group underwear ride.  It originated as part of a marketing scheme for the Bicycle Film Festival in 2006 and then was brought back as promotion for the Bell Museum’s Bike-In this past summer.  The first year we only had about 15 riders total, but somehow the past summer we had over 40 bikers wearing nothing but their skivvies.  Riding around in nothing but your skivvies is fun – and unusual.

Last updated Oct 21, 2011