Jill Chamberlain, Age 36

Lives: Longfellow

Works: Blue Cross Blue Shield, Project Manager of Community Initiatives

What sort of trips do you take by bicycle?

I bike to work. I started with a goal of one day a week starting in May and going until September 15th. By the end of the summer, I had averaged 2 days a week for that time frame. I also love to bike on the Greenway. I use it as a way to get to Uptown and the Midtown Global Market.

How often do you bike?

The darkness is getting the best of me for commuting, but I am still getting an errand or two in on the weekends, into the fall. For some reason it really pains me to drive my car to the YWCA.

How long have you been riding your bike?

Other than the typical banana seat single speed when I was a kid, I hadn't been on a bike for 20 years until this past year.

What keeps you pedaling?

There are practical reasons - I fill up my car every 15 days instead of every 7 days. Parking is a lot easier as well. But the better reason is the feeling of connectedness I have when I ride around my neighborhood. I recognize faces. I see how the flowers grow throughout the season.

What kind of bike do you ride?

It’s a 21-speed hybrid that I like for my purposes. However, I really only use about 5 or 6 of the speeds. Now that I am out on my bike more I do see some other styles and am planning on making some type of upgrade. I love the "Celeste Blue" on the Bianchi . . .

Where is your favorite place to ride?

I pretty much love all the trails by the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers. The trees are lovely and you don't have so much traffic noise. I think the Greenway is one of the best things going in Minneapolis. I use it on most of my errand-related trips.

How do you stay safe when you ride?

I saw a quote referring to the helmet as a "Styrofoam Talisman." This is somewhat true, but I won't ride without mine. I have yet to hear a story about someone who was more injured due to their helmet, while there are many stories where the helmet prevents the more severe injury. I have also seen first hand the effects of a friend who was thrown from his bike and now lives with a traumatic brain injury. It changed every aspect of his life.

Do you have a shining moment with a motorist, or something you really appreciate from motorists?

In general, when cars see you, acknowledge you, and respect you at an intersection, I appreciate it. Biking along Highway 13 in Eagan, I have found the semi drivers (in general) are conscientious about waving so you know they see you and know you are crossing the road.

What are your pet peeves, either from motorists or other cyclists?

To the cyclists . . . we have to follow signs and stoplights too. I have to defend all cyclists to my husband or others that think that is how "all cyclists" ride, when we see one cyclist running a stoplight. To the cars . . . you are in a moving tank. Your car will hurt me if you aren't paying attention. I am not part of the problem. Having one less car on the road at the stoplight, tied up in traffic, is not a bad thing. Know that I will not try to take your parking space.  Please, see me! 

What is the most unusual thing you do on your bike?

I sing - not well - it might be some show tunes or a pop song I heard on the radio. My favorite is when I am struggling up a hill and I make a "wow" sound and that gets me singing Nellie's "It's Getting Hot in Here."

Last updated Oct 21, 2011