Meet City Bikers
Pam Nelms – Human Resources
How often do you bike?
More than five times per week
What sort of trips do you make on your bike?
I ride my bicycle to and from work year-round, and for most errands within three miles of my home for about eight months of the year. I enjoy recreational trail riding on weekends, and touring on my bicycle when I can. Last year, I rode my bike a total of 3,268 miles. So far this year, I have ridden more than 1,750 miles, and my goal for 2012 is to ride 4,000 miles.
Why do you choose to bike?
My commute to work is about 7.5 miles, and takes about 35 minutes. That is just a little faster than all that is involved in taking the bus, and I treasure the time. It is my time. I get ready for work and I leave it all behind during the rides. I find humor and beauty along the way. I am fit and I feel great. I just really enjoy all of it.
What advice do you have for fellow employees who might want to try?
Buy a good saddle and a mirror for your bike, and get your bike running well so that it is fun to ride. Rent access to a shower/locker space. If possible, adjust your work schedule so that you are not in the worst of the rush hour traffic. Give yourself extra time to get places at first so you don’t feel rushed. You can adjust that time as your fitness and riding speed increases.
Don’t be surprised if you learn something about yourself. It is interesting what happens when you devote at least an hour each day to yourself immersed in your own thoughts. More than ever before, I have clarity about who I am and what matters to me.
Do you have a particular story that is a shining example of why you choose to bike?
Winter commuting is really beautiful. In the quiet dark of early morning, the falling snowflakes bounce back my light’s beam in tiny sparks of all the colors of a rainbow. I do not feel the cold or the wind at all, covered as I am in the wonderful technical clothing and goggles that make me the master of my winter rides. Everything is so still, and perfect…and I am a part of it.
Almost to work and with no one else in sight, I feel I “own” the Stone Arch Bridge. It is still dark and ahead I see the brightly-illuminated buildings of downtown, and they look as if they are steaming. That makes me think of the hot cup of coffee that is just ahead. I smile and think how glad I am for my bicycle commute.
Published Jul. 16, 2012