Why Maureen Rides

Here’s the fifth portrait in Streetsblog’s weekly “Why I Ride” series.

Photo copyright Dmitry Gudkov

Maureen is a filmmaker who has used a bike to get around New York in all seasons for the last seven years. She rides to commute and run errands and sometimes goes for a long city ride with no destination in mind, just to clear her head. For a long time she rode a nice folding bike, which made it convenient to ride out somewhere and then bring the bike on the subway for the return trip.

After that bike was sadly stolen, Maureen replaced it with this cheap used bike, hopefully a less attractive target. So, like many New Yorkers, Maureen now carries a heavy chain lock that costs more than the bike it protects. It’s definitely a much heavier ride than what she’s used to and not nearly as easy to bring onto a train. Still, what she has given up in portability she’s made up in utility, thanks to the ever useful milk crate.

Why is cycling her favorite form of transport in New York? “I like to keep moving; I don’t ever want to wait, if I can help it. But more than anything I love that the bike lets me be physical in the city.” Her favorite time to ride is late at night, with the solitary journeys giving her a sense of the city she wouldn’t have otherwise. “When I’m biking home from my studio at 1 or 2 in the morning along the empty bike path, I feel like this is my park. This piece of the city belongs to me.”

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