Why Erin Rides

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

Photo copyright Dmitry Gudkov

I always like to see bikes like Erin’s – elegant, but clearly bearing the scuffs and scratches that come with regular use. I ask her how she likes it. “I love it. It’s a great city bike.” Erin lives in Brooklyn and on this day was heading to meet some family at the Museum of Natural History. She just graduated from law school and hopes to find work in public interest law, representing people of modest means.

A few years ago Erin was living in Manhattan. She had a bike but didn’t ride it all that often. Then, that bike was stolen and her boyfriend at the time got her this Trek as a present. He also showed her the ropes of city riding, and she was hooked. She has since moved to Bushwick and remains a daily bike commuter.

When I ask her why she prefers riding in the New York, her answer is simple: speed. “My bike gets me places faster than everyone else. It really is the quickest way for me to get around the city.”  When she’s not riding to school, she loves to explore Brooklyn by bike with her friends. In fact, cycling has become a big enough part of her life to affect the company she keeps. Most of her friends ride and, at this point, she admits, “I wouldn’t date someone who doesn’t ride a bike.”

  • Driver

    Most of her friends ride and, at this point, she admits, ”I wouldn’t date someone who doesn’t ride a bike.”

    Good thing she isn’t feeding into the us vs them mentality.  Sorry, but this statement says a lot about her, and not in a good way. 

  • Guest

    @Driver How does that statement possibly say anything negative about her? People have all sorts of criteria about who they want to date. I don’t see anything wrong with someone with a specific interest wanting to narrow down their potential suitors to people who share their enthusiasm. It’s much easier to do that, then it would be to try and change someone into who you want them to be after you start dating.

  • Zulu

    Driver,

    You appear to be offended by her statement. Why? It’s her prerogative how she chooses to live her life. In this case it’s something as benign and non threatening as her choice of partner and the natural tendency we have to mingle with like minds.

    It’s really not a big deal, don’t make it one.

  • Driver

    Fair enough guest, she is certainly free to decide her own criteria on who she dates, as we all are.  However, if I said I wouldn’t date someone because they were an active cyclist, I think that would make me a judgmental jerk. 

  • Driver

    Fair enough guest, she is certainly free to decide her own criteria on who she dates, as we all are.  However, if I said I wouldn’t date someone because they were an active cyclist, I think that would make me a judgmental jerk. 

  • Pete

    @SB_Driver:disqus – biking is important to her, and she’d find it hard to date a guy who can’t share that with her.  That says nothing about car ownership, her attitude towards cars, or anything else.  You’re just being prickly and defensive.
    I think the parallel you’re looking for would be “I wouldn’t date someone who doesn’t drive a car.”  I can think of plenty of people who would size you up on that criteria.

  • Driver

    I didn’t make that parallel because I thought it sounded ridiculous.  

  • Kaja

     I won’t date anyone who doesn’t ride a bike.

    Love this series, and leaving them up all weekend. Keep up the good work.

  • Jack Goldstein

    Driver gets an award for being truly one of the most ridiculous trolls ever to grace this comments section.

  • carma

    Driver, i probably agree w/ you 95% of the time, but i would have kept it to myself if i have nothing positive to say.

    yes, shes a bit snobbish  , but heh, thats just the way she is..

  • Well, a new boyfriend got her hooked on it, so why can’t she get someone she likes into it? I suppose e.g. internet dating forms would need to ask “Would you date me if you had better infrastructure?” 

  • Driver

    OK, maybe I shouldn’t have made the comment so personal.  I considered editing out my last sentence of my original comment, but since it has generated so many responses, I will leave it there so people don’t start to use their imagination as to what the original comment was. 
    Erin, I apologize for the insensitive nature of my comment; it was out of line and uncalled for.

  • Anonymous

    That’s a great city bike, and she looks great on it.  Lucky for her, all the coolest (and fittest) guys prefer to date strong women who are self-propelled. 😉

  •  Her bike is stunning.  She looks happy and fit, no doubt biking helps in both categories.  I am very much enjoying this series.  TFS!

  • me

     Better question is “Why isn’t Erin wearing a helmet?”

  • Bob Lincoln

     Actually, no, not really.

  • Here?s the sixth portrait in Streetsblog?s weekly ?Why I Ride? series. Photo copyright Dmitry Gudkov I always like to see bikes like Erin’s – elegant, but clearly bearing the scuffs and scratches that come with regular …

  • David

    Yeah, I get the no-helmet for the portrait, but it should be in the basket.

  • J

    As someone who bikes for almost all of my transportation needs, I find it to be very awkward to date someone who doesn’t bike. I either have to completely change how I get around (which I would prefer not to do), or we have to have a weird arrangement of either me taking my bike on the subway or splitting up and meeting at the next location. None of these problems exist if the other person bikes. There isn’t really a good car analogy, since you can typically carry a passenger in a car.

  • Pretty soon she’ll be riding a Trek Madone!

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