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Here’s the eighth portrait in Streetsblog’s weekly “Why I Ride” series. Enjoy the long weekend everyone. We'll see you back here on Tuesday.

A lifelong New Yorker, Gloria has lived most her life in the Bushwick area and has been riding a bike for nearly as long as she can remember. She grew up in a family of eleven; even before she knew how to ride on two wheels, she recalls riding her tricycle with her siblings past the Brooklyn Navy Yard to watch soldiers train.

Today she works as a housekeeper and rides her Schwinn (a recent present from her son to replace an old bike) to her various jobs around Brooklyn. She says the bike is a little heavy, but she loves it. "I like the exercise. It makes the legs strong, and helps me breathe better." What doesn't she like? "The 18-wheelers. Those aren't so nice." She feels safer in the new bike lanes, especially the protected ones along Flushing and Kent Avenues. "They're great. We never had anything like it before."

And it turns out that for Gloria, biking is more than just a cheap way to get to work. "Even when I'm not working, sometimes I ride for hours, just for exercise." These rides often take her into Greenpoint and then over the Pulaski Bridge into Queens. Thanks to cycling, she knows all the surrounding neighborhoods really well. "You always see interesting  things around you on a bike. "

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