Why Janet Rides

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

Janet first started riding a bike in New York in the late 80s, when she was one of the few cyclists bold enough to brave the wild streets of Manhattan. It was an adventure, but certainly not for everyone. After living in Minnesota for a few years, Janet returned to New York and founded a commercial real estate brokerage firm. The city was becoming increasingly more bike friendly, and Janet embraced biking in a more relaxed, utilitarian way that was not really possible before.

Janet’s work usually takes her from her office in the Village to various properties in Midtown South. Her old Bridgestone is usually the fastest and always the cheapest way to get to her destination. And it’s not lost on her the impression she makes on clients when she arrives for a meeting by bike. Her customers are often people who never really considered biking before so she makes a conscious effort to at least get them to entertain the possibility.

She’s something of a bike evangelist, and she has a few converts under her belt — often people who never considered biking before. She tries to show them what she has discovered — that a great number of their trips in the city can be done more quickly and cheaply (and more safely than ever before) by bike. She tells me that a customer “broke down and bought a bike” after spending “hours and hours with me.” Another convert is a 72-year-old building owner who gave up his car for a bike and has no regrets. He didn’t realize just how much anxiety in his life revolved directly around the issue of parking.

Through her work in commercial real estate, Janet sees first-hand the relationship between the provision of adequate bike facilities and the increase in biking in New York. In several major deals she closed recently, bike parking was a significant sticking point. As New York reinvents itself into a more cycle-friendly place, Janet and her Bridgestone will continue to be at the forefront.


Why Gloria Rides

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 […]

Why Lisa Rides

Lisa is a city planner with Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration, an organization focused on developing small businesses and revitalizing the neighborhood. She grew up with bicycles – she remembers as a little kid being jealous of her older brothers because they had cooler bikes than her. It was when she moved to Philadelphia 10 years ago […]

Why Mary Rides

I ran into Mary on her commute down the First Avenue bike lane. She works as an ESL instructor and has been bike commuting in New York since 1995. For the past 10 years she has been at her dream job — teaching English to delegates and staff at the United Nations English Language Programme. […]

Why Iga Rides

Here’s the latest portrait in Streetsblog’s weekly “Why I Ride” series. Iga is a 15-year resident of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and she’s been biking around New York for about that long. She says she’s not a bike commuter but likes to go on long rides for pleasure. “Sometimes I ride to Coney Island, or to the […]

Why Cynthia Rides

Here’s the 11th portrait in Streetsblog’s weekly “Why I Ride” series. This is Cynthia and her son, Adam. They were out for a leisurely ride on Prospect Park West along with Cynthia’s two older daughters, who were on their own bikes. Cynthia just graduated from a paralegal studies program and is looking for a job, […]

Why Jessica Rides

Here’s the 13th portrait in Streetsblog’s weekly “Why I Ride” series. Jessica is the fitness editor for Prevention magazine. She’s lived in New York for ten years, but has only been commuting from Brooklyn to Manhattan for the last couple of months. Not that she hasn’t been riding. She’s ticked up countless laps in Prospect […]