#WomenWhoBike: Catherine G.

Commuting by bike has been Catherine's main mode of transportation for over 10 years! She is a #WomenWhoBike MVP! Read about her journey.

Your age: 53

Your occupation & a bit about you: I have worked in the non-profit world since 2003. I love working to make the world a better place for all people, particularly those that have been historically marginalized by the dominant culture.

In which neighborhood do you live? Work? I live in the Bonzeville neighborhood on the Near East side and work in the University Area just across the street from OSU.

Do you bike to get to work/school? I have been biking year round as my primary mode of transportation since 2006. I bike to work, meetings, coffee, worship, visits with friends and family, when I visit a place outside of Columbus, I either take my bike or rent one. It is the best way to see a new place and often the best way to get around.

What other kinds of trips do you use your bike for? In the last year I’ve started using my bike for trips between cities. This year I rode from Columbus to Xenia then Yellow Springs and from Columbus to Parkersburg, West Virginia. I’m looking forward to doing more traveling this way.

How did you make those trips before you started bike commuting? Like most other people I traveled by car. When I was 15.5 I couldn’t wait to get my learners permit and learn to drive. I didn’t really look at my bike again until I was in my 40’s.

Why did you enjoy commuting by bike? I started commuting by bike for economic reasons. I realized I could either send my kids to college or own and maintain a car. I chose sending my kids to college. I kept riding because it turns out it is not only a cheaper way to get around it is also a much quicker way to travel to most places I go for work. I’m in the University Area and downtown lots and congestion is bad enough that I’m traveling a pretty similar speed of cars. The real time savings comes in parking. Finding a car parking space can take a long time and require waling blocks to get to my destination. When I’m traveling by bike I can usually park pretty close to the door I want to enter by parking on a sign post. Biking saves me all kinds of time. I also realized I’m nicer on the days I travel by bike. There is something about being outside, even if it is only for 15 minutes, and using my body to travel that is REALLY good for my mental health.

Why did you decide to sign up for CoGo? I initially signed up for CoGo to support bike share in my community, but I’m surprised at how often I use it! I own multiple bikes, but there are times when I end up away from home and use a CoGo bike to get to my next destination or to get back home. There is a CoGo station next to my primary bike shop so I use it when I drop my bike off for service to get to work. And to be honest, on rainy or snowy weather days, it is nice to be able to use CoGo and know someone else is going to take care of maintenance so I don’t have to wipe down my bike after my ride.

Any tips for newer bike commuters? You can do it! Connect with other people to help you figure out anything that seems insurmountable. There are lots of good bike people in Central Ohio and Yay Bikes! (www.yaybikes.com) is a fantastic resource for people using bikes for transportation. There are resources to support you in doing this.

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