Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Keeping Up With the Team Bike Challenge No Matter What

My Team Bike Challenge teammate, Leslee Hamilton, found a way to hop on a bicycle even when she visited Washington, D.C., on a business trip this month.

While visiting the nation’s capital, Leslee rented a bike to explore the city’s sites.

“It’s a good alternative to taking a cab to get to the Franklin Roosevelt Memorial,” she says.

Leslee has been biking to work every day this month as a member of my team for the Team Bike Challenge. Leslee, myself and three other teammates have been biking as much as possible to show how easy it is to make the bicycle a primary mode of transportation.

For Leslee, however, biking to work is a much more serious endeavor. For about six years now, she has ridden the 3.5-mile roundtrip from her house near Cahill Park in San Jose to the Mineta Transportation Institute downtown. She parks her bike in her office on the fourth floor.

“The only downside is that I have to take the elevator,” she says. “Without the bike, I used to take the stairs.”

Although the ride from home to work is pretty much a straight shot for Leslee, she says she encounters a lot of traffic.

“That’s why I love to ride the Guadalupe River Park Trail,” she says. “I’ve never had a serious problem with cars, but I’d just as soon not share the road.”

As current president of the Board of Directors for the Friends of the Guadalupe River Park & Gardens, Leslee has worked to improve and extend the trail running through downtown San Jose. She and I both look forward to the day that the trail goes from Alviso to Almaden Valley without interruptions.

For people who don’t regularly bike to work, Leslee says all you need is a little inspiration.

“Six years ago, I saw someone from my neighborhood bike to work, and it took the same amount of time as driving,” she says. “At that moment, I knew I could ride my bike to work every day.”