VESPER SPOTLIGHT, March 10, 2016

Vesper Name:  Gary Roth
Occupation:  Bus Technology Analyst / Adjunct Professor of Urban Planning
What pair of wheels do you cruise in? I own a Trek 7.3 urban hybrid with MKS Grip King pedals and Ergon GP5 bar ends, but most of the time you can find me on a Citibike.

Why do you bike? 

I love to bike for transportation. If I’m going somewhere, biking is my mode choice.  It’s fun, fast, (relatively) stress free, punctual and keeps me in shape and feeling young.  It is also a great way to stay in touch with the City, because you see what is going on around you. I love living in a city where the distances are short enough to get where I want to go by bicycle.

Which Vespertine item keeps you shining?

 I just purchased a Reflective Riding Shell and am looking forward to springtime when I can use it everyday. It fits in with my theory that drivers will not hit you if they see you. Being bright and being seen is really important when you’re getting around on a bicycle.

Do you have any tips for us about biking in NYC?
Often people ask me if I’m afraid to ride in NYC, and my answer is yes… but that is a good thing.  You need to harness your fear to instill vigilance and caution.  The key to riding in the City is to control your space.  I try to control the lane I’m riding in, so drivers know if they want to go faster, they should not stay behind me.  People honk at me now and again, but they then go in another lane and speed off.  My Reflective Riding Shell makes me more visible and can avoid being hit by distracted drivers. My latest tip is to use GoogleMaps with one earbud for turn-by-turn directions.  It’s amazing!  You have to pull over now and again for a reality check, but most of the time it works great.  You can focus on riding safely, and Google will advise when you need to turn.

There has to be more you want to tell us! Any awkward biking moments? Bike stories/jokes?

Another report was just published about how corrosive commuting is and how it is the worst part of the day for your average “Joe”- for me it’s the opposite. I would like my bike commute to be longer. It is the highlight of my day. If more people got out of their cars… they would feel the same and be much happier.


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