For some people, the simple enjoyment of riding a bike is enough to start commuting to work by bike. Kati Arzeta, a librarian at CH2M Hill in downtown Portland commutes from Gresham three days a week, and she’s working to increase that to everyday of the week. Since she started commuting 3 years ago, Kati says she’s gained a lot of confidence and feels much more comfortable riding her bike to work now. To her, the key was starting at a comfortable pace and building up from there.
This is Kati’s third year participating in the Bike Commute Challenge, and she’s excited to see if she can beat her record from last year. Kati says she particularly enjoys how family friendly the challenge is, because it helped get more of her family members involved in bicycling. “If it wasn’t for the challenge, I would never have started riding. It’s such a good thing for families, now my husband does it with me,” she says. For Kati, improving education about bicycling is essential; there are so many stereotypes and misconceptions about bike riders, and the Bike Commute Challenge has helped her understand and become a part of the bicycling community in Portland. She also thinks it’s beneficial to everybody to have safer bicycling infrastructure.
Kati says there are so many great places to ride in Portland, but one of her personal favorites is to ride west on SE Ankeny and over the Hawthorne Bridge. “Going across the river, when you’re coming over the [Hawthorne] bridge and you see the water; it doesn’t get much better than that!” We couldn’t agree more, Kati!
Her advice to new riders is to not be scared, know the rules of the road, and most of all, have fun!
Thank you, Kati, for sticking with the Bike Commute Challenge and continuing to push yourself to do better!