Bicyclist of the Month
This month we recognize Christine and Steve McIntosh, enthusiastic supporters of Bike Euclid. And congratulations Christine on becoming the new Ward 5 Councilperson! Christine and Steve share with us their differing approaches to bicycling.
Where do you enjoy riding? Is it for transportation, recreation, or both? Describe the experience.
SM: When I am on my road bike, I love to riding along the lake. The view is always great and the wind that comes from either direction always provides some additional excitement. My favorite type of riding though is on my mountain bike. I love to hike and love to ride. It's the best of both worlds. I never met a trail I didn't like, and there are quite a few solid ones within an hour or less of Euclid.
CM: I enjoy riding through side streets in Euclid, admiring different house styles and seeing residents out in their yards landscaping or playing with kids. My riding has become more recreational since moving to Euclid three years ago, especially after the city adopted sharrow lanes (yay, Euclid!). When I lived near downtown Cleveland, I would ride all over, east to west and everywhere in between, both for recreation and for transportation.
If you have a roadside emergency or need to repair something, how do you handle it? For example, are you able to fix a flat?
SM: I carry a multi-tool, tire lever, CO2 cartridge, and a spare tube whenever I ride. I haven’t had a flat in quite a long time. Now that I have stated this though, I’m sure one will be coming soon. In any case I'd get off the road and fix the problem.
CM: I have been shown how to repair flats several times throughout the years, but shamefully have never done one myself! Last time I had a flat, I was near a bike shop so I walked it over for repair. For other repairs or modifications, we call up Two One Fix Bicycle, a locally owned & operated mobile repair & maintenance company. In the spring & summer, they station at different locations around town so we've utilized that as well as their home visits.
Do you ride year round? How do you dress for the weather? Do you wear any special clothing?
SM: I ride 3/4 out of the year, but have become very intrigued with winter fat bike riding in the snow. Hopefully I’ll get to try that this year. If I’m riding some distance I’ll wear my cycling shorts and a jersey. When I’m mountain biking I’ll where my mountain bike shorts with whatever t-shirt or flannel I grab from the closet. If it’s cold or wet I’ll wear a lightweight, water resistant jacket along with a base layer compression shirt and pants. For a quick jaunt to a restaurant or bar in Euclid I'll wear whatever I have on.
CM: I am a three seasons rider. It would have to be one of those rare 70º days for me to pull my bike out in the winter. I typically dress in layers year round to adapt to our ever changing weather patterns. I do not own any quintessential "cycling" gear and I doubt I ever will. Instead, it's whatever I have on which is usually jeans or shorts, a tee or tank and a hoodie.
Do you ride your bike to work or school? Describe the experience.
SM: I work in Cuyahoga Falls and when I lived in Akron about 6 years ago I would ride to work frequently. Since moving north to Cleveland and then Euclid I can only ride to work when I don’t have to be there at a certain time. It’s usually over the summer and I will just cruise down the towpath.
CM: Not any longer now that I work from home, but I did when I lived and worked downtown. Even with traffic and congestion there, I found motorists to be aware and considerate of cyclists, and never had much of a problem commuting.
What one cycling experience stands out most in your memory.
SM: It's hard to say as its pretty much a blast any time I get to ride. I guess it would have to be any chance I get to ride the Allegrippis Trail System at Raystown Lake in PA. They are super-fun trails and it’s great to end the day with some brews watching the sunset over the lake. A close second would be when Euclid painted the sharrows on Lakeshore Blvd. I think Christine and I road to Cleveland Brewery on 185th that first Friday they were up; we were very excited that Euclid was moving closer to becoming a bike-friendly city.
CM: Spending the past few summers riding to Sims Park to catch a sunset or a concert at Summer at Sims. Anytime we get to jump on our bikes to commute to a Euclid event is a fun time. Hope to see more cyclists doing the same in the future!
If you could change or improve one thing about your cycling experience, what would it be?
SM: I really wish cars and cyclists could use the road a bit more harmoniously. Just slow it down a bit and exercise a tad more patience. I think getting more people out to ride in Euclid, even if it's just up to Sims or to the neighborhood store or restaurant would help raise some awareness.
CM: Dedicated and protected bike lanes. If more main roads had them, we would all feel safer (motorists included!). I hope more cities adopt them into their road improvement plans and I will do all I can to promote the same within our community.
Why do you ride?
SM: I ride because it's fun.
CM: I love the perspective you get when you're on a bike cruising through town. I enjoy feeling my heart beat a bit faster, using the power of my legs to propel myself forward and the sense that you’re flying as the air encompasses you. I enjoy the connectivity; to nature and the elements, rubber hitting the road, and everyone and everything you encounter along the way.
To nominate yourself or someone you know for Bicyclist of the Month, contact us at bikeEuclid@gmail.com.
Bike Euclid is a local advocacy group working to promote a comprehensive stress free bicycling network for transportation and pleasure, and to encourage and connect bicyclists to resources which support their safe and legal use of their bicycle. Bike Euclid is a chapter of Bike Cleveland. This close working relationship benefits residents of both communities as well as bicyclists throughout the region. Go to www.bikecleveland.org and www.bikeEuclid.org to learn how to get involved, and check out our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/euclidbikes for event details and ideas shared by our community of members.