True confessions of a bike commuter: Ann Hinterman

Ann Hinterman is a rock star. 

I first met Ann when I was living in Ravenswood and we connected over our mutual love for worms.  Ann is the Market Manager for the stellar Glenwood Sunday Market, and all-around advocate for all things organic, local, and sustainable.  As such, she’s also an avid bike commuter.

There's nothing Ann can't carry on her bike, even canning supplies for her annual tomato processing fest!

Where do you live? Rogers Park (a neighborhood on the North side of Chicago, IL)

How long is your commute? When I began commuting by bike, I was working at a bakery in Lincoln Park, biking 13 miles round-trip daily.  My commute now that I work in the 49th Ward Alderman’s office is a wimpy 1 mile round-trip!

What kind of bike do you ride?  A powder blue Raleigh hybrid affectionately called Baby Blue, or the Blue Bombshell

Do you wear work clothes on your bike, or wear bike clothes and change at work? When my commute was longer, I’d peel off my sweaty riding clothes and change into something more customer-appropriate after a quick stop in the walk-in freezer to cool down.  On the road, the hard core cyclists were always swishing past me in aerodynamic outfits, so I thought that’s what bike commuting should look like.  Visiting Amsterdam with it’s incredible bike-centric cultural opened my eyes to a world of commuting sans Spandex.  One woman even said that a bike commute is the perfect venue for those gorgeous killer heels, because you don’t have to walk in them!  Now I hop on my bike in work clothes and a bandanna to wipe my brow.

How do you carry your stuff? Paniers? Messenger bag? Milk Crate? I installed a rear rack with two collapsible metal baskets.  It’s heavy, but I haven’t come across a load I couldn’t carry on my bike.  This includes the delivery of two giant canning pots to a friend across the ‘hood, and (gentle) transport of my office compost worms- bin bungeed on the back, hand-carrying the container of worms while biking one handed.

Fair-weather rider? No way!  I don’t really have an excuse, now that my commute is so short.  I say that I bike in all weather because I’m lazy- it would take way longer to walk than to ride!  Plus, now I’ve outfitted myself in a stylin’ Dutch cycling poncho, so I’m ready for anything!

Scariest moment on the bike: Off-leash, bike aggressive dogs.  Yikes!

Tips for new riders: Get a bike you love or get a good tune-up of your current bike, find a carrying system that works for you so you’re not limited by what fits in your backpack, and start riding!  Don’t give up, it gets easier.

Why you ride: It’s faster than walking, cheaper than CTA, good for me and the planet.  And I can rock my Glenwood Sunday Market bumper sticker 🙂

If you are a bike commuter and would like to be featured in this series, please send an email to lauren@artintercepts.org for consideration.  Thanks!

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