Launder and Press
Cyclist – West Philadelphia
What is your favorite cycling memory?
Last summer I went on a long bike journey. I started in Baku, Azerbaijan, on the Caspian Sea; crossed Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey; and then continued up through Eastern Europe to Helsinki Finland. It was a little over 4,000 miles and took about 3 1/2 months. I rode as far as Bulgaria with a guy from Azerbaijan, who in the course of the trip became a good friend. From there, I headed north and he headed through Europe to Morocco and is now riding down through Africa, from Egypt to South Africa. I am taking that trip vicariously from his posts. He is now in Tanzania.
What’s your least favorite or most unexpected cycling memory?
This is a good news / bad news story. When I was 7, on the first early spring day warm enough to ride our bikes, my friends and I headed out on our bikes. We tried cutting across a field to the next neighborhood. The winter’s snow had just melted and the ground was saturated. We got stuck in the mud to the point where we could not even pull our bikes loose. That is the bad part of the story. The good news was luckily I was not too far from home and my mom came to our rescue, trudging through the mud to pull us free. Bet she loved that. She did not even complain. I had a great Mom.
How often do you choose to ride a bike and why?
I ride for pleasure, but mainly ride for transportation. I cycle for Wash Cycle three days a week. I also ride or walk to get to most places I need to go. I do have a car, but drive it only as a last resort, which is about once every few weeks. I like living in a community where I have the choice to walk or bike most places.
Why did you want to work for Wash Cycle Laundry?
Before retiring I had an office job. I would see the Wash Cycle bikes on the streets and would think to myself, when I retire, that is what I want to do. I thought I love to bike; I can get some great exercise; and be paid for it. I loved the environmental aspect of Wash Cycle. I also think when people see a business, making a profit hauling hundreds of pounds of laundry, it sends a message that bikes are a serious form transportation. I wanted to be part of that. Well my dream came true and I love it. The icing on the cake are the people I work with and the many great customers I serve.
What’s your earliest bike riding memory?
I remember back to when I learned to ride, when I was 5 and living in Warren, PA, in northwest PA. Being that it was the early 60’s and we were in a small town, we had a lot of freedom as kids and being able to bike expanded our world even more. By 6 years old I remember riding several blocks from home to a rock quarry. It seemed like a big adventure. By the summer after 3rd grade, I was riding to baseball practice and several miles into the downtown to swim class. All this riding was on a bike with high handle bars and an banana seat. I never was good at popping wheelies though.
Finally, what would you say to convince someone to ride a bike?
There are many reasons to bike. It is an environmentally low impact way to get around; it saves money; it is good exercise; and great fun. It is also a great way to meet people. Some of the best people I know, I have met while biking.
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