Everyone, please say hello to the September Cyclist of the Month, Joe Wieronski. Â Joe is an architect with Askew Nixon Ferguson and a bike commuter in Memphis.
I sent Joe a list of questions about his experiences as a cyclist in Memphis; here’s what he had to say.
1. Â Letâ€™s start at the beginning. Â I understand that you bike to work? Â How long have you been doing that?
I do bike to work when I can; if I have meetings outside the office, I drive my hybrid. Â Iâ€™ve been biking to work for a few years now.
2. Â What were the main concerns or fears you had when you first started cycling?
Falling off when I was a kid; later riding on the road with cars.
How has your actual experience on the road compared to your expectations of what it would be like?
Pretty good, no major problems except when I wasnâ€™t paying attention and ran over a biker who fell off their bike. Â I love biking on the road, you experience so much more than driving in a car.
3. Â How long is your commute to work?
Very short, itâ€™s just a mile and a half.
What route do you follow?
I follow the back roads through neighborhoods with lots of trees. Â That makes it much cooler in the hot summer.
Do you cross or ride on any roads that are particularly well suited for cycling?
I donâ€™t hit the Greenline on my way to work but neighborhood roads are great for cycling.
Any that are not so well suited?
Poplar is not, but I only have to cross it, not travel along it.
4. Â On a scale of one to ten, how awesome is the Shelby Farms Greenline?
10+. Â Everyone should take advantage of this great amenity we have in our city, we are very lucky.
5. Â If you could identify any single road where you would like to see bike lanes installed, which one would it be?
Complete the Greenline to downtown and Madison should be bike friendly too.
How would that make your life as a commuter cyclist better?
It would be easier for me to hit the Greenline from my midtown house and, as far as Madison, I believe it would pump life into that area in many more ways than we can see at present.
6. Â Do you run any errands on your bike?
I do from time to time, but mostly just to get frozen yogurt for a biking break.
How do you handle cargo?
I have a pack that attaches to the back of my bike, giving me plenty of cargo room for now. Â My iPad (for work) will easily fit along with a change of clothes if needed.
Have you invested in any panniers?
Thatâ€™s my next investment.
7. Â Where do you go for information about bike commuting?
The Memphis Hightailers is a great resource along with Livable Memphis and others.
Are there websites you consult?
What about friends in the area who are experienced cyclists?
There are so many friends and acquaintances that I make everyday from biking, all who are glad to give you pointers and to be riding partners. Â There are many weekly rides, such as theÂ one that leaves every Tuesday from the Peddler Bike Shop.
8. Â Have you had any fun cycling adventures, like riding from Shelby Farms to downtown or from midtown to T. O. Fuller State Park?
Iâ€™ve biked to Shelby Farms from midtown and midtown to downtown many times but one of my most memorable adventures was a MS 150 I did a while back. Â The first day was a great 75 mile ride, the second day started out OK but soon started raining and lightning about 10 miles into the ride, thatâ€™s when I caught a ride back to Memphis in the back of a covered truck.
9. Â What kind of bike do you have?
I have a Trek 7.2.
Are there any biking accessories you canâ€™t live without?
My helmet and lights for night riding.
10. Â What about drivers in Memphis?
I have not had a problem but Iâ€™m always looking out for the other guy, cars are much bigger than me and my bike.
How friendly are they to commuter cyclists?
So far so good but I did have a homeless person throw an empty beer can at me once, I think I was on their turf.
11. Â Any other stories youâ€™d like to share?
The only other story I have to share is that biking is great and everyone should give it a try if you can. Â If you donâ€™t bike, try walking, running, swimming or anything to be active and remember to share the road.
Thanks Joe. Â If you’d like to be interviewed for this blog about your cycling adventures in Memphis, just leave me a note in the comments.