Character Stories

Prachi learned to ride a bike late in life, at the age of thirteen. Though, at that age, she didn’t ever get a chance to ride her bike outside of her house compound in India. The streets outside of her house were busy with traffic. I can imagine some similarities to the streets of New York.

Prachi’s took her first proper ride the day she bought a new bike as an undergrad. It was a proper ride, to say the least—all 14 miles of it. Needless to say, Prachi has her daring and ambitious side: ‘I head straight for the most difficult path,’ she says.

Prachi moved to New York nearly a year ago, and hasn’t ridden or even owned a bike since she gave hers away in India. When she said yes to being a contestant in the SPOKED Kickstand IxD battle, Kristin and I were both excited, but a little confused about how she would bike without a bike. Regardless, we signed her up to color the map in mustard yellow string of yarn.

Still, I couldn’t help to think, ‘why did she do it?’ So, I asked her:

“I’m just looking for reasons to go out in the city, and usually I don’t find one. So I thought, awesome, I can borrow and bike and just go out. And I have at least some motivation to do that. Otherwise, I can’t think of any other reasons why I would go for a walk, on say the Hudson river park in the middle of the day. But now I have to cycle and get miles, so I should go.”

And, when I asked, ‘Are you planning to ride more?’ Prachi unhesitantly answered: ‘Yes, I am. It was awesome.”

But, she didn’t stop at that: “When I did the Hudson River Park stretch, I was like, ‘Wow! I covered an entire stretch of Manhattan in 2 hours.’ It’s good exercise, then you’re also traveling and seeing new places at the same time. And it’s faster than walking around. And much easier than traveling in subways and taxis.”

Certainly, it takes only a taste to know the goodness of biking. Prachi has shown us that.

About Julie via her blog:

“I’m an Urban Girlscout in New York City. I live on the Upper East Side and I always carry a camera – whether it’s just my cell phone, a disposable, a toy camera or my DSLR, I’m always prepared to document the events of the day. (But mostly I use a rough & tough Pentax Optio H90)

April ’10, I started almost-daily bicycle commuting. I try to ride in the clothes I plan to wear to work or whatever event I’m going to, and I take a lot of Bicycle Outfit photos and discuss that here, but I also talk about random stuff, adventures, stuff I bought, etc.

I work as an in-house fit-model and receptionist at a Junior/Women’s clothing company in the Garment District. I’m 32 years old.

Something else very important about me – My husband and I live in a 375 square foot apartment in a Historic Landmark Tenement building. Yep, NYC tiny. I have had a professional home organizer come over and talk me through some things.”

Julie on SPOKED via her blog:

“One week in and the map looks freaking awesome! Some people are showing out and making designs in the map. I am jealous.

I need to go track some rides in the northern part of Manhattan. I’ve been going straight to work and back home. Saturday I rode downtown for my PP volunteer shift but that’s pretty straight down and back up north.

So many people are biking serious miles, like 5 times as many miles as me. Dang.”

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