Today’s picture: Meet another one of Louisville’s “Invisible Bicyclists,” Leah Lamdin. Leah lives in Louisville’s Crescent Hill neighborhood. She just moved here from Massachusetts after graduating college in North Carolina.
You should be on the lookout for Leah because you may not see her on her bicycle if you’re texting a friend, eating a cheeseburger, selecting music or smoking while driving your car.
Leah shares a place with a group of friends. Her preferred mode of transportation is a bicycle. She uses her bike to commute from her home, which is midway between her two jobs – Cake Flour Bakery on East Market St. and Fresh Market on Brownsboro Rd.
I met Leah as she was headed into the Crescent Hill Branch of the Louisville Free Public Library on a cold and rainy Tuesday afternoon.
“I don’t mind the weather. You just have to dress for it. So when it’s raining I put on my rain pants and my rain jacket and I go for it.” she said. Her electric smile betrayed the fact that it had been raining off-and-on all day. She protected the saddle of her bike with a plastic bag.
“The winter has been hard. I had to coordinate some rides with friends when it was too cold and icy and slippery. But now that it’s a little warmer, it’s been great. As long as it’s not too slick or too cold, I’m out there.”
Leah grew up in a college town in Massachusetts with a bike exchange shop. She traded an old bike from her childhood for a good quality Jamis hybrid. “I wasn’t a big biker for a long time. But I have a background in outdoor education. I had to get into biking to lead elementary school kids in mountain biking. I had to get good at it. And since then I’ve started road biking as a commuter. I haven’t taken any long-distance trips yet, but I’m enjoying it and I’ve gotten comfortable on the bike.”
For Leah, getting comfortable means getting into the flow of traffic. “The traffic is a bit heavy sometimes here, but I ride in the streets,” she said. “It’s not legal to ride on the sidewalks in Massachusetts. [Same as Kentucky.]
“Honestly, if there is a long, long line of traffic that’s really close and there’s no one on the sidewalk, it feels like the safe thing to ride on the sidewalk. But it’s really much better to get out on the street. If you ride with confidence, you try to trust that people are going to drive around you because that’s their job. You need to keep your eyes open,” she said.
And Leah has one more little thing that adds to her sense of confidence. “I have my little rear view mirror, which is awesome.”
With her parents’ hand-me-down panniers to carry cargo, Leah is ready to roll. What keeps her going in all kinds of weather? “It just feels good to be active and getting out and about while I’m going from place to place,” she said.
Grace. Peace. Bicycle Grease.
PS: Remember, every lane is a bike lane.
Share the road.
………( )/ ( )
Enjoy the ride home.
© Copyright, Kirk M. Kandle, MMXI
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