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Cyclist of the Month: Petra Kirstein

Meet Petra Kirstein! The former Transportation Alternatives staffer and life-long bike commuter rides each day from Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn to the Random House building at Columbus Circle in Manhattan. Her commute includes a stop at her son Magnus' daycare and a jaunt over the Brooklyn Bridge.

Take a look, learn something about one of New York's many bike commuters, and take away a little inspiration! Or nominate someone for Cyclist of the Month by sending us an email.

<br> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">[intro music]</font> <br> </p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Petra Kirstein:</i> [00:14] My name is Petra. I work at Random House and I ride my bike to work. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">[music]</font> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Petra Kirstein:</i> [00:26] My typical morning commute is I leave the house at eight. I take my son from, I guess Bed-Stuy to Cobbler Hill to day-care. I drop him off and the bike seat and then I proceed over the Brooklyn Bridge Chamber Street to the West Side bike path. Then I take the whole bike path to 55<sup>th</sup> Street and then cross over to the Random House building where I work on 55<sup>th</sup> and Broadway. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">[music]</font> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Petra Kirstein:</i> [00:59] I always commuted by bike, since I was a kid back in Berlin, Germany. And in New York… since I moved to New York nine years ago I always rode my bike unless it’s snowing, icy or I don’t feel like it. And the current commute has been for one year now, since I started working at the new job. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">[music]</font> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Petra Kirstein:</i> [01:25] Well I think the biggest thing is, you talk about work/life balance, that if you ride your bike to work it’s actually a part of your life and you… you see what’s going on. I saw the trees blooming down Bergen Street this spring, it’s really nice. I meet people on the bike path, I see friends who also all ride their bikes. New York has such wonderful weather so by the time I come to work I feel I’ve taken advantage of it. Like everybody runs out for lunch, look, it’s so nice. I say, oh, I’ve been outside. I already rode my bike outside. I feel ahead, you know. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">[music]</font> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Petra Kirstein:</i> [02:06] Oh it’s… it’s not funny, it’s just fun that often when I ride, especially when it… when I come to the bike path, I often have a strong headwind and then it’s really nice to find somebody who I can ride behind. And then like sometimes they play along and then they ride behind me and you do this little drafting game and then you start talking and then you wish each other a nice day, and sometimes you meet the same person.</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">[music]</font> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Petra Kirstein:</i> [02:37] Oh the bike path is the best part. I think everybody who commutes into Manhattan should do the detour, take the bike path cos you save so much time without the lights, you save so many nerves. And even if you have to cross town at some point, it’s really still worth it. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">[music]</font> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Petra Kirstein:</i> [03:00] New York is beautiful and New York has beautiful weather. And if you work a lot and don’t have much time to ride, this is your time to ride and take advantage of living in this really nice city with the really nice weather. Once you get used to it, you’re going to enjoy it. In the beginning you might think there are all these obstacles, but once you start riding it’s like okay, I can put on comfy pants, okay I can put an extra t-shirt in my bag, and okay I can find a route that I feel comfortable with. Just try it, it’s wonderful. </font> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">[music]</font> <br></p> http://transcriptdivas.ca/transcription-canada/
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  • Lani

    You can tell that kid is a future bike commuter. Look at that photo.

  • George Taylor

    Wow, she rides fast!