Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Women Who Bike: Lynne Howe

Not in NOPA, but a pretty sweet spot

BIKE NOPA and Bikes And The City have spun out a new collaborative bike series, Women Who Bike. Each Monday and Wednesday we will feature San Francisco women and their bicycles. Check both our blogs for the experiences, stories, and ideas that women who bike the city want to share with you. Post your thoughts and leave comments for the featured riders.

Second in a series: Lynne Howe

How would you characterize your biking style?
I am a confident and assertive bicyclist. Since I have been biking my entire life, starting as a child in a seat on the back of my parents' bikes, I am confident in my abilities to negotiate traffic and handle my bike. Because I believe I have a right to be on the road, I behave as if I belong there, which I think makes auto drivers generally respond accordingly.

How often do you bike and what for?
Almost daily for everything -- fun, exercise, commuting to work, shopping, getting to medical appointments, the library, jury duty, dinner with friends. If I'm going more than three blocks, I ride my bike!

How can San Francisco encourage more women to bike, including teens and younger?
More women, teen, and child-friendly spaces and rides. I think it is easier to stick with something like biking when you are doing it with others. It is more fun and there really is safety in numbers.

Have you had best dates or great friendships start with biking?
Unfortunately, I do most of my biking alone, but I do have two wonderful friendships that both began in 2008 with women I met through volunteering with SFBC (San Francisco Bicycle Coalition) and have blossomed by getting to know each other on subsequent bike rides.

I surprise people when I bike by ...
the distances I cover because I don't have a magazine cover athlete's body. My goal is to ride 100 miles each week and I enjoy taking rides of 40+ miles.

My message to women who want to try biking:
Consider taking Bike Ed offered by SFBC. It covers road laws pertaining to bikes as well as best practices for negotiating traffic. There is a riding day with instructors to aid you. Periodically there is a woman-only class, but the kind of men who attend the co-ed classes are not generally the risk-taking hot shots who try to intimidate everyone else with their bike knowledge.

Lynne bikes through (and stops in ) NOPA often.

First BIKE NOPA profile in the series appears here.

Be sure to check Bikes And The City for more Women Who Bike profiles

Women who bike: Take the Writing Women Back into Bicycling survey online by May 15th. More than 7300 women already have. Survey conducted by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP). See survey here.


  1. Right on Lynne!! I totally dig your cool approach and commitment to cycling. I'm on board with the "more than three blocks.." plan.

  2. Great profile! I'm the same way about basically biking anywhere further away than 3 blocks. My husband says biking has made me lazy because now I never want to walk anywhere :)

  3. @ Dottie: that's a first for me...lazy for opting for biking!

  4. It is a pleasure to know Lynne - she is such a great rider, the distances she covers are crazy cool, and it has been great riding and chatting with her around the city :D