Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Women Who Bike: Larissa Zimberoff

Larissa during her first century ride last year. Photo: Larissa Zimberoff

Larissa riding the Tour de Cure Photo: pkingDesign

Women Who Bike is a collaborative effort by BIKE NOPA and Bikes And The City that features San Francisco women and their bikes. Each Monday and Wednesday check both blogs for the experiences, stories, and ideas that women who bike the city want to share with you.

What is your bicycling style?
Confident and fast. Riding in the city is dangerous, but, at the same time, when you ride in San Francisco you need to be confident and sure of yourself. I am very aware of my surroundings. It helps me move fast and quick through the city. The streets are for sharing!

How much do you bike and where?
I used to bike to work when I lived near USF. I would ride Golden Gate Avenue down to Market Street. I loved stopping at Broderick and waiting for the light to turn green on Divisadero. Then I would bomb down the hill with the wind at my face, grinning ear to ear. On a good day, I could make it all the way to Franklin Street. These days I bike out of the city to Marin for long weekend rides. I do the Wiggle to the Panhandle through Golden Gate Park and then to the Presidio and the Golden Gate Bridge. It's my favorite way to get out of the city.

Is biking your main exercise?
I have two bikes, but these days I'm usually on my road bike, Roger. I like to do a Saturday ride of about 50-85 miles. I love coming back from a long ride, eating a big meal, and kickin' back.

How much of your social life revolves around biking?
I'm a hybrid biker. I bike, hike, swim, do yoga, and run. It's hard to find time for everything. When I can, I volunteer for the SFBC and through that have some amazing friends. It's a very special community, and I'm lucky to be a part of it.

How can San Francisco encourage more women and girls to bike?
I think fitting riding into everyday life comes from better educational outreach, safe city roads, and greater public awareness. San Francisco is a great town to learn how to ride; there's always someone around to give you a hand. Just ask. When I got my first road bike, about three years ago, I asked my Aunt Bunni to show me the ropes. She took me out on the roads of Sonoma and helped me quickly get over my road riding anxiety. She's an inspiration to me as a rider. In fact she's out right now on a cross country ride from New Orleans to Lake Itasca, Minnesota. I'm so impressed with her.

I get most upset when I'm biking when ...
guys think I need help getting up a hill. I'm not sure why they do, but it's happened twice. In my first Century in San Diego and, most recently, at the Tour de Cure in Palo Alto. Trust me: if I need your help, I'll ask.

My message to women who want to try biking:
It's great exercise and men on bikes are hot. Get out there and meet them.

BIKE NOPA note: One of the SFBC activities that Larissa has volunteered for is the Good Roads Campaign, an ongoing effort to keep San Francisco streets smooth and safe (no potholes!) for bicyclists.

Check here for previous posts in this series and stop by Bikes And The City every Monday and Wednesday for even more Women Who Bike.

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