Crazy bike lady? Not.

By : Lowrah · December 5, 2011

Angela Keegan Benson is the Assistant News Director at WCCO-TV and a mother of two. On August 1, 2011 she began her quest to live one full year as a bike commuter. Follow along as she figures out how to mesh the cycling culture with the demands of parenthood and an affinity for 4-inch heels. And yes, she’s committed to sticking it out through February storms.

The Cycling in the Cities blog is one woman's adventure in her first year as a bike commuter.  Her peers call her a "crazy bike lady" for embarking on this bicycle journey, but she has the right attitude.

I am a girl who loves a challenge.  And I especially love it when people tell me I can’t do something.

Someday, we will live in a world where we are NOT considered crazy!  Biking will be a sane, obvious choice, bikers will be accommodated and supported by friends, policy, and infrastructure.  Someday, biking year-round will be normal.  (And then it won't be cool anymore and us hipsters will have to find something else to do...)

Now to the question all my ill-supportive friends ask, “Why?”  It’s really part of a larger effort to live a simpler and smaller, yet fuller life.  The light bulb went off one horrible, snowy evening in February on the umpteenth night I spent two hours in the car with my children commuting up I-94 to our home in Maple Grove.  I tossed apples and Nutrigrain bars into the back seat to fend off the toddler meltdowns.  When we got home the boys went straight to bed, all so that I could wake them at 6am to begin the vicious cycle for another day.  The time I once spent exercising and playing with my children was traded for hours sitting on my growing butt in the car.  My 4-year-old with a speech problem didn’t have to ask, “How much longer ‘til weew in the Naple Grobe?!” Instead, he memorized the water towers. “Two mow ‘til the Minnetonka,” he’d yell.  This was no life.  So I changed it.  I moved to Minneapolis in June.  My 45-mile commute is now 11 miles round-trip.  Now there’s no excuse not to try to live out my dream of seeing what life would be like if I slowed down a little and enjoyed the ride.  And what better way to give it a go than on a bike?

So the journey begins.  I’ll keep you posted on the daily tricks and triumphs of life on two wheels.  I’ll also share stories I discover about the cycling culture in the Twin Cities.  And along the way I’ll try to change the minds of the nay-sayers who can’t understand why I would do this.  I say, why not?

I'm looking forward to following Keegan on her journey.

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