Biking to Work: County Board Edition

henry dunbar active transportation arlington county
Henry Dunbar Tweet Us @BikeArlington@BikeArlington May 5, 2016

Henry Dunbar is the Director of Operations for Active Transportation. He is a year-round bike commuter and wants to make it easy for everyone to get around by whatever mode they choose, except driving alone which should be harder.

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In profiling everyday Arlingtonians who bike, we were happy to catch one of Arlington’s new County Board members, Katie Cristol, cycling with her husband Steve to the Go Gaga for Green event at George Mason University on April 30. BikeArlington Program Director, Henry Dunbar connects with County Board Member Katie Cristol to ask her about her new-found love for biking:

Katie Cristol

BikeArlington: So do you love getting around Arlington on a bike?
Katie Cristol: You’re right! I’m very enthusiastic about getting around on two wheels in Arlington.

BA: Would you call yourself an “Avid Cycling Enthusiast”?
KC: An “avid cyclist”? Let’s say I have the enthusiastic part down.

BA: Good. When did you start biking on a regular basis?
KC: About late summer-fall of last year.

BA: And what made you decide to start biking more?
KC: Well, for the first time in about five years, I’ve got a commute. I used to work from home, and now I’ve got a new gig, and it’s pretty bikeable from where I live [off Columbia Pike].

BA: And how far is your commute?
KC: I’d say it’s about two and half miles.

BA: And do you find that’s very easy to do? Do you break a sweat, I mean, how hard is it?
KC: That’s a good question. It depends on how fast I’m going. I’ll go a pretty leisurely pace. It’s pretty important that I land at the office still able to look somewhat professional. As a female biker, I have that challenge, as I believe many of us do, that you don’t look too disheveled on the other end.

BA: And what do you like about biking to work?
KC: It’s great to get the exercise. Sometimes it’s hard to fit in a visit to the gym. So knowing that you are getting your exercise during your commute is really nice.

BA: How does it differ from driving to work? Have you ever thought about how biking differs?
KC: Absolutely. I’m not all the way there as an all-weather biker yet. If it’s snowing or raining or really humid I will still take the drive. The drive is certainly faster, but it’s less introspective. You get less time for reflection. You certainly don’t get that great feeling when you get to work, or get home at the end of the day, that you’ve moved your muscles and got some fresh air.

BA: Finally, what do we need to do to get more people to bike in Arlington?
KC: We need to make it comfortable to bike. The protected bike lanes are helpful, and the knowledge and awareness that we do have a lot of places in the county where it is easy and comfortable to bike. But knowing which roads connect to one another, you shouldn’t have to be a personal friend of Henry Dunbar to understand how to get around.

Thanks for talking with us Katie!

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