Chicago cycling chick

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006
By Yokota Fritz

Dorothee started riding her bike to work in August after her car broke down on the highway. In the short time since she's become car-free, she's latched onto cycling with an envangelist's fervor. "Many of my friends are avid bicyclists and made fun of me for owning a mountain bike, especially because I hardly used it," she says. "I used to wonder why they were freaking out about some track bike they saw in the neighborhood or obsessing over new helmets. I figured it was just another hipster lifestyle phase that was really all about consumerism. I never understood their enthusiasm until I got riding myself!"

Dorothee always considered bicycles as recreational tools for short distances, not an actual way to get around. Since she started riding for transportation, she traded her old mountain bike in for a lighter racing bike.

"I'm lucky to have many helpful friends who ride bikes. When I decided to start riding, I looked around my parent's backyard and found an old, rusty but otherwise good racing bike. It was light and just my size so my friend brought me and my bicycle to a great shop in Chicago called Cycle Smithy . I also searched the internet for bike resources in Chicago and the best thing I found was the Chicago Bike Map. Once I had my bike it was just a matter of getting on the road with my map or friends and letting go of the fear of getting hit by a car!"

To spread the good news of bike riding in the Chicago area, Dorothee started My Alternative Fuel, a site with a blog, photos, and links to bicycle resources in Chicago as well as articles. "I like to call it 'How I stopped worrying and learned to love the bike.' Basically it's about an average suburban girl giving up cars in favor of bicycles and learning as she rides. "

Check it out: My Alternative Fuel.

Photo info: Dorothee in Wilmette, Illinois by A. Royal.

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Yep. Keep pushin' the stereotype of bike commuters who can't afford a new CAR. Bike commuters: ex-motorists with suspended licenses, DUI rap sheets, and felony convictions. Though I must say the stereotype of a crazed drunk bicyclist has worked to Santa's advantage from time to time.

Goomba must be thinking "Dat Santa is crazy riding in the middle of the road, weaving all over the place like sum kinda DRUNK. Better give him space." Ka-ching!
I don't see this as perpetuating a negative stereotype at all. I liked her site and just added it to my bicycle commuting Squidoo lens.
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