Name: Katy Bryce
Occupation: Business Owner & Freelance Writer
Hometown: Bend, Oregon
What is your typical “super commuter” mode of transportation? (i.e. do you walk, ride a bike, carpool, skateboard, etc.)
Depending on where I’m going, I walk, ride my bike, or carpool with my husband. We own a business together so we carpool to work together quite a bit. I live on the westside of town, so I will walk to certain places. But my most recent way of commuting is by my electric bike, which I just got. It has extra carrying capacity, and is super fun to ride. I’m very excited about this!
If you do this on a regular basis (for example, to work every day), about how far is it each way?
From my house to my business, it’s about 3 miles each way and my husband and I carpool or ride bikes. However, I’ve been temporarily living on the very southeast edge of town, near Horse Butte, which is about 10 miles one way. So, Chris and I have been riding our e-bikes each day to get to our shop.
What is your favorite thing about not driving alone about your trip, preferred option?
I really love riding bikes, and we own a bike part company, so we’re deep in the bike industry. However, I usually have a lot of stuff with me, like my laptop, food, extra clothing and other things. So using my old commuter bike was getting harder and taking longer. Now with the e-bike, I can haul everything I need to while getting fresh air and some exercise.
Do you have any special tips for anyone who wants to walk, bike, ride the bus or carpool on a regular basis?
I think for bike commuting, finding a fun route is key. There are so many “off-road” connectors, through parks, or on trails that make it fun. Additionally, educating yourself on how to be a good cyclist on the roadways is important. When you are confident that you know the rules of the road as a cyclist, you will feel more comfortable riding in traffic and navigating intersections and roundabouts, etc. I’m very adamant about being a safe and conscientious bike commuter.
If walking or biking is you main mode of transport, how could you describe your route? What are the best parts or worst parts?
I like to take unique routes, which aren’t always the fastest. From my house to my work, some of the ride is on quiet streets or through parks, or the Old Mill District. Those sections are bike friendly and nice to ride. The worst parts are the four-way stop at Columbia Street and Simpson Avenue (I’ve lived near that intersection for over 20 years, and I see people run those stop signs all the time), and the short stretch on Wilson Avenue, between 3rd Street and 9th Street. There isn’t much of a bike lane there.
If you’re a carpooler, can you explain a little more about how your carpool group is organized?
When I carpool with my husband, it’s pretty simple. But sometimes we have to coordinate schedules to make sure we can each go to where we need to go during the day.
Is there a particular reason why you choose to walk, bike, ride the bus or carpool?
It’s easy to complain about traffic congestion, but what I realized is that when I’m sitting in my car stuck in traffic, that means I am ALSO part of that traffic! It takes each individual to make the choice to not drive and not be a part of traffic congestion.
Do you do anything differently during different seasons?
I mostly only carpool in the winter.
What would be the ultimate thing that would help you walk, bike, ride the bus or carpool more?
Distracted driving really concerns me, and I always hope that drivers are paying attention to driving and not other things. I also always advocate for more and improved cycling infrastructure, which is definitely happening here in Bend. Oh – and clean bike lanes free of debris are helpful too!