I Love Riding in the City – Melissa Braxton
NAME: Melissa Braxton
LOCATION: Brooklyn, NY
OCCUPATION: Architecture Student
Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
I moved to Brooklyn from Austin a few years ago and I have to say the best part of riding here is no longer sweating enough to pass out whenever I ride. Don’t get me wrong, winter riding isn’t the greatest here. But 50% of the year is beautiful, non-sweat inducing or finger-freezing weather.
Living in Brooklyn there seem to be a thousand different places to ride for leisure – Prospect Park, Central Park, Kissena Velodrome, and on and on. Not to mention how refreshing, fast, and inexpensive it is to get to work or where ever you need. Every neighborhood is different, there’s always something exciting going on around you, you’re always having to be on edge and ready for whatever the road swings your way.
What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
Automatically I think Copenhagen, simply because cycling culture there is so mainstream as to be placed above automobiles. But after living there for a bit I missed the feeling of passing cars in traffic, making brief eye contact with a miserable person eating McDonalds in their gas-guzzler stuck in traffic (a bit harsh, I apologize).
Riding anywhere in the US raises awareness for cycling as a form of transportation, which I believe we need oodles more of. That’s probably why I would rather stake my claim on the pollution-filled roads of NYC than fit in to the pre-existing and already extremely progressive cycling culture of Copenhagen.
Why do you love riding in the city?
I love the freedom and simplicity of riding. You don’t have to depend on anything or anyone to get where you need to be. There’s not much more to be said, it’s hard to put in words the exhilaration of cycling.
And if you ride, you probably look good naked without trying.
Or just say whatever you want about riding in the city… Poetry anyone?
Riding for me is about comfort and invitation. Cities should no longer require that you own an automobile. It is clear that cars have done nothing but detrimental damage to our urban environments. Cities should be designed for people, whether on foot or on bicycle. Working in the architecture & urban design fields, my dream is to make cities comfortable and inviting for everyone. Desolate, highway-ridden cities are NOT happy, cities.
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