Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A2 Biker Talks about Riding on Two Wheels

Andrew Yapp is a 27 year old Ann Arbor native who gave up his car eight years ago in favor of using a bike as his sole form of transportation. And by bike, I mean the kind powered with his own two legs. Andrew gave up his car, an older model Honda, in favor of biking- to work from his Ann Arbor home, to the store, to visit his friends, to travel- basically, everywhere. He’s currently on a cross-country bike trip that has taken him from San Francisco to Mexico to Florida, to Washington, D.C and back to the west coast, with a stop in Ann Arbor. This major jaunt is his fourth cross-county bike trip. I caught up with Andrew recently to talk about what it’s like to be a bike commuter in Ann Arbor and around the country.

How long have you been a bike commuter?
I've been commuting on my bike since 2001.

Why do you bike instead of driving a car?

Lots of reasons. I never go to the gym because I get my workout on the bicycle. It's environmentally friendly and saves me tons of money. The League of American Cyclists states that the average bike commuter saves around $1,200 per year just by choosing the bike instead of a car. Also, riding a bike is great for peace of mind. It makes you slow down a bit and take quiet roads to avoid the frustration of traffic congestion.

Do you own a car? If not, how long have you been car-less?
No, I don't own a car, and have not since 2001.

How do you bike in bad weather?
I weatherize the bike and myself with fenders, raingear, warm cloths, and sometimes different tires.

Have you ever run into a problem while biking?
I have gotten a few flat tires and other mechanical issues, but nothing as bad or expensive to repair as a car. Unfortunately, lack of bike paths and reckless drivers are a concern in some areas.

Do you commute to work, ride for fun, or both?
Everything by bicycle!

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