Heather MacKinnon, Seattle – USA
How would you define yourself as a cyclist?
H: I’d say I’m a commuter turned enthusiast turned bike messenger turned pretending to race bikes against pros on the track, and occasionally in the street.
How many bikes do you own?
H: Currently 4 and a half
Aprox. how many Km’s do you cover per week?
H: It depends on the work day and whether or not I need to train for a race coming up. I don’t usually ride any less than 25 miles a week, but never more than 100 on average.
Would you consider yourself as having basic mechanical knowledge?
H: Basic, yeah. I still don’t understand how to true a wheel or adjust my disc brakes. But it’s important for me to know how to patch a tube at work on the go.
What does the bicycle simbolize for you?
H: Freedom! Liberation! You connect your body directly to your bicycle and you’re in complete control. It also responds back with whatever energy you put into it. It can also be your tool to take you wherever you want to go with little resources, and greater reward. It’s one of the most versatile tools a human being can possess. And it’s cheap and fun.
What do you think the local cycling community needs the most?
H: I tend not to really dwell on any negativity so it’s hard for me to answer this one directly. However, it would be really cool to see women’s cycling on the forefront of mainstream equally as men’s cycling. It’d also be cool to see more people of color and queer gender identities.
Do you feel the local council is doing enough for cyclists in your city?
H: I think so, the city of Seattle is so nice to ride around in. There are lots of bike lanes and cars are surprisingly responsive to cyclists.
What do you find to be the scariest aspect of cycling in the city?
H: Probably the unpredictability of traffic and pedestrian flow. There’s that small margin of uncertainty which will keep you on your toes. It can be scary and also a bit fun, but you never know what to expect with drivers.
When visiting Seattle, where would you advise cyclists to ride?
H: If you want a short and scenic training ride, the Merced Island loop. If you want a chill ride to a park with a view, ride to Gas Works. Or if you want good food, bars and a cool view of the Space Needle, ride around Belltown.