Let's Go Ride Bikes!
If you've ever spotted me on my bike, it's incredibly likely it was a dual spotting, with Tati in the very near vicinity. One of my closest friends, she's also my favorite and most frequent bike buddy. If you looked at our phone's in-boxes, you'd see a long history of messages to the likes of, “wanna go ride bikes?” (among other things of course, and NO, you can't actually look at my texts).
Tati is a well known face in Lakewood, and a well loved one too. She's been a fantastic help to me in getting more people pumped about biking, encouraging our friends to ride more, and meeting new people to get them excited about cycling too. She's the other half of Lakewood Sunday Mass, taking groups of riders around Lakewood and Cleveland at the 7:00 time slot. She even gave her bike pump up for use at the Root Cafe for any cyclist who finds themselves without the air to keep moving.
Arrow is the name of Tati's stylie little ride. She's a red fixie with a little bumblebee bell and bullhorn handlebars. As I've written about other people and their bikes in the past, Tati and Arrow are a true example of bike/human companionship. Arrow is the two wheeled embodiment of Tati, if you can imagine that sort of thing.
Tati was also my main support to get through this winter on my bike. Not that we had a horrible winter or anything, but there were certainly some bitterly cold and extraordinarily windy days, which only becomes more intense and apparent if you're out there with no shield from it. She bundles like nobody I've ever seen. Believe me, it doesn't seem like it would be difficult to put on a lot of layers for warmth, but Tati makes an art form of it. She was the original discoverer of the infamous “Chotas,” the canoeing boots that many of us adopted as our rainy weather footwear, and on multiple occasions has saved me from freezing with extra scarves and hats pulled out of her bag.
She has a pretty good history of bike experiences too, working for a time at Spin Bike Shop, living in Pittsburgh and cycling those crazy hills on a fixed gear without a break. She grew up skateboarding as well, so has been out there on her own power for most of her life. I realize that cycling still seems like a fad to some people, but Tati is part of the proof that this is a lifestyle that some of us have embraced and take seriously. It doesn't matter if it's raining or sunny or that there is snow on the ground, or that the wind is flying directly in your face at 25 mph. You just keep riding, because that is the right thing to do.
To me, it's wonderful to just be able to go for a bike ride at any time, to be able to enjoy coming and going to work, to meet friends throughout the city and get there by pure physical human energy. But when you add in another person who has that same enthusiasm for riding, and just loves to be out there no matter what the weather, it makes all of it that much sweeter. Everybody should have a best friend like Tati.
I am a 26 year old woman who drinks coffee and beer, rides some bikes, reads, takes pictures, makes stuff, and runs long distances.