March 19, 2020
Meet the staff of Healthy Ride! We’d like to show you the faces of the team that keeps Pittsburgh’s bike share rolling.
1. What is your role at Healthy Ride? When did you start working with Healthy Ride?
I’m currently the Director of Operations at Healthy Ride. I began working for Healthy Ride as a part time field service representative a few weeks before we launched. Through the years I’ve held a few other titles in between, but I’ve always worked on the operations side of our organization (and absolutely love it!)
2. When did you learn how to ride a bike? Who taught you?
I learned to ride a bike when a was a little kid. My dad used to go on long runs after he returned home from the Army and I would join him on 4 wheels (I had training wheels back then!). I started commuting by bike to school as early as the third grade at a time when my family did not have a vehicle and we lived in a suburban area. I grew up in Florida and the bike racks at school were full. I did not ride bikes consistently again until I started college and realized a bike was the easiest way to get around when I did not have a car and did not want to wait for the bus.
3. What kind of riding do you like to do?
I like to use riding as my form of exercise. I have two styles of riding – commuting and mountain biking. For commuting, I always need to get from point A to B, so using a bike to complete trips is a really mindless and free way to make sure I’m staying active.
When the weather is dry and warm, I like to break out my mountain bike and ride on singletrack trails all around western PA. Mountain biking has really been a source of positivity and motivation in my life. For a while it felt like mountain biking was an impossible goal I may never achieve, but after taking a few skills courses through the Wheel Mill I felt super confident. I tested riding out on a few trails and I was amazed by what I could accomplish in the woods, in locations that I thought would be hard to hike much less bike through. Now, it’s my favorite way to ride.
4. What’s your favorite trip to make by Healthy Ride?
My favorite trip on a Healthy Ride begins at our office, goes through the strip into downtown, crossing over the 6th street bridge into the North Side. I’ll typically turn around and head back across the Ft. Duquesne Bridge, making a loop around point state park before making my way back.
My most common trip on a Healthy Ride is between 11th & Penn and our office at 33rd & Penn. I use Healthy Ride to compliment my bus trip, which stops downtown.
5. What does a typical day at Healthy Ride look like for you?
There is no typical day at Healthy Ride. Some days I am talking with folks we are partnering with to accomplish something fun for Pittsburghers, some days I’m helping customers access bikes, some days I am out in the field working on stations or technical equipment, other days I’m going on a bike ride with coworkers.
6. Most memorable / fun / interesting thing you did or saw while on a Healthy Ride?
The most fun I had on a Healthy Ride was our staff challenge to bike to all (at that time) 50 stations! Everyone had fun. It took a full workday, with a nice long lunch at OTB to refuel.
In response to COVID-19
How are you and your team keeping the system safe for customers to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
To prevent the spread of COVID-19 internally we are working remotely when possible, splitting our operations teams up to work individually, and disinfecting, well everything. We’ve expanded our sick leave to ensure all employees are paid during this time and asked folks who have come in contact with anyone showing symptoms to stay home for as long as the CDC recommends.
For our customers, we are extending operating hours to cover more stations each day, sanitizing handlebars, shifters, brake levers, seats, and bike keypads as well as station equipment like the touchscreen and keypad.
How are you staying active during your self-quarantine?
Easy, bike riding! I’ve also used the time I’ve saved commuting to go on daily walks with my pup, Ern.