By Ashley Patterson
Heidi Goedhart doesn’t sacrifice her sense of style for her mobility. “Some people think you have to bike commute in spandex. I just ride at a little more leisurely pace and wear my work clothes on my bike.”
“My favorite clothes to ride in are coincidentally my yoga clothes, they are stretchy and slightly baggy but breathable and lightweight. Plus with some of the athletic wear emerging right now, there are some pretty business casual looking options that don't shout gym wear.”
In the winter, Heidi bundles up a bit and wears mittens and base layers for cycling. “A lightweight ventable shell jacket is a staple for me in the winter, starting a commute can be chilly, but once you get moving its great to have the option to open a zipper and cool off.
For footwear, Heidi likes Dansko clogs. “Surprisingly I find that Dansko's do a marvelous job of keeping my feet warm as well as clinging to my pedals. In the summer, I tend to give up on the shoes and opt in for cooler and breathable Chacos. I realize they are probably not the safest option for commuting, but I don’t have sweat drenched socks and shoes when I arrive somewhere.”
Heidi currently works two jobs half time jobs and rides between them each day, logging approximately 15 miles on her road bike each day and approaching 20 if she has errands to run. She’s hoping to obtain more of a workhorse bike for winter commuting since the narrow road tires can get a little sketchy during periods of snow. But, because one of her jobs is the Bicycle Coordinator Intern in Commuter Services at the University of Utah, she gets a free transit pass and can load her bike on TRAX or a bus whenever necessary. “I never have a problem finding a spot for my bike on the train. I just get on one of the last cars and there always seems to be plenty of space.”
Heidi’s second job is as Office Manager for Laser Exhibitor Services and their office at 2300 South and State Street is about seven miles from her office at the University of Utah. She spends four hours every day at each place so she’s on her bike back and forth every day.
In addition, Heidi is on a triathlon team so she adds 2-3 longer, recreational rides each week. With all those miles in her legs each week, she never worries about the occasional indulgence of carrot cake.
Heidi studied Environmental & Sustainability Studies and Urban Planning at the University of Utah so working as a Bicycle Coordinator Intern is a perfect fit for her. She believes that how people move around and interact in their community is critical to the health of the community and the quality of life. “People enjoy their day more when sustainable transit options are available. They have less stress and positive feelings toward the urban environment.”
She moved to Salt Lake City from Southern Idaho and didn’t bike commute as the community just wasn’t set up so that people lived near destinations that they wanted to visit. She moved to Salt Lake City seven years ago to attend the University of Utah and immediately started bike commuting to campus. Now, it’s a foreign concept to her to live any other way and she won’t move any place where bike commuting isn’t an option.
When asked about her next bike purchase (we’re all pining for something, aren’t we?) she says, “After doing some bike shop hunting and internet stalking, my dream bike for commuting would probably be a Surly Cross Check, because it can handle larger tires for going off pavement as well as features for some lightweight cross country touring, if I ever feel ambitious to get out of town in an eco-friendly way with panniers and baggage in tow.”
When asked about her favorite urban bike routes, Heidi says, “I'm mostly seen on my bike between the University and South Salt Lake (Burton Avenue and State), I have favorite routes I take like 1700 S and 9th East and Main St and 9th South because they are pretty direct and the lights seem to be timed better for those traveling by bike. I'm not scared to hop on State Street or 7th East for periods of time, but there is something to be said about enjoying the serenity of less traveled smaller scale streets with trees that offer shade. I'm usually one to chat with other cyclists commuting along with me or say hello to the crossing guards.”
Heidi likes to be aware of the street noises when she’s commuting and so she isn’t one to listen to music during her rides. “I think even one ear bud acts as a potential distraction from traffic noise and shuts out the daily noises of my commute. My boyfriend recently bought an XCEON bike mounted speaker/light, which is pretty awesome when we buzz around town, since it sounds like we have theme music that we can share with a group.”
When you are next riding near the University and South Salt Lake, look for Heidi in her stylish yoga wear, Dansko’s and road bike, zipping around town ready to chat with other cyclists and waving to crossing guards, smiling and just happy to be on her bike.