By Turner Bitton – Lindsey Edwards is the Salt Lake County Regional Director at the YMCA of Northern Utah where she oversees youth development programming staff throughout the valley and help make the Y a successful leader in educating youth. Cycling West recently caught up with her to talk about her experience as an aspiring bicycle commuter – and a life-long BMX enthusiast.
Cycling West: Tell me a little bit about yourself. Are you from Utah? If not, what brought you here?
Lindsey Edwards: No, I am originally from Watauga, Texas. My husband and I served as Peace Corps volunteers in Uganda, East Africa. We then moved to New York City for graduate school. After living abroad, we knew we wanted to be in a place that offered real access to the outdoors, and Salt Lake City seemed to be perfect. We drove a U-Haul with everything we owned out here about 7 years ago and have fallen in love with Utah.
CW: What brought you to cycling? Is it a lifelong passion or something you picked up more recently?
LE: I have always loved riding my bike and learned how to ride at a very young age. I started racing BMX at four and a half years old, and I loved the freedom it gave me as a kid to be able to ride through the neighborhood and be outside. I would say I took a break from riding through my young adult years but have recently found my way back to cycling.
CW: Do you consider yourself a commuter or more of a recreational cyclist?
LE: I would say I am a recreational cyclist striving to be a commuter. My goal is to commute to work 3 days per week and get a recreational ride on the weekend with my husband. I am more successful some weeks than others. I just try to turn pedals as often as possible.
CW: What does the route you take to work look like? What’s your favorite recreational ride?
LE: My commute to work is part trail and part city, so it is always interesting. My favorite recreational ride is to start near the Capitol, and ride through downtown. Then head east and go through Liberty Park. Ride to Parley’s Trail, and ride through Sugarhouse Park. Then head back North to the Capitol through the west side of town. You get to pass the railroad station and new breweries. There is so much to see in a relatively short ride. It shows how special Salt Lake City really is.
CW: I understand you were recently in an accident. Has that shaken your confidence at all? Any advice for other commuters?
LE: Yes, I did. I would not say that it shook my confidence because I was eager to get back on my bike once I got it out of the shop. I would say I have a deeper respect for riding now, though. As far as advice goes, I would say you can’t be too careful. You can be doing everything right, and accidents still happen. I would also say that if you do wreck or have a scary experience, don’t let it deter you from getting back on.
CW: What is your favorite piece of cycling equipment – other than your bike?
LE: My favorite piece of kit is my SON 28 dynamo hub with a Busch Moller front light. It is attached to my front wheel, and kinetically operates a front and rear light. So, I always have light when I am riding my bike. I was not always great about remembering to charge my lights before, and now I don’t have to worry about it. My goal was to remove as many barriers to riding as possible. I wanted to make it as easy as possible to just go for a ride, especially as I was just getting back into riding.
CW: If you could wave a magic wand and fix one thing about cycling, what would it be and why?
LE: Honestly, I would like to see more people cycle. Changing transportation changes the human. I am not suggesting that everyone ditch their cars, and only ride for transportation (although that would be cool). However, I would like to see more people being outdoors and riding. I feel like I can connect to the city on a different level by cycling through it, and Salt Lake City is a fun place to ride.
Turner C. Bitton is an avid cyclist and is well-known for his commitment to public service. He lives in the Glendale neighborhood of Salt Lake City with his husband Chase and their two dogs Charley and Moose.
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