Member Spotlight December - Theresa Kanter


Theresa (center) is all smiles as she joins ABC's Rebecca Serna (left) and Amalia Stephens (right) during October's "Light up the Night" event. (photo courtesy Kyle Torok)

How did you get involved with ABC?

I biked alone when I lived in Atlanta from 2003-2006. I learned to appreciate the value of the group ride during some time living in the NYC metro area where I had regular company on my bike commutes to work, rode in the NYC 5 Boro Bike Tour, and toured central New Jersey. When I moved back to Atlanta in 2008, some friends told me about ABC's work promoting bicycling and bike advocacy. ABC seemed freshly relevant to my commuting values, so I got involved.

What ABC event have you enjoyed the most and why?

The May Courteous Mass was my first event, and will hold a special place for me because it was so much fun and people were so friendly (I went alone). The Le Flash ride (part of ABC's "Light Up the Night" event) was also exceptional because we were a roving art installation; I felt the people in Castleberry Hill welcomed us in a way bicyclists aren't typically welcomed. On the Courteous Mass rides I feel vehicles tolerate us and pedestrians are surprised and occasionally amused by bicyclists but we were welcomed at Le Flash.

If you were a bike, what kind would you be?

I don't keep up with bikes much, but I would be a durable red bicycle with lots of gears and places to carry stuff, like a basket and panniers. I'm about functional riding, with just a little style sprinkled on top.

Where can we find you riding?

By day, commuting from Edgewood to the CDC campus next to Emory. By night, riding to knitting nights at restaurants in and around Edgewood. I'm falling in love with Edgewood, especially for being such a great bike riding neighborhood. During the summer, there are lots of great trees to shade the roads, the roads are great routes to other neighborhoods (like Wylie, Hosea Williams, Whitefoord), and the ratio of cars to bikes is pleasant. I love that Edgewood is convenient to all kinds of shopping, restaurants, theaters, Turner Field, and friends. It's as easy and quick for me to bike most of the time as it is to drive; I can go weeks without driving.

Complete the sentence, "It makes me happy to see bicycle users...."

Respect others on the road. Actually this applies to everyone on the road. I would love to see vehicles and bicyclists respect each other across, and even within, transportation modes. Following the rules of the road, being visible (headlights and lights), riding/driving predictably with signals, and being generally courteous benefits us all.

How did you learn to ride?

My first bike was a sleek, black beauty with a back rack and training wheels. After weeks of teetering on the training wheels, my mom took me to a park one night where there was a wide, lit sidewalk by the tennis courts. My first ride balancing on two wheels was along the tennis courts that night.

Any "must-have" bike accessories (or let's be honest... new bikes) on your holiday wish list?

I guess I'd like a new bike, but I'd probably still ride my '99 purple Trek because it's comfortable and I'd worry about scratching the new bike. Really, I think I'm set; I'm pretty low-maintenance in transportation, as in life!