Why John Rides

Here’s the third portrait in Streetsblog’s weekly “Why I Ride” series.

Photo copyright Dmitry Gudkov.

John is a paramedic with FDNY EMS in Harlem. He often gets to work from Brooklyn by bike, or a combination of bike and train. He and two other EMT colleagues at the station house are regular bike commuters.

For him, cycling is generally a more dependable way to make it in time for his 4-12 shift. He also just enjoys being outside, whether it’s on bike or on foot. “New York is a really walkable city, but of course you can’t cover much distance,” he says. “So about 20 years ago, I started biking.”

What changes has he seen? “The city was a lot less bike friendly then. Not as many bike lanes, not nearly as many people riding.”

On the topic of bike friendliness, talk turned to the current NYPD cyclist ticketing campaign. Turns out John has seen it all before. “I remember the last one, under Giuliani. It’s pretty similar to what’s happening today. At least now we have some more bike lanes.”