Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Roll Model: Tracie Sanchez

IMG_8246 IMG_7896 Decaturite Tracie Sanchez dressed as Diana Nyad for Halloween. Inspiring as the long distance swimmer may be, Sanchez offers plenty of her own insight from a lifetime of bicycle commuting. "I really will do most anything to use public transit and enjoy the ride before I will jump in a car." At UGA, she sold the "Mustang that all the men in my family took me to pick out when I graduated high school. Vroom! College campuses are contained, even ones in agricultural states, and I lived nearby so I just biked to work."

The habit followed her to Washington, DC, where an enlightened employer installed office showers. "This was back in 1989! I never owned a car, bought gas, paid parking tickets, insurance, fines, got towed, had fender benders or road rage. Instead I read the paper, worked the puzzle, got some exercise, got super fit, saved money and threw away the gym membership."

The DC Metro and later BART in San Francisco augmented those bike commutes and informed her thinking so much that in 2011, UGA awarded her a Master's of Public Administration "in transportation solutions focusing on, you guessed it, bicycling." Reconciling professional dress codes with riding to work she says is "easy once you embrace it. Just buy a-line skirts, boots, skinny leg pants, lots of fun $1 gloves at Target and scarves for winter. Love scarves on bikes!"

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