Boston Bike Story: Angela Lou

I started biking recreationally when I was 5 years old, but more recently started commuting. I bike daily to Dorchester where I work as a BPS teacher. It’s about 4 miles each way.

Why do you bike?
Freedom, fitness, and function. I rely on biking year-round to get around the city (I don’t own a car.) Biking happens to be a great way to start and end the work day.

What is one of your favorite bike memories?
Biking at 2 a.m. for fun when the roads were completely empty! Also, the Midnight Marathon bike ride.

What would make biking better for you in Boston?
More consistent bike and pedestrian infrastructure.

What do you wish that people who don’t bike knew about biking in Boston?
It’s possible and fun to do year-round. Also, please actively look for us and pedestrians on the streets.

Have you ever had a crash on a bike?  
Yes! A car turned right into me when I needed to continue straight on Pleasant and Hancock streets in Dorchester. I was using my hand signals, both rear and front blinking lights, and a big reflective jacket. Despite these precautions, the person did not see me and pushed me with her car. As soon as I yelled, she realized I was up against her moving vehicle and braked suddenly, which then caused me to run into (and break) her mirror with my shoulder.

I almost hesitated to contact the police, because she did stop and looked really sorry. But I realized that I had to follow through and file a report to protect myself, and to make sure that the City has accurate data about the locations of dangerous intersections. I am OK, by the way!

I am both puzzled and angry that people cannot see me on the road, especially when I have taken so many precautions. I believe this person was on their phone. They also probably had not trained themselves to look for bikers on the road. I continue to bike everywhere, and for that particular section I have decided to take the whole lane so that cars cannot go around me to turn right.  

I would love to see the driving mindset changed in Boston, which will mean better investments in public transportation and viable, car-free options to get into and around the city. Change has already begun, and I am glad to live in a city where I can see it happen in my lifetime.