Boston Bike Story: Sarah Kimball

Sarah and her bike, Stella

When/why did you start riding a bike to work?

I’m a primary care physician at Boston Medical Center, and I co-direct BMC’s Immigrant & Refugee Health Center. I’ve lived in Boston for about 11 years, and I’ve always biked to school and work. It is the perfect addition to my life. I get exercise, and I generally get where I’m going quicker than any other form of transportation. My current commute is about 25 minutes, which is a perfect amount of time to help me mentally leave work behind.  

How has riding a bike been helpful/important to you during the COVID19 crisis?

Since the COVID19 pandemic, I’ve been working at BMC in our COVID screening clinic, so I am still going into work. On my bike, I know that I’m far enough away from other people to keep us all safe. When I commute home on my bike, I know that I’m not at risk of exposing anyone else. (Even though, of course, we’re following all the protective protocols at work, like changing clothes at work and using the right PPE.)

Have you seen more or fewer people out riding lately? Are your coworkers who normally bike riding more or less? Why? 

There have been fewer people out in general (go social distancing!) but still many bikers. I do think many of us are riding more to avoid the crowded conditions of public transportation. 

What, if anything, would you want to see the city do to make riding a bike safer and more accessible during this time?

I’d love to see more done around cars that are parked in the bike lanes. I’ve been so thrilled to have my commute made safer by the protected bike lanes along Mass Ave., but the effect is moot when I have to go into traffic lanes because of parked vehicles.

What value or benefit does biking provide to the public, both generally and particularly at this time? 

I am particularly a fan of the positive environmental impact of biking, which feels desperately needed at this time in our world. It feels like everyone wins when I bike instead of drive — my mind, my body and the world.