Cold Bike Portrait: Jayne in Williamsburg


brooklyn williamsburg bike commuter cold winter


It’s been chilly here in New York this week. On Wednesday we had a high of 19° with a 1° wind chill. That’s how I met Jayne, having put out a call on Twitter to any bike commuters who were still doing their thing this week. Jayne rides from Prospect Heights to her office manager job in Williamsburg, about 4 miles each way.

Jayne moved to Manhattan from San Francisco a little over 2 years ago and has only been biking in the city since last April. “I started bike commuting after moving to Brooklyn (I got priced out of Manhattan). I was frustrated with having to take the train to the city first and then back to Brooklyn. Plus it took me almost an hour to get to work.”

New to city riding, she initially bought a one-speed folding bike to get a feel for urban biking without worrying about changing gears. One of her good friends, a bike messenger and mechanic, helped her pick out her current ride – the Motobecane Cafe Sprint. The blue was the only color in stock, which was fortuitous: Jayne loves the Knicks and she already had an orange milk crate. Riding a bike has cut her commute time in half, and has had other benefits as well. “My view of the city has expanded. I see pretty streets and neighborhoods I never would have discovered and I feel more independent. And I canceled my gym membership. I love my bike now and couldn’t imagine living here without it. I’m a slow cyclist right now but I hope to someday get faster.”

As the weather’s gotten colder, she just kept riding. Then again, if there’s one thing anyone from the Bay Area knows, it’s how to layer. I photographed Jayne near her office, at the Williamsburg Bridge Plaza bus terminal. Behind her is that train to Manhattan she doesn’t have to take.

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  • Lucas - Great shot….Jayne is cool. I wish more people would leave their cars at home and do what she does.

  • Dmitry - Not everyone can, of course. But more and more people are realizing how convenient biking in NYC can be.

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