Michelle Garcia is a lifelong Tucsonan who loves to rock it out on a bike.
Q: Michelle how long have you been biking?
A: I’ve been biking since I was seventeen. I commuted for 7 years, had a 18 year hiatus, and have now been back on my bike for a year and a couple months and I love it!
Q: What are the top three things that you love the most bicycling?
A: The three top reasons why I continue to cycle is because it is the most freeing thing. There’s nothing in comparison to being out in the desert seeing the hawks fly over you. It’s just so invigorating to be out there. I love that it keeps me physically fit and I’m able to get from a to b so efficiently. Amazing — I love it!
Q: What is your most deeply held belief, the prime reason that you ride a bike around Tucson?
A: I continue to ride a bike around Tucson because it’s very invigorating. It is amazing that you can be self-sustained like this. It takes a special kind of person to commute every day and deal with the wind, heat and all the elements. At the end of the day it’s really freeing. There’s nothing like it. I love cycling in Arizona.
Q: I understand that you work for the the Tucson school district. Can you share what you know about TUSD and safe routes to school or about using alternate modes of transportation around Tucson?
A: I can’t think of anything that they do to really promote that time at the district office.
Q: So it sounds like there could be some work to be done in the school district with getting the word out around alternate ways getting kids to school. What do you think?
A: Yes it would be great if more people did use cycling as commuting. I know it would take an ultimate sacrifice of a parent to promote that. Hopefully in the future we could see more family cycling and commuting together.
Q: As a parent of two teenagers what do you hope that you are instilling in them by setting the example of self-sufficiency and bicycling?
A: The example I hope to continue to instill in my daughter’s is to know that anything is possible as long as you set your mind to it. I mean even though we are women we are girls we are capable of doing anything if you set your mind to doing something. You figure a strategy and you go from there. If it’s something that you want to do you’re going to be able to do it. Period.
So if you see Michelle out on The Loop, wave a friendly hello to her. Ask her about what she’s learned about TUSD and their bike outreach to parents and kids for safe routes to schools. Ask her how her daughters are coming along with their own bike dreams and inquire about how many miles she has ridden lately.
You can do anything with a good plan and a determined mindset… and plenty of water. Ride on my friends, ride on!