A year and a half ago, David suffered from a heart attack. As he was in the hospital recovering he said, “The first thing I asked my doctor was, how soon can I get back on my bike?” After some time David recovered and was able to get back on the road.
He has a couple different bicycles that he likes to mix and match together, and he relies on his bicycles as his only way to get around the city year round.
We talked to David earlier this winter about his experience as a cyclist in Kansas City.
What’s the most common thing that people misunderstand about people who ride bikes?
I think most of them think that we are just hogging the road, and we’re not. Most of us stay over to the side, and we abide by the law. Ride with traffic and not against it. We’re trying!
What have you learned at the 816 Bicycle Collective?
I’ve learned how to adjust my own breaks, change gears, all types kinds of different parts on the bike that I didn’t know how to work on, and now I do. The collective has helped me out a lot, especially on parts and stuff when I couldn’t afford them. So it’s a great thing.
Any tips for people riding in the winter time?
Be careful – it will slide out from under you.
When you ask Shorty how old he is, he likes to pull your chain, “95,” he says laughing. The real answer, 50. Shorty lives on the eastside. He’s been coming to the 816 Bicycle Collective since it opened. His bike is his main source of transportation.
Earlier this year Shorty got a bike through the 816 LIST program (Low Income Sustainable Transportation,) because his other bike had been destroyed. He cried the whole way home, he was so happy. “I’m very sentimental,” says Shorty. “It (the 816 Bicycle Collective) is a great place of people who care about you. They’re serious people, and they put in a lot of their time and that’s a big plus. You know people don’t do that anymore.”
We also talked to Shorty earlier this winter about his experience as a cyclist in Kansas City.
What’s your favorite thing about riding bikes?
People think I’m in excellent shape from riding a bike because I ride a bike quite a bit, and they’re like man you’re in good shape. It’s good for your heart and it’s good for this, and good for that. So it’s no complaint about riding a bike. It’s good exercise.
What are your favorite streets to ride on in Kansas City?
I ride quite a bit, gee wiz. I start out in the morning, afternoon. I like Main, Broadway, out on the Plaza.
What sucks about riding in Kansas City?
People will try to run over you. They’re out there texting and they’re not paying attention to what you’re doing, or what they’re doing. They don’t even see the guy on the bike. They’re turning and your coming towards them, and they don’t even look to see where you’re at.
Favorite things about the 816 Bicycle Collective?
You. (He says to volunteer Suzanne Hogan.) It’s a great place to come, the people are just great people they treat you fair they don’t ask for a whole lot, and they give up a whole lot. And they really do an outstanding shop.