Who Shares? Meet Andrea Todd.
Andrea isn’t just a cyclist. This title does not fully grasp the dedication she has to her preferred transportation mode. This Middlebury native is a two-wheeled commuting pro. And she’s no fair-weather enthusiast either. Snow, rain, mud or sun, she’s on her bike pedaling close to 10 miles per day, a sum of distances that the average American usually drives.
Andrea’s been a CarShare Vermont member for three years, ever since she assigned herself a personal challenge of living car-free. While the challenge wasn’t necessarily financially motivated, she was tired of putting money into repairing her old Subaru wagon. Now, not only does she feel so healthy from biking every day, she’s benefiting financially, too. She feeds off of the challenge, claiming she’s “never felt better.”
Part of Andrea’s strategy for a successful car-free lifestyle is to limit the distance of her work commute. She tries to stick to a 10-mile radius. And there isn’t much she doesn’t do. When she’s not tutoring, she’s teaching college students how to grill, planting perennials, or composing Valentine’s Day carols for a Church Street serenade. And she doesn’t just bike for work. Some of her most notable bike trips include a camping adventure to Green River Reservoir and an outing she dubbed “Bike ‘n Blast,” where she and some friends rode bikes to a Charlotte shooting range for a day of target practice. In exchange for using the equipment, Andrea hauled three guns, clay pigeons, ammo and lunch for the group. She was the mule.
Don’t even get us started on her biking fashion. If anyone should teach a clinic on a how to look good and be comfortable for year-round bike commuting, it’s Andrea. Today, she sports minimalist, skater-style black high-top sneakers, with a recessed pocket in the sole that allows her to attach clips for her pedals. She emphasizes the importance of layers as she models her sleek, grey hoody mid-layer with thumb- holes. Safety is also a top priority for Andrea. To prove it, she enthusiastically dons a black jacket that she’s retro-fit with red and white reflective tape. The artistically taped patterns are especially heavy on more important parts of the coat, like her signaling arm. “Bikers get a bad rap because they almost get hit by cars. It’s often because you can’t see them,” she says.
CarShare Vermont enters the scene when variables like weather and distance prevent Andrea from biking or bussing. Sometimes, she admits, she just likes the convenience of car-sharing. Like the day she chose to shoot down to Middlebury and back for her dentist appointment rather than taking the bus. CarShare Vermont, she says, “allows me the comfort and safety I need” to always have a way to get places. It’s what enables her to use her bike as her primary mode. After all, she can’t possibly bike everywhere, all the time. She also appreciates getting into a clean car that always functions. She laughs and says, “I’m never wondering, is this going to work today?”
CarShare Vermont is also thrilled that Andrea recently joined our Board of Directors- she’s a creative and fun addition to our team who exemplifies car-light living. If you see Andrea on her bike, and you probably will, she’ll most certainly be smiling and she may even stop and say, “hello.” Pedal-on, Andrea, and thanks for sharing!