Julia FrösePosted: August 22, 2013
Julia sent me an email after finding a note on her bike while it was parked in the basement of her workplace. Interestingly, I did not leave this note, but I am glad she got in touch for a photo shoot. Thank you, mystery note-leaver! Julia recently moved from Germany to the Boston area, where she is pursuing a Ph.D. in cancer research in a big laboratory in Cambridge: “It’s my dream to help to unravel the mysteries of cancer progression and contribute to better treatments in the future.”
Julia rides an Alice & Olivia bike she bought on Craigslist shortly after she arrived: “It’s just so bright and colorful, it directly puts me in a good mood just to look at it. I always wanted to have a bike like this, but never found anything like it before.”
On how she got started cycling, she had this to say:
In Germany, I lived in Mannheim and studied in Heidelberg for the last 2 1/2 years. Heidelberg and Mannheim are such bike cities, almost everyone is riding a bike there! That got me started to ride my bike daily. I used it for commuting, grocery shopping and getting around in the cities. I just really enjoyed getting everywhere with it. So when I came here, the first thing I had to do was to get a bike!
During our photo shoot, Julia told me how she used to commute between Mannheim and Heidelberg by train. She had two bicycles, one in either city, and would ride from home to the train station, park one bike there, take the train, and finish her journey on her other bike. I can think of few places in the US where this kind of journey is possible. I was curious to know what her impressions of cycling in Boston were compared with Germany.
I think the main differences between biking here and in Germany is really the infrastructure and how drivers react to cyclists. I just feel like most drivers here do not pay so much attention to cyclists. I often see people just opening the doors of their cars without checking if there is a cyclist approaching. In Germany we have bike lanes on every bigger street or on the sidewalk, so there is always a designated space just for cycling.
Ride on, Julia!