Passion for Cycling Fuels Student’s Spirit

by Alex Keys
Columnist

Senior Ingrid Elise Williams has a challenge for any automobile driver at Transylvania: “Try to drive anywhere downtown and I will beat you on my bike.”

A Louisville, Ky., native, Williams has been biking for most of her life, choosing not to become a licensed driver. She enjoys riding on her red bike (her favorite color) because it keeps her healthy and able-bodied while moving to her destination very efficiently. One of her favorite aspects of biking is riding downhill with great speeds, but she dislikes having to stop at red lights at the bottom of a hill.

Williams’ passion as a cyclist mostly derives from an admiration of the bicycle’s engineering and the excitement she feels when powering the machine’s gears.

“There’s no place you can go and be alone with God,” Williams said, “so you ride as fast as you can and you just suspend in the air and you are part of the air.”

In fact, Williams is amazed that so many people decide to drive to locations only a couple of miles away.

“People adapt way too quickly to new technology,” she said. “Cars have only been around for a century, and there’s no reason why there should already be cloverleaf highway exits.”

Williams’ love for cycling has grown into an aspiration of sorts.

“When I grow up, I want to be a cyclocross star,” she said.

Cyclocross is a high-intensity road-bike race in which athletic cyclists compete on rough terrain inspired by motocross racing. The nearest cyclocross course to Lexington is in Williams’ own hometown of Louisville.

While Williams has challenged Transy students to bike whenever possible, she acknowledged that driving near cars can be dangerous and offered a few safety tips. She believes that bike lanes in the city are dangerous but should be used in preference to sidewalks. When turning, she recommends that cyclists mentally divide each lane in two, in order to better visualize space and avoid contact with other vehicles.

Most importantly, Williams insisted that “you have to wear a helmet, because it doesn’t look as stupid as your brain on the road.”

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