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Articles by Laura Schlabach

Laura Schlabach is Grist's assistant social media producer.

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Photo by wakingphotolife:.

Photo by wakingphotolife:.

“Alright, wish me luck,” I said to my coworkers. “If you don’t hear from me tonight, send out a search party.”

It was my first day biking to and from work in downtown Seattle, and I was dreading the 15 uphill blocks home. And for good reason, it turned out. Just six blocks from the office, I took a right turn and, BAM! I rode straight into the path of an oncoming bus.

Don’t worry, I didn’t get flattened. The adrenaline and I were off that bike and up on the sidewalk so fast nobody even saw me. At least, that’s what I tell myself. It was my first (but not last) epic mistake as a novice bike commuter trying to navigate the streets of a city I had only lived in for two months: I had turned the wrong way down a one-way street.

Bikes have been a part of my life since I was 3 years old (yeah, I rocked a bike trailer), but riding in the city scared the shit out of me. I’d moved to Seattle from the small town of Goshen, Ind., and was convinced there was no way I could brave this biking culture. There streets were spinning with hipsters whizzing down some of the steepest roads I’... Read more

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