Commuter Profile: Steve Petrides

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Commuting is a free form of exercise for me. I feel really good when I get to work. I bike all year round, even when it is sleeting.

The only time I stop is when the sleet is hitting my eye balls. I’ve gotta watch out for those steel plates!!

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I think bikes should stay with the traffic. There are no car doors opening there, there are no unaware pedestrians trying to cross to get to their car… it’s safer for everybody.

Recently I was riding up 1st Ave, fairly fast, and I could see this woman ahead of me getting ready to cross the bike lane to get to her car. Sure enough, she steps off the bike lane without looking. When I got right up close to her, she turned and looked at me and immediately said, ‘I didn’t look!’ I was in the right place, and she has to cross the bike lane to get to her parked car. I don’t understand it…

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Biking for me started when I was a little. There was a candy store that was three miles away, and at that time it was an enormous distance. We would get together and ride our bikes there. I remember falling once and scratching my leg on the pedal. I still have that scar today. But the destination was candy.

I guess you can say I got into biking for candy.

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I always wear my helmet. I’m an accident waiting to happen! I’m always aggressive. I think its always better to be aggressive. I think its when you’re wavering and indecisive that drivers don’t know what they are gonna do.

When you look determined to do something you are a little more predictable.

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Steven Petrides was born in Framingham, Massachusetts in 1966. He has a BA in Art History and French Literature from Boston University, a BS in Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Masters of Architecture from Columbia University. He had sailed from Boston to Ireland on a 30-foot long sloop in a crew of seven, spending 26 days at sea. Steve designs buildings by day and draws naked men at night. He rides all over the city on his bike and at least once a week he rides to the Metropolitan Museum and back home to the Lower East Side. He enjoys studying the masters at the museum and practicing their techniques at home. Some of his favorites are Hockney, Picasso, Goya, Velasquez, and Guercino. He always apologizes and yields to his fellow bikers when he is riding the wrong way on a one way street. His chain is loose and his brake pads are worn.

Photography and Interview by Eric LaCour

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