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Riding the routes with six Triangle commuters

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  • Photo by Alex Boerner
  • Leah Yngve

Leah Yngve

AGE: 27

OCCUPATION: An Environmental Health fellow at the Environmental Protection Agency, studying the human health benefits of interacting with nature

WHERE SHE LIVES: The Morehead Hill neighborhood near downtown Durham

WHERE SHE WORKS: At the EPA's office in Research Triangle Park


DAYS A WEEK: 4 days

HOW LONG SHE'S DONE IT: For this job a year, though she's been commuting off and on for a decade

WHAT SHE USES: Yngve's pink steel-frame Univega, which she purchased for $200 two years ago, turns 30 this year. She inserted S&S couplings into the frame, so that it can be taken apart while traveling. Other modifications include a leather Brooks saddle, spoke reflectors, a rear bamboo fender, thick touring tires and an Ortlieb saddlebag.

A STRANGE TRIP: Yngve recently got caught in a summer storm. In RTP, where long driveways hide corporate headquarters from plain sight, there are few places to duck in for shelter. "Usually you're not outside when those storms happen," she says. "But when you're outside, you actually see it more, and it was neat. The wind picked up, and the clouds were incredible. The sky was so cool."

TIPS FOR BEGINNERS: "No one thinks to tell you how frequently to pump up your tires," says Yngve. A co-worker recently bought a bike and took a maintenance class at a big store so she could start commuting a few days a week. Several weeks later, she realized how much easier the trek would be with properly inflated tires. "I had the exact same experience when I started," she says. "Pumping them up every one or two weeks can make a big difference."

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