September 26, 2008
Bike Rides to Work Pump Up Tiffany Mason `07
Howell Celebrates Golden Anniversary with a Film
(Editor’s note: A longer version of this article by Matt Garfield appeared in The Herald on Aug. 13, 2008. Mason has temporarily stopped riding her bicycle to work because of a scheduling change.)
Thousands of people in York County commute to Charlotte for work every day. But few endure the kinds of surprises that await Tiffany Mason on a 19-mile trek between Rock Hill and the YMCA where she works. The surprises include close calls with vehicles, sudden downpours and menacing livestock.
Why does Mason choose the perils of a 1-hour, 45-minute bicycle ride when she could easily take a car? Her answer is simple: "’Cause I can."
The 23-year-old Charleston native got serious about biking as a student at Winthrop University. She'd ride four miles to campus from her apartment on Rock Hill's northern side.
One summer, Mason got a YMCA internship that has since turned into a part-time job at the Harris Y Express branch near SouthPark Mall off Fairview Road. She wants to keep working in Charlotte because she likes her Y colleagues and is friendly with the members.
When her boyfriend, Simon, surprised her with a 24-speed Fuji bike for her birthday in May, Mason knew just how she would use it.
"It's a good way to get your workout in," she said. "You're just happy for the rest of the day because of all the adrenaline. The first couple of hours after I get here, I'm just like, 'Yes!'"
At first, co-workers were incredulous. Colleague Melinda Desmarais, herself an experienced cyclist, wasn't sure this was a good idea.
"Now Tiffany, is that the safest thing you should be doing?" she remembers asking. "Maybe you should get used to riding around Rock Hill first. She was like, 'It's going to be fine.'"
At the Y, a picture of Mason hangs on the wall with a headline explaining her routine.
Desmarais says members are amazed. "She's really inspired other people to want to be proud of the fact they're riding their bikes."
|Winthrop University Alumni Relations Make a Gift University Relations Academics Admissions Student Life Winthrop Eagles|
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Copyright © Winthrop University
University Disclaimer Statement