After she began working some stressful jobs in New York City, she needed a new athletic endeavor. That’s when she got into biking.
Rudd started off cycling to get groceries because she didn’t own a car, and was tired of lugging items for 10 to 15 blocks. Then she got involved with WE Bike NYC, a “supportive and inclusive community” for women who ride bikes.
Today, Rudd rides with the New York Cycle Club and Women’s Cycling NYC. She leads a cycling program that teaches safe group riding skills, how to ride in traffic, and basic maintenance.
“People don’t feel safe riding in the city,” Rudd said.
The Astoria resident said to change that feeling, the city needs to implement better infrastructure and actually enforce rules.
“It’s great if you have bike lanes, but if they’re not protected or enforced, they’re useless,” she said. “It actually creates more challenges because cyclists are then thrown into traffic.”
Rudd said with the expansion of greenways and paths for cyclists, as well as a growth in women’s cycling, things were getting better. But with the recent spate of cyclist deaths this year, even a veteran biker like Rudd has felt scared to get on her bike.
It’s a fear all of her friends are talking about.
“You know every time you’re getting out there on your bike, you’re basically putting your life at risk,” she said. “The drivers don’t care.”
Rudd also feels that “there are no repercussions” when a cyclist dies on the city’s streets. She wants more of those drivers to be prosecuted or fined.
“I don’t know how you run over a human body and can go to sleep at night,” Rudd said. “It’s disturbing to me.”