Velojoy Questionnaire: Tanya Quick


Occupation: Co-Founder, Language Dept.
Twitter @aquicky Instagram @tanyaquick

Tanya Quick’s love of cycling for daily transportation and weekend recreation finds growing expression at the intersection of communications design and advocacy. Quick’s New York City-based branding firm recently re-designed the visual identity and website of the League of American Bicyclists, and has helped to shape the image of the League’s new Women Bike program. Quick is also a co-founder of CycloFemme, which seeks to engage more women in cycling through an annual, global event on Mother’s Day. In the second of our Velojoy Questionnaire series, she answers eight questions about life on two wheels in New York City:

How did you get started riding a bicycle?
I learned to ride a bike as a kid in North Carolina, but stopped once I got a car. I started riding again in Chicago, stopped for a few years in New York due to a fifth-floor walk-up, and started again once I moved into an elevator building. Social media and the community around cycling pulled me back onto the bike more. Riding with a friend and talking about how to get more people riding led to a video for Kate Spade, which led to meeting Sarai Snyder, which led to CycloFemme, which led to velojoy and much more. I’ve been lucky to have good people (men and women) to ask questions of and to encourage and inspire me.

What bike(s) do you ride?
Weekdays: Midnight Navy Beloved Every Day (photo above)
Weekends: Black Raleigh Grand Prix

I keep one at work and one at home, and rotate on Fridays and Mondays. Since I ride every day to commute, my bike comes into my living room, where I lean it next to my husband’s. We made a deal that I could get a second as long as I only brought one home at a time. Fortunately, I find bicycles beautifully designed objects.

Secret to rolling in comfort and style?
Comfort for me means carrying the least amount of excess baggage, so I dress for work and ride to get there (versus dressing for the ride). My style tends toward the unadorned and monochromatic, so it works. My only disaster came from a skirt with a statement zipper up the back which wreaked havoc on my Brooks saddle. I had toe clips molded to fit my tallest shoe platform, which allows me to pedal in any shoes (sometimes easier than walking). A high heel just means more work on the quad.

What’s your favorite route or spot to visit by bicycle in NYC?
I love the waterfront paths around Manhattan. There’s always a sunrise or sunset over water here, which is a bonus of commuting by bike. I finally figured out how Brooklyn stitches together by riding from Red Hook to Gowanus to Prospect Park. I like to roam without a destination and usually end up racing home over a bridge as a result. I love the loop up and around Grand Central off Park Avenue, though I’m not completely sure it’s legal. Pier 15 on the east side of the Financial District is a great secret park. Battery Park City has a reflecting pool that is a perfect place to watch the sun set with Lady Liberty glowing in pink. I could go on. I love NYC, and there’s no better way to find her secrets than by bike.

Cortado at La Colombe.

If you could take a ride with anybody, living or dead, who would it be and why?
My list is long, and they’re all faster than me. That works against my “why,” which is for the conversation. All my important conversations with my Dad happened in a car, when he was driving. Something about focusing on the road lets him open up. For me it’s the same on a bike. There’s no better place to drop your guard.

What’s one thing NYC needs to do to get more people on bicycles?
The barrier to entry for biking is so low; you just need a bike and a push. But sometimes finding that bike and that gentle push is harder than it needs to be. I’d love to see more cross-pollination from the bike world into other worlds to invite people in. Fashion advertising co-opting bikes has raised awareness; now the bike market needs to reach back and pull the curious over.

Photo: Sharon Anderson


  • In Phoenix, the transportation cycling group Phoenix Spokes People is actively working on pulling bike curious women of all ages over. Many of our most active members are women and some of 40 and over. We tend to agree with Ms. Quick about riding sans baggage and dressing for our destination rather than the ride. Apart from fashion though, we are very focused on advocating for the funding of necessary bike infrastructure such as bike lanes, bike boulevards and, where possible, cycle tracks. We’re in it for the long haul because change like this never occurs overnight. We would love to have the active participation and voice of our area local bike shops who have everything to gain from seeing more women biking to where they need to go.

    • Karen, thanks for your comments and for all your great work on behalf of women’s cycling. I couldn’t agree more that the retail setting is vital to encouraging more women to ride — it’s a key entry point, and far too often proves a disappointing experience. From an economic point of view, there’s money being left on the table by retailers. Women are the key to future growth. From 2003 to 2012, the number of women and girls participating in bicycling rose 20 percent, while dropping .5 percent among men and boys, according to the new “Women on a Roll” report by the Women Bike program of the League of American Bicyclists.

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