Member Profile: Nadia Khastagir by Mary Brown

Photo: Mary Brown

Name: Nadia Khastagir
Age: 36
Occupation: Office Manager/Graphic Designer at CorpWatch
Neighborhood: Mission District
Member Since: 1996

How often do you ride? Every day, half an hour over the hill to the Presidio. Why did you join the SFBC? I'd been biking for a number of years and realized that I was constantly getting frustrated on the streets. Even though I didn't have time to help out, I could at least donate some money to help do the work you do.

Why did you start helping? About a year ago I wanted to get more involved with what was going on. And I figured that the skills I could offer were newsletter editing skills. I'd like to do more but don't have a lot of extra time.

How much time do you spend editing and designing the Tube Times? For about a year now, it's been anywhere from three to eight hours a month.

What else do you do with your time? I'm with FatChanceBelly Dance. I perform, teach and also write their newsletter.

Do you ride your bike to belly dancing? To class yes, but not to gigs usually. I have this really big costume, it weighs 10-15 pounds. But sometimes I do put the costume in my panniers and get dressed there.

Do you consider yourself a law-abiding bicyclist? Sometimes. I play if safer now because I don't trust the cars. But a lot of the rules I don't pay attention to.

What kind of bike do you ride? A Gary Fisher mountain bike, I've had it for six years.

Ever had a bike stolen? Yeah, twice in two weeks!

Ouch! How? One was a broken kryptonite, that was downtown. The second time it was my friend's bike because my bike had just been stolen. I didn't have a very good lock on that one. I found out later that there were bike racks in the garages that I could have used - each time I could have brought the bike inside. Now I know I've got to ask.

That's very sad. Yeah. Also, when I was at a restaurant on 16th Street, the bike I have now was amputated. Both wheels were gone when I came out. I had to carry it home.

What annoys you most about biking in SF? The wind, and the cars. Take those two things away, and it'd be great. But definitely the cars - the SUVs, the exhaust, the people on cell phones. I have to admit that my commute has gotten a lot better now that I commute to the Presidio instead of to SOMA.

Why? It's mellower riding through the neighborhoods as opposed to taking Folsom to work.

Are there many cars in the Folsom bike lane? At least every block. There are areas worse than others, but that's the way it is everywhere. People are always parked in the bike lanes.

How do we get them out? Well, it'd be good if cops enforced it a little more. Maybe more signs, but I don't think people really pay attention to that. What's the best thing about riding in SF? The freedom. And believe it or not, it's less stress than driving a car.

Why do you think more women don't ride? I think women don't have the macho thing to prove, so their fears might get the best of them because the traffic is so crazy. Also I know women get yelled at a lot more on the streets.

What do you do when someone yells at you? Usually yell back or flip them off. It doesn't do a lot of good though.

What street do you want bike lanes on? Fell and Oak Streets.