Road queen. Deborah Monaghan-Guerrero peddles 210 miles each week from her home in Lacey to Lakes High School. She has been working for the Clover Park School District for 13 years.
With the price of gas nudging $3.50 a gallon, Deborah Monaghan-Guerrero may have the most economical and healthy way of getting to work. She rides a bike, as in bicycle – not Harley or Honda.
Monaghan-Guerrero is a substitute teacher at Lakes High School. Her daily 42 mile round trip didn’t start on a whim; it was borne of necessity.
“I didn’t start out wanting to ride to work,” she said. “My husband’s SUV died after the warranty was null and void.”
So this Lacey resident loaned her automobile to her husband who works in Chehalis.
Her first morning ride to Lakes was a struggle – a trip that did not bode well for the future.
“I fought a 15 m.p.h. headwind and was really getting beaten up. By the time I made it to Fort Lewis I knew I had at least another half an hour to go. I stuck it out and made it to work on time. When I arrived at home that night, I found out that our SUV was going to be in the shop for a while,” said Monaghan-Guerrero.
Her ride the next day was wet, but she didn’t have to fight the strong headwind.
After several months, the SUV was repaired but Monaghan-Guerrero had adapted to the ride.
“Surprisingly, I’ve adjusted to riding and not driving. When the SUV came back, I wasn’t really interested in driving and I haven’t had to pay for gas the whole time. I didn’t have to pay for oil changes and any of the routine car repairs either,” she said.
She does have expenses – bicycle tires, chains and derailleur cassettes. And she has become pretty handy at changing bike tires on the road when needed.
She also continues ride for pleasure on the weekend with a group of cyclists.
Monaghan-Guerrero offers advice to would-be cyclist commuters.
“You must be willing to contend with the weather and get a little dirty – know your bike and how to change a tire,” she said.