Pamela LeBlanc If she hasn’t sped past you in traffic yet, chances are you’ve read her writing in the newspaper. Pamela LeBlanc has been the fitness columnist at the Austin AmericanStatesman for the past 17 years. She’s been a bike commuter for the past eight. Three to five days a week, her mornings look something like this: LeBlanc walks out to her driveway, tosses her work clothes in her cinder-block size, clip-on trunk, and hops on her bike. From her home in Allandale (in North Austin), she takes Lamar Boulevard down to the Shoal
Creek Hike and Bike Trail to get work. Her round-trip commute from front door to desk is 14 miles—18 miles if she adds on a swim practice before work. The weather is probably LeBlanc’s biggest opponent. She commutes to work year-round by bike— through the sweltering, 100-plus degree heat of summer and the abrasive, bone-chilling winds of winter. “It can be brutal. Spring and Fall are the best [times to ride], and August is the hardest month,” she said. On cold days in January, she puts on wool socks, a knit cap under her helmet, and ski
gloves on her hands—gripping her handlebars to stay warm. “I’m not going to do anything dangerous,” LeBlanc said. If it’s raining and the road conditions are really bad, she won’t hesitate to take her car. When she gets to work, LeBlanc rinses off in the Statesman’s locker room, where she stores her toiletries and shampoo. “I’m lucky that I can make it work,” she said of her job. Her co-workers have become accustomed to her arrival attire. Sometimes, before she hits the showers, she’ll sit down at her desk, 01.2015 • au stinfI tmaga z i n e . c o m • 53
We asked you to vote for the people and places that keep Austin fit. Here’s who and what made the cut.