Wonder woman

Janine Rood

Photo by Catherine Beeghly

Two of Janine Rood’s long-term dreams are seeing fruition these days. After working 25 years in high-tech marketing in Silicon Valley, Rood moved to Chico in 1997 and became active with Chico Velo. This November, she took the reins as its executive director. On Monday (Dec. 26) she left the country to study yoga, which she teaches, in India for a month. With her contagious smile and vibrant blue eyes, Rood looks and moves like someone much younger than her 52 years. She gets up at 5 a.m. three days a week to ride her bike to the gym to swim laps. She also teaches two yoga classes a week at North Rim Adventure Sports, where her husband, Mike Trowbridge, works.

What do you say to encourage people to ride their bikes?

If you’ve got the right equipment, it’s not that hard. Fenders are key to avoid getting splashed. Lights are the biggest thing when it’s dark. And a good lock, because bikes do get stolen. And helmets—everyone should wear them. They should be required, and not just for kids. It makes me crazy to see families out cycling with the kids wearing their helmets and the parents don’t. Just suck it up and put on a helmet. That’s my message.

What are your plans for Chico Velo?

The big thing about Chico Velo is it’s both a cycling club and an advocacy organization for bicyclists. One of my personal goals has to do with the League of American Bicyclists. They have programs for cities, states, universities and businesses, which can submit applications to be ranked bike-friendly. There are certain requirements you have to meet to be ranked bronze, silver or gold. Chico was bronze a long time ago, then we haven’t done it for a while. My goal is to get us to the gold level in five years. I want to get city and county agencies working together to meet those requirements.

What do you hope to gain from your trip to India?

It’s a very structured program. I teach Iyengar yoga, named for B.K.S. Iyengar, who just turned 93. He’s amazing. It’s two hours of yoga classes a day, with two hours of practice on top of that, six days a week for a month. I’m going with a friend, and we have an apartment rented. We’re going to go and yoga our brains out.

What’s your philosophy of health and fitness?

Life is so much better when you’re resilient. Being strong and flexible is such a good thing. I’m proud of every year I’ve survived. I say, “She who dies with the best stories wins.” It’s not about the best toys. I want to have done so many things, and have great stories to tell. I want to do it all.