The Des Moines Register • July 14, 2008
Job description: I'm a barista, barrister, bicyclist, bug lover and bicycle radio talk show host. I host "The Kim West Radio Cycling Show" Sunday nights on KXNO-AM (1460), the only show of its kind in the nation.
Notable achievements: I was the single parent of a child who still loves me. I ran a nice little hippie coop child-care center in Iowa City in the '70s and managed to get through law school before discovering the joys of bicycle racing. I am one of three co-founders of the Des Moines Bike Collective.
Why I do what I do: Pretty much everything I do, I do to make others feel good, or at least better; I get my warm fuzzies that way.What I do to get away from work: Ride my bikes as far as possible and have as much fun as possible while doing it.
How I give back to the community: I do a little inspirational blogging on at theorphanageandyou.blogspot.com. I have ridden on RAGBRAI since 1974, and this summer I'll take my granddaughter with me. I believe that by getting more people on bikes, the world will be a better place a little bit longer. [NOTE: they edited out my claim that this ragby will be my 50th, the fun haters.]
Words to live by: "Treat your coffee maker well, and ride your bicycle with a friend."
Best business book I've read lately: "The Cat in the Hat," by Dr. Seuss, emulates my business model.
The best place to entertain clients or colleagues: On a bicycle, heading south through Cumming and Winterset and back up via Martensdale on an East Peru Loop. Gives me 100 miles of rolling and steep hills through the most beautiful scenery in central Iowa. Life is better by the time I return.
One thing I would change about the Des Moines area: The attitude of motorists, law enforcement, city planners and engineers, and others toward bicycles and the people who ride them. We're not going away, you know.
What Iowa can do to attract more people like me: Change its hostile attitude toward bicycles and bicyclists. Ask us what we want and need; do not assume that you know.
My mentor: My mother, Michael Fatka, the Youth International Party, Bob Newhart and George Carlin.
My leadership philosophy: Stimulate discussion, and stand back until the dust settles. If you don't know the answer, you haven't ridden long enough.