This summer, We the Commuters will be dedicating several weeks at a time to a single commuting topic, starting with the most frequently-raised issues in our commuting survey. First up: biking in the city. We’ll talk about best practices, the real animosity felt among cyclists, drivers and pedestrians, and who’s accountable for safe city planning. But we need your help, too. What else should we cover? Do you have any questions about biking in the city? Scroll below to submit your own suggestions.

This is your brain on biking:

“Refreshed, exhilarated, frustrated, furious, smug.”

“That great freedom of pedaling your own way through a crowded city and finding the ride ‘line’ down the street. The rush, the blood-pumping, the time alone.”

“There are times when the hypervigilance becomes too much and I walk or ride the trains for a few weeks until I feel like I’ve recovered enough sanity to ride again.”

“It’s hard to feel positive when I feel the people who are supposed to protect and serve me have priorities that are so different from mine.”

“Because so much of my time is spent dodging cars or pedestrians, sometimes my zen is interrupted.”

That’s what some of you told us in our survey a few months ago, about how your bike commute makes you feel.

I spoke to Dr. Do Lee, a bike advocate and visiting lecturer at Queens College, about how the conditions around us affect our state of mind while biking around the city and why folks often describe it as exhilarating, literally life-threatening, and so, so worth it.

(Dr. Lee’s responses have been edited for clarity and length.)

You're a bike advocate, but you also have a doctorate in environmental psychology. Can you explain environmental psych, real quick?

In environmental psychology, we say that you cannot understand people’s psychology and well-being without understanding how people are situated in their environments.

In our commuter survey, people who bike described their commute as being high risk and high reward. Can you talk about the psychological environment that people who bike put themselves in every day, versus the environment of a subway commuter?

When you bike, you’re exposed to the environment in ways that you aren’t in other modes of transportation. So you’re exposed to the wind, the rain, the sunshine, car exhaust, the breeze, to uphills and downhills. And so it’s just intense vulnerability to our environment and to sensory experiences. Often times, when we start biking for the first time, we’re all of a sudden overwhelmed by how intense that experience is relative to sensations in other controlled environments.

Lots of people who answered our survey said biking makes them feel more in control, whereas the subway feels like you're playing transportation roulette. Can you talk about control and how we experience it in biking?

Cycling is a very embodied experience. A lot of cyclists describe this really intense connection and flow through their body in connection to the street, and so it imparts a sense of deep control over how you move.

But you don’t have control over the weather conditions, how good the road is, or whether that driver is speeding too fast and is going to swerve into you.

I know that anywhere I bike, I’ll get there within a few minutes of when I’m planning to get there. That’s not true of other modes usually. If you take the subway, especially with all of the disruptions that we have now, I think most people have to plan an extra half hour, maybe 45 minutes to get anywhere on time. And I think that’s incredibly stressful.

Listen to Shumita Basu’s report on WNYC:

Your doctorate thesis was about food delivery cyclists, and how, unlike people who bike to commute or for fun, working cyclists are looking for ways to make biking less of a sensory experience.

Working cyclists do this day after day after day in these very repetitive routes, and they’re exposed to wintery conditions, snow, terrible wind. A lot of the food delivery workers that I talked to are in their fifties and sixties, doing up to 50-60 miles a day. And so a lot of these things cause the workers to have aches and pains and injuries, and they may not be able to pedal as well.

A lot of the workers view the surge of electrical bikes — which are very controversial here in New York and there’s current legislation to try to legalize them — as a godsend, as a way to help them do their jobs and minimize the sensory experience.

Some people who would like to become urban bike commuters say fear — mostly of being injured by cars — is what’s stopping them. What’s your advice for people who have apprehensions about starting in a place like New York City?

If we drive, bike, walk, take the subway, all these modes really shape how we move through the day — how we pick up the kids, get to work, get the groceries. If you all of a sudden want to start biking, you have to imagine how you do all those things on a bike. And if the conditions aren’t safe, it’s just another bigger barrier to even approaching that. My advice is, if you have any interest: you don’t know until you try it.

"We the Commuters" are all ears. Tell us what questions you have about biking and what you’d like to see covered during our several weeks of bike-centric reporting. Submit a question below.

Shumita Basu is a host, producer and reporter in the newsroom. You can follow her on Twitter @shubasu.