Smiling and pedaling

I was lucky enough to fit in a quick spin on the knobby tires out at Phil’s Trail last Sunday. I figure since I’ll be spending the next 10 months riding on the road, a little mountain bike cross-training is justified. Check out this great clip of our fast and flowy afternoon ride.

Video and edit by Dustin Fletcher.


Riding for a cause

I would like to present you with a challenge: The next time you hop on two wheels, consider why you ride. What are the merits of pedaling a bicycle? Freedom, happiness, fitness, transportation, speed, fresh air, strength; those are a few words that pop into my mind. But what about YOU? What words do your brain conjure when you roll your shiny pedal-powered steed down your driveway?

The beauty of bikes is that everyone is rides  for a different reason. In one month I will start pedaling for healthy kids. I see my 6,000 mile route as an opportunity to share this message with the countless communities that I will visit along the way. But you don’t have to travel all the way across the country to positively impact the lives of yourself and others.

I encourage you to simply make cycling a conscious act. Smile. Be courteous. Take a moment to appreciate the wind in your hair or the goosebumps on your arm as you speed down that first, chilly hill. Invite a friend to join you. If you allow your love of riding to shine through others will sense your enthusiasm. You may even inspire a stranger to air up their tires and try their hand at riding once again.

Ride for a cause. Ride for health. Ride for joy. Ride towards the future. 

Walk + Bike = Inspiration

This past weekend I attended Oregon’s Bike + Walk Retreat right here in my hometown of Bend. Along with offering Traffic Safety 101 certification from the League of American Bicyclists, the conference also highlighted statewide conversations around successes and challenges of bicycle and active transportation advocacy.

As introductions went around the room during the first session of the retreat, I was pleased to hear that I was surrrounded by a diverse group of attendees. Backgrounds varied from educators to parents to state employees to bicycle advocates such as myself. The 5 Es of a bicycle friendly community served as guiding principles for our conversations each day and we came back to all 5 at various times. The 5 Es include  Education,  Encouragement,  Enforcement,  EvaluationEngineering. Many folks have added a 6th (and essential) E: Equity.

Ideas were flying as soon as the floor opened up for comments from the group, and from that point on, the constructive conversations never stopped. I heard brainstorming occur during lunchtime, in between sessions and even at the social mixer. The camaraderie and collective energy were palpable every day and this supportiveness was exhibited in force during our on-street bicycle safety evaluation ride. One woman who had been a bit timid on her bike all weekend executed a VERY busy intersection confidently and with a huge smile. Our group hooted and hollered as she signaled left and safely navigated into the parking lot where we were waiting. This collaborative atmosphere was the theme of the weekend; I know that she will bring her knowledge and the positive spirit of the retreat back to her community and inspire others to start pedaling.

Bikes change lives. I’m confident of it. 

Here’s our bicycle safety class learning about bike maintenance:

And even Grizwald attended the evening mixer: