Jan 9, 2020
By Erica, SCBC member
After many variations of love affairs with cycling, I found a new partner this year thanks to theSonoma County Bicycle Coalition (SCBC). A little bit about my background, and then I’ll introduce you to my new riding partner.
I started cycling in college as a means to get around town and avoid parking my car. After moving to Sonoma County in my twenties I took up road racing. I had my first kid in my thirties, and clearly remember my “last” ride, wondering if I’d ever be able to bike again.
There’s so much mom guilt that comes along with taking time out for yourself on the bike. I’m the best at self-care of any mom I know, and I still feel guilty every time I throw my leg over the saddle for a ride without the kids.
I took a trip to New York in February to visit my best friend from college, Aviva, who has never owned a car. She bikes something crazy like 6,000 miles a year, commuting rain, snow or shine twenty miles per day round trip. We rode 130 miles in 3 days around town in minus 20 degree weather. It was just us and the delivery guys on bikes. No big deal for Aviva, just a way of life - but it was a total game changer for me.
I came home motivated to bike everywhere again because it brought me so much joy. I got out our trailer and hooked it up to my bike and started commuting across town with my son in it. It was awesome! But when I tried to put my daughter in with him, they’d fight as it just wasn’t big enough for the two of them.
On a whim, I remembered the bicycle lending library at SCBC. They put a cargo bike together for me, including all the add-on’s like a child seat and monkey bars. We tried it out and quickly decided that this was going to be our new way of life — I wanted to have our own cargo bike. The intimacy of having the kids close was so much better than the trailer.
We got our new bike around the beginning of the school year and I haven’t done school drop off by car since! We skip the car drop-off line; we love our intimate time together, with my son behind me and my daughter in the front of me; we get fresh air, we’ve seen tons of wildlife, observed creek flow variations, and we say hello to regulars. We get to experience so much joy.
We’ve had our share of flats (winter riding does suck), but we learn resilience and it’s so So SO worth it! It adds only a small amount of transit time to our day, but it’s so much greater quality time. A huge shout out of gratitude to SCBC for having the bicycle lending library.
The Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition is a local nonprofit working to promote bicycling in Sonoma County through education and advocacy. To find out more – and to make a tax-deductible contribution to support their work – visit www.bikesonoma.org .
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