Ginger, a mom who bikes with her kids daily, sent us a note pledging to donate up to $1,000 in matching funds, because her family’s livelihood depends on getting protected bike infrastructure built. Here’s her story —
Written by Ginger Hanson
It’s been four years since we said good bye to our car. Like unburdening yourself from a bad relationship the freedom was exciting. The year prior I had discovered family cargo biking which replaced the stress and wasted time of traffic jams and circling for parking with the exhilarating feeling of moving my body and effortlessly coasting up to the front door. Walking and biking have increased my joy exponentially and I don’t want to go back to all of the hassles of car ownership. Since we began this journey we have seen so many positive developments that have made no car easier: growing bike infrastructure, improvements to our bus service, increased options for car sharing, bike sharing, and scooter sharing. (If you haven’t tried the new scooters I encourage you to do so, F. U. N. you will feel like a kid again!)
We have been through many stages of biking with children. We started with buckling them into a child’s bike seats when they were toddlers. We had an ingenious contraption called a Follow-me Tandem which made it easy to attach and de-attach their bike to ours. Then they rode on the deck of a Big Surly Big Dummy cargo bike. These days they like to help pedal on our Circe tandem with Burley Piccolo trail-a-bike. Perhaps you’ve seen us riding about town? Biking doesn’t just bring us a smile, we are constantly rewarded with smiles, waves and words of encouragement from on lookers.
The mission of Bikemore has always been important to me. Getting out of my car and onto a bike increased my joy exponentially. I am a brave soul, an early adopter, but I would like others to feel comfortable and empowered to make this choice too. That is what the work of Bikemore is doing for our city. Not everyone will be willing to, or able to give up their car, but everyone can make small changes to reduce their trips by car. As the density of our city grows and we continue to look for ways to make our air cleaner, empowering people to choose active transportation by providing safe and comfortable infrastructure will become increasingly important.
Our oldest is now beginning middle school and becoming more independent. More and more our kids want to ride their own bikes, under their own power, going where they want to go. I can see the time when they will need to be given permission to do so. It is scary. I want them to have this freedom. They have long been aware of and compliant with traffic safety rules, I trust them in that capacity. However, I fear the vulnerability of them being on a bicycle in traffic with faster moving, heavier cars, with drivers who are not always paying attention. Bike lanes provide some assurance, but still leave them vulnerable to distracted drivers.
The growing network of protected cycle tracks brought about through the advocacy of Bikemore and members like myself are so necessary to making families and children comfortable. This is why I support Bikemore. I have seen the power that our collective voices and strong leadership can bring. We need to continue our work, they city is not safe enough for all families and all children who get around by foot and bike. We must do more to create a safe and equitable city.