Tag Archives: Laural Ringler

“On Bicycles” by Amy Walker

Check out Bellingham Village Books reading of Amy Walker’s On Bicycles: 50 Ways the New Bike Culture Can Change Your Life. I can’t attend so please let me know if you do, I’d love a report.

Bicycling has changed my life. When I was a kid, my bike rides were my solace, taking me “far” from home, connecting me with friends over the summer, building my confidence as a solo explorer of my own township. In college my bicycle was transportation and saved me hundreds of dollars per year on parking passes. In my 30’s, my bicycle was gave me the motivation to start a non-profit car share, to enable others to give up a car and take the bus and bike instead. When my twins were born, riding my bicycle with them in the trailer or on tag-alongs made me feel like a warrior, capable and strong. Now, my bicycle is rehab from knee surgery and part of the exercise I can just squeeze into my busy writer-mom life. I’m still dreaming of overnight bike camping trips with my family, and perhaps someday even more ambitious trips like those taken by my gal pal Laural Ringler and her family, from Bellingham to Mexico and in European cities, as she shares  on her Family Adventuring blog and in regular features in Adventures NW.

Bicycles have influenced my life more than any car ever could and I’ve loved each of them like a friend. If bicycles haven’t yet changed your life for the better, consider giving them a test ride. They’re so much more than transportation and exercise.

Bicycling for Social Change

I haven’t spoken much about my love of bicycling here since I injured my knee last year, but today, thanks to bloggers Cathy Belben and Laural Ringler, I got to see this short documentary about How the Dutch Got Their Bike Paths. One might think they’ve always been there, as a part of their culture, but as this doc mentions, the lanes were fought for by the country’s citizens on behalf of their children’s safety.

I love to cycle, and vastly prefer it over car travel, but I don’t do it as often as I’d like because many of the places I need to go in my moderate-sized progressive town do not offer a safe route for me when my children are in tow.

I think we’re heading in the right direction with alternative transportation, however slowly. So even when that thoughtless cyclist cuts you off in traffic, crosses three lanes without signaling, or makes you late for your appointment, remember to support cyclists for what they do for our community. They conserve oil and protect our air quality, they improve the physical health of our community and decrease traffic, and they are safer for our children than vehicles. Lobby for safe biking. There are many ways to get there and cars are only one. Let’s think bigger, together.