I grew up on a bicycle. While I was still on a one-speed bike, my parents led our family on afternoon rides into the countryside, often ending up at The Chief for an ice cream treat. I quickly became a confident road cyclist. I biked with friends, biked to visit my grandparents, biked to the library and to the grocery store for that one missing ingredient in the recipe. I learned early in life that having a bike meant I could be more independent and I loved having that freedom.
When I bought my first car after college and moved to southern Ohio, I realized how lucky I had been to bike on the flat, straight roads and paths of northern Indiana. I tried biking the hills of Cincinnati exactly one time. It was another six years before I got back on a bike—when I moved back to Goshen.
It was then that I got to re-experience my “first” bike ride and I loved it! Now I enjoy biking for the independence it gives me from putting gas in my car or worrying about a mechanical problem I can’t see or fix. I’ve gradually learned how to repair different parts of my bike and am finding how simple bike mechanics are. I’ve found biking to be a joy in all kinds of weather (with the right attire)—in the new sunshine of spring, the warm rains of summer, the crisp air of fall, and the gentle snows of winter. I love being able to make eye contact and say hello to people I pass. I love how easy it is to jump on and off my bike when I see something unexpected to explore or how quickly I can make a U-turn when I’ve forgotten something.
I’ve become a vocal bicyclist (and pedestrian) advocate—working directly with everyone from local city staff to national research centers and advocacy organizations. I joined the Chain Reaction board in 2012 because I’m passionate about making bikes and bicycling an accessible mode of transportation for everyone in our community.