I spent the holidays with my parents in Washington, and although I didn't make it out on a bike to enjoy the unseasonably unrainy (dry is never an adjective that can be used to describe northwest winters), I was inspired by two very dedicated bike commuters.
Last time I wrote about my parents' commuting choices, my mom, who has to be at her job at the grocery store at 5am, said she was too scared to ride the eight miles into town on the dark rural roads every morning. But over the last year, her desire for exercise and a little fresh air motivated her to invest in bright lights and fenders, and so now she's commuting regularly on her vintage Jack Taylor.
Photo 1: My mom holds up the neon t-shirt she wears over her rain gear or jackets. If it gets wet, she just hangs it up to dry when she gets to work.
A few days after Christmas, I was having a conversation with my mom and her good friend Ellie Duffield about the best ways to stay warm, dry and safe during winter biking. Ellie is also a regular bike commuter, traveling from her home in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle to her job in the U-District.
Photo 2: Ellie shows off her high-visibility waterproof backpack cover she designed using a piece of neon waterproof fabric.
When so many bike commuters and bike bloggers are young, male or both, it's really encouraging to have conversations with older female cyclists who are out there in the rain and the dark, choosing to use a sustainable form of transit. I only hope I'm as strong and as tough when I'm that age.
Photo 3: Bright lights on rural roads are a total necessity, not only so cars see you, but so you can see the pavement, my mom explains, powering on her external battery pack super bright headlamp.