When I think of bike rides, a particular photo of myself comes to mind…
My childhood consisted of many bike rides. Two wheels provided me with an opportunity to explore my neighborhood, stay active and release my continuous hyperactive energy. There’s no denying the excitement that came with finally taking off my training wheels in elementary school.
After moving to a new neighborhood in middle school, bike rides seemed to be a thing of the past. I traded in my bike wheels for field hockey and lacrosse sticks and never looked back.
Then I found Mixte.
I was immediately introduced to an office of bike-enthusiasts as well as bike-focused clients. There was no escaping this mindset and I found myself drawing the undeniable conclusion: I had to land a bike of my own for the first time since elementary school.
I headed to my local bike shop and laid eyes on a purple beauty, knowing we had many adventures in store together. I began pedaling the five miles each way to work, hoping I could quickly become a biking-guru like my co-workers. It wasn’t until my first biking-based Mixte adventure that my dedication to a life on two wheels really kicked in.
On one sunny San Diego day in July, I rode a total of 30 miles – to the office, to Barrio Logan for tacos, back to the office and finally, back to my apartment. I encountered a couple grueling hills and busy intersections along the way and optimistically embraced the trip without knowledge of how to work my bike’s gears or what appropriate biking etiquette entailed. My bike and I struggled through the majority of the trip. It was my longest ride yet, and I pushed myself because wanted to ride with the high level of comfort my coworkers had.
Since then, I’ve committed myself to riding my bike every day that I can – weekdays and weekends – to work, to the grocery store and to Swell in Mission Beach for some much needed coffee and chilaquiles.
It helped that close to the same time as our Barrio-Logan-taco-eating-pedal-pushing-and-panting adventure, I started working on the North American Bikeshare Association (NABSA). NABSA is a membership organization that represents the entire bikeshare industry. It promotes and improves bikeshare systems across the country as well raises awareness on the impact of bikeshare in various cities. NABSA works to bring cutting-edge bikeshare systems to communities nationwide, providing healthy transportation for leisure and tourism– and we get to help spread the word.
I’m continually inspired by this organization and its dedication of social change through bikeshare. After a day of NABSA work I feel empowered to hop on my bike for my short ride home. And as I’m rolling down the main hill on my commute, my inner bike ride-loving child can’t help but smile.