This is a senior riding a bike in the suburb-city where I live, on a main road that is one of the flattest and most direct to many places but which has either too-narrow unprotected bike lanes or none at all (on a road with a posted speed limit of 35 mph that is commonly exceeded by thousands of cars a day, so the current bike access does not meet NACTO standards). It is also the only road I can take to reach my home, and it is the road featured in several stories in my book, Traveling at the Speed of Bike (including the famous, “Then she’s an asshole” story in the Epilogue, which still haunts me).
An average of 10,000 people turn 65 years old every day right now in the USA (and, if you’re not already a senior, my guess is that it’s in your plan one day to make it to that age). Many of them live in self-proclaimed “family friendly” cities (such as mine) where they raised their children and would like to remain. A growing number of them are turning to bikes not just for recreation but also as transportation, as “doctor’s orders,” to improve their health — and interestingly, as mobility devices in lieu of wheelchairs, walkers, or isolation (if interested, see my Seniors on Trikes recommendations in my Bonus Resources). The booming availability of e-bikes makes it increasingly possible to handle the hills and heat with ease.
We can do better to provide safe and equitable access for them. If you are a city planner or elected official right now who is not yet a senior, see it as not just your responsibility but as a gift to your future self.
See here for links to buy my book, Traveling at the Speed of Bike, on Amazon in all global markets. I’m an indie author and your support is greatly appreciated. A portion of proceeds from the sale of all books is donated to help more women and girls ride bikes. Currently, that means funding my ability to do “Pedal Power with Pattie” Basic Bike Skills Classes for Women for free.