When I offered to teach a Bike AT Work Day class for women at noon on Bike TO Work Day, and “Kip the Concierge Extraordinaire from Colony Square” (a Midtown Atlanta live/work/play development two blocks from Piedmont Park) offered to promote it, I imagined office workers taking a lunchtime break to learn a few bike skills around the park lake. I didn’t expect that the office workers who signed up would cancel for various reasons, and that the one remaining student would email me to tell me she’s a nanny and ask if she can bring the six-year-old she takes care of.
I hesitated before I replied. I was initially concerned that if someone else showed up, it would be challenging having a child there as I intended it as an adult class. But then I realized that Bike to Work for many women, in particular, often means biking with children, as well as to part-time jobs and freelance gigs and lots of other things far, far outside the corporate box. And if I want to help empower women with greater access and freedom (and I do), then it will often involve children.
I emailed Christina back to say that would be lovely. I figured that I already taught an Earn-a-Bike program and Bike Rodeos with kids just a little older than he is (plus I taught my own daughters), so I had the skills to juggle this. Plus, I like to trust the journey (it’s sort of a mantra) and this is what the journey presented me with next. And so today this determined-to-ride woman and a little boy in a collared lobster shirt joined me as we sang “Seat, and pedals, handlebars, handlebars . . . ” and mastered our power starts. And it was fun.
Note: I ran into a woman named Emma and her daughter “taking the lane” on Peachtree Street right before the class. People like Christina and Emma may not get counted along with the slick cyclists grabbing Power Bars at energy stations during morning commute on Bike to Work Day, but they should.
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