Mother Lode

Pictured is Johanna DeCotis Smith, who, along with her husband Cole Smith, was my bike tour guide of the Atlanta Beltline so many years ago! See photos and story here*. Fun fact: Johanna actually rode her bike to the doctor’s office on the day she gave birth to their second child.

I came upon them this past Sunday when I was Traveling at the Speed of Bike in Atlanta (for the first time since March due to sheltering-in-place) so that I could remind myself why I even choose to ride my bike (after surviving a hit-and-run last week). I didn’t realize it was Johanna, Cole and their family until Cole recognized me under my mask and said a quick hello as we went in opposite directions. (So, hello, Johanna! Sorry we didn’t get to talk!)

If you’d like to be a mom who rides bikes with (or without) kids but needs a little help, I got you covered.

You may also enjoy the stunning documentary Motherlode. I attended a free public screening of it in the fall of 2019 (back when we did such things) in Piedmont Park in Midtown Atlanta (pictured below). Every single city representative, chamber of commerce member, corporate leader**, and school board member (and anyone else who needs a reminder about the sheer joy of it all) should view this movie.You can see the trailer here.

public screening of Motherlode in Atlanta, Georgia

If you don’t see cargo bikes carting kids in your city, your city is losing out to elsewhere when it comes to being bike-friendly. And you do know that bike riders shop local more often and that women make or influence 80% of all consumer purchase decisions, right? So being bike-friendly and welcoming to women has a direct impact on your local economy. We all win.

* The links within that story don’t work as that blog is old and I no longer maintain it, but let me know if you want to see any of the links as I do have access to them.

** If you want to shift more of your employees to non-motor-vehicle commutes (which can save you money, reduce employee comorbidities, and boost productivity), you must account for the fact that women “trip-chain” more than men, which means we are more likely to make multiple stops along the way, such as to drop off kids or pick up groceries. Incentivizing electric cargo bikes; providing secure bike parking, showers, lockers, and guaranteed ride homes in case of emergencies (your local Commute Options program can help you with all this); and having a voice at the table in your local city’s access-for-all infrastructure planning can make a difference.