Meet Paige Metzger. She’s the mom who shows up on the pretty step-through bike to almost every monthly family bike ride in the metro-atlanta suburb-city of Dunwoody, Georgia.
She’s the one who participates in every call-to-action from the local Bike/Walk advocacy group, Bike Walk Dunwoody, including representing bike riders in the annual Fourth of July Parade (the biggest in the state of Georgia*), pictured above.
She’s the one who showed up at City Hall for a focus group of actual rubber-hits-the-road bike riders when the Master Transportation Plan was recently being updated (pictured here standing) so that the voice of a mom who doesn’t consider herself a road cyclist could be heard.
She’s the one in a video about a newly-passed ordinance (that she encouraged) that allows people of all ages to ride bikes on the sidewalks legally while the years-long discussions about providing actual safe-access-for-all move at turtle-speed.
And she’s the one who worries, day in and day out, about her husband who bike-commutes to his job at a government environmental agency (pictured standing next to her at the city meeting in the photo above), and her teenage son who uses his bike to see friends. Both of them have narrowly escaped losing their lives while riding their bikes in this “family friendly” city**.
Paige told me that she used to ride bikes while a young child growing up in Virginia, but not after her family moved to Dunwoody when she was nine years old. After getting married, she and her husband lived in a nearby city for years, where they rode bikes around the neighborhood and to support local businesses. When they themselves moved to Dunwoody, they taught their young son to ride a bike and started participating in the monthly community bike ride, started by Joe Seconder (who is now a city councilor). They thought it was important for their son to have that experience, and for other parents to see a child riding so that maybe others would ride as a family as well. Paige told me:
“Many times, I didn’t want to go to the community ride. It was the same route each month, and there weren’t many women. But I knew it was important.”
Paige and her son also rode to and from school, and she’d call other moms encouraging them to join them. They kept waiting for bike riding to catch on, but it never did. Until now.
During this global pandemic, a record number of people are riding bikes. Paige is particular happy that her son and his friends get to experience the freedom that bikes provide to go places such as the local ice cream shop, and she sees her bike rides as a way to help fight Climate Change. Paige said:
“Every time I’m on a bike, I’m not in a car. And maybe if people see me with my basket full of groceries riding home from Kroger, they’ll think riding a bike to run an errand is a thing they can do, too.”
I want you to know I see you, Paige. I see the heavy lifting you’ve been doing, day in and day out, and I celebrate you and other moms across the USA who are modeling the change you want to see in the world, and in our communities — one pretty, upright bike ride at a time.
* canceled this year due to COVID-19
** Paige’s husband, Jason, survived a hit by a motor vehicle driver on the same road where Isurvived a hit-and-run recently, and her son was recently almost hit on a nearby road while on the way to a neighborhood pool.
Tap in every day in August for my “You Go, Girl” series showcasing 31 Women in 31 Days who are making it more welcoming to ride bikes in the USA. If interested, you may enjoy my book, Traveling at the Speed of Bike. All proceeds from the sale of my book help more women and girls ride bikes.
The complete series:
10. Meet Irene Lutts
14. Meet Jenn Dice
17 -26. Meet 10 Women Who Wrote Bike Books I Love
28. Meet Megan Ramey
30. Meet Aly Nicklas