Editor’s note: I am excited to introduce Marion Rice (you might remember her from this story back in November). Marion is a mother of two (ages 5 and 2), is married to “the coolest guy ever who bikes as much as he can and is into Xtracycle dating”. She’s full of ideas and tips about how to be a confident and capable carfree mom or dad. She’ll be writing regular stories on everything from exploring family bike options, to cycling with babies and toddlers.
Take it away Marion!…
(Photos © J. Maus)
Last summer I had an awakening; I became a carfree mom. I chose to ride my bike almost everywhere, almost all the time. On average, I ride between 15-20 miles a day Monday through Friday with my two kids (and sometimes four bags of groceries).
One of the main reasons I woke up to biking as a viable way to get around with my family was because I feel it’s safer to be on a bike. With a growing critical mass of cyclists around town, I feel more confident that car drviers are seeing us on the roads and that they’re learning (albeit slowly) how to share the road. In fact, while the number of cyclists has grown, the crash rate has not kept pace, meaning it is actually getting safer to be on a bike in Portland.
And besides that, I just love it!
I never have to waste time looking for parking, my kids see me model a healthy lifestyle, and in turn they are invested in helping do our part to be carbon neutral. My son expects to go to school by bike even in the cold. He dons his “ninja bike stuff”, and my daughter routinely sings “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” all the way home, entertaining even the most ardent cyclists in the pack at stoplights.
Instead of driving by neighborhoods, we are really in neighborhoods, saying “hi” to our neighbors and noticing interesting things about the place we live in.
In the past year, I’ve met many parents who are on some point of the carfree continuum — some want to be car-free, others are on their way, and other still have already taken the plunge. Wherever you fit in that spectrum, I hope this column gives you great ideas and inspires you and your family to bike more and drive less.
I look forward to sharing my experiences with you, and those of other carfree moms and families, on a regular basis. Upcoming stories include profiles of carfree moms and dads, a rundown of good, family bike options, and much more.
If you have something on your mind, or have specific information you’d like to see covered, drop me a line at marionrice [at] mac [dot] com or just leave a comment below.
See you out there!
Marion Rice has been producing educational media since 1993. She has been the Executive Producer of a number of web sites for PBS.org including The PBS Parents Guide To Talking With Kids About War and Violence, History Detectives and The New Heroes. Most recently she was the Co-Executive Producer of a web site for parents to help them support their children’s emergent literacy from birth to age 5.
Marion Rice started writing the Family Biking column for BikePortland in 2008. She is interested in developing stories that are relevant to families on all parts of the car free/ car light continuum. In addition to writing, Marion helps the BikePortland team with her experience in fund-raising and corporate development. If you have a story idea or would just like to get in touch, you can reach her at (503) 708-0707 or at marion[at]bikeportland.org.