Becky Jo’s Carfree Life: Bike Culture Happy Hour and school bike parades

Just a couple 8th grader moms.

I’m pretty good at being reclusive and introverted, but even I’m starting to feel the strain of quarantine.

I was truly looking forward to all the local bike rides for spring and summer to get to know all of you IRL (in real life), and for getting my kids a bit more into biking. You know, plant those life-long cycling seeds. I’m hoping today we can each share a bit of what we’re doing to help both new people like me find “virtual” social biking options and help each other stay connected.

I’ve had a couple Zoom meetings with sewing friends and an incredible, live online “Bike Culture Happy Hour” hosted by Filmed by Bike Festival Director and Founder Ayleen Crotty. I highly recommend checking out her work, and don’t miss her free, online Bike Movie Nights (there’s one this Saturday if you want to join me!).

Have you been enjoying any virtual events or online group meet-ups? What do you recommend? Have you been checking the Pedalpalooza calendar? There are some openings if you want to add something in. I love the idea of a Curbside Freecycle Bicycle day that came up in our Happy Hour if anyone out there knows how to tie in a map, that would be awesome! I bought my 2020 Pedalpalooza pennant; I feel so official. Is anyone doing 2020 biking hashtags for Twitter/Instagram? What are your favorites?


Bike Culture Happy Hour hosted by Ayleen Crotty/Filmed by Bike.

One thing I’ve done is try to turn our school’s 8th grade grads car parade into more of a biking parade. So far it has been really great, and the noticeable perk in the kids’ emotional well-being is worth all the effort everyone is putting in to keep it safe. Family “pods” bike up to the two 8th graders’ houses on the schedule for that evening, we yell, throw candy and chat at safe distances with masks on. Some are better at remember the rules than others, and I’m on constant repeat, “Alex! 6 feet!” Overall, it has been really great. Many people in cars get out and chat. It’s a small school and not everyone is able to participate, but even with low numbers we spread down a whole block. I’d suggest if you had a larger class and wanted to do this, break it up into rotating participation to not get too much crowding and can maintain safe social distancing. One of the moms scheduled two houses a night, and the two houses choses are within a few blocks of each other, so it’s not too much to handle in an evening after dinner.

Have you been doing any social distanced socializing? I see neighbors having drinks on either side of the road, or spread out over lawns, sidewalks, and planting strips. It makes me smile on my rides to see people finding ways to still connect.

On that note, I’d love to chat with you. I have all these questions I was going to be able to ask you in person this summer on our big rides, and now I can’t. So, maybe we can FaceTime, Zoom, Skype… you tell me. I’d like to talk with you if you’re a shop mechanic, hobby mechanic (the more self-taught, the better), thrill-seeking mountain biker, weekend speed demon on Sauvie Island, e-bike officionado, human-powered-trailer hauling master, or anything else you can think of that might help out new people to biking and being carfree.

I had scads of notes with questions I need to ask and your information would be great to kick off more discussions here for all of us. Message me, beckyjopdx, on the BikePortland Forums and let’s get more people out there!

As always, thank you so much for hanging out with me here.

— Becky Jo, @BeckyJoPDX
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Becky Jo (Columnist)

Becky Jo (Columnist)

Becky Jo lives in North Portland with her husbeast, four children, two cats, and has packed more fabric into their modest house than anyone will ever know. While she knows her way around a sewing machine, cycling is new, filling her with great wonder, confusion, and occasionally panic.

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B. Carfree
B. Carfree
4 years ago

” I see neighbors having drinks on either side of the road, or spread out over lawns, sidewalks, and planting strips. It makes me smile on my rides to see people finding ways to still connect.”

That would definitely make me smile a big broad smile. I’d smile because it’s awesome that people are finding appropriate ways to connect and because it would mean I’m back on my bike (surgically imposed lay-off; longest of my life and I’m definitely not loving it).

I love that the people of Portland are apparently taking physical distancing seriously. Most people I see are also doing so, which makes the small percentage that refuse stand out a bit. As long as I remember how few those wannabe spreaders are, I feel happy.