Meet BikePortland supporter Shannon Johnson

Posted by on June 18th, 2021 at 12:13 pm

Shannon Johnson and her crew.
(Photo: Johnson Family)

Hi everyone.

It’s the end of another wild week here at BikePortland. Before we sign off for a bit, I wanted to share a profile from one of our supporters.

If you’re not one of our hundreds of financial supporters, subscribers, or Patreons (become one here!), you don’t get the weekly Insider Newsletter that goes out (mostly) every Friday. That’s where I share a personal note with readers, housekeeping stuff about the business, a recap of all our stories from the week, and other little tidbits I can squeeze in.

Each week I ask folks to send in a profile about themselves and why they decided to support us.

The latest one came from Shannon Johnson. I thought it was so sweet and fun that I asked if I could share it here on the Front Page as well.

So here goes: Meet BikePortlander Shannon Johnson…

I’m Shannon Johnson, age 36, live in Downtown Hillsboro. I’m a Homeschooling Mother of four, with a baby on the way.

I became a supporter after reading that delightful BikePortland article about Emily Finch using a cargo bike to transport her six kids all around — sans car! I read the article about five times and decided: This is what I need!!!

I had been dreaming about biking for years, but it had seemed impossible for an adult with more than two children. I should have known better — I’ve been to Amsterdam. Nevertheless, I needed Emily Finch to show me the way.

Prior to the Emily Finch revelation, I could see that my older children wanted biking adventures and I wanted to do something a bit more exciting than pushing a stroller. But how? We had an unused bike trailer and were thinking about what we would need to drive to carfree paved bike trails — a trip that would require a trailer-hitch for our minivan, a four-bike rack, and a bike for me. It would also mean loading four bikes and the bike trailer, along with diapers and a picnic and all the kids in car seats; just to go drive somewhere in order to go for a bike ride. That’s too much work!

Thanks to BikePortland and Emily Finch, for sharing the joy of biking and how it can be possible — even for a Mama with too many little kids to fit in a typical bike trailer.

But what if I got an Emily Finch-style cargo bike? Then we could just hop on and go! Plus, I could grocery shop at the local stores and market, which are only blocks away, but I could never hand-carry groceries back home to feed our big family. A cargo bike makes even a big trip to the grocery store possible.

So I drooled over fancy Dutch cargo bikes that cost more than my husband’s car and then found this gem on Craigslist for about $500. It was custom-made by a local Portlander who taught himself how to make these sort of bikes. I got it used from another Mama. And it’s perfect! As shown in the photo, I can carry three kids, plus about 50 library books, two basketballs, a soccer ball, water bottles, diapers, and a large picnic basket, with my oldest riding his own bike. (I’m really not very strong, it’s some kind of bike-magic that makes it possible) It has been a delight and a joy. We can bike to more parks now, visit new places, go on new adventures, as well as frequent our branch library in style.

As Emily Finch said, it makes me happy! We can just go!

As a thank-you for the inspiration and joy, I became a supporter of BikePortland. I also really appreciate the quality of the news and information. I have been excited to learn about a possible new bike trail to be built connecting Hillsboro with the Banks-Vernonia carfree trail (and I was impressed that BikePortland’s coverage extends out this far West). I am hoping to join advocacy efforts for this great biking opportunity for Hillsboro/Westside folks. Then our family could go on even longer biking adventures, of the type I was originally dreaming about, and never have to mess with a trailer hitch and bike rack — which our growing family is already too large for anyway!

Thanks to BikePortland and Emily Finch, for sharing the joy of biking and how it can be possible — even for a Mama with too many little kids to fit in a typical bike trailer. Bravo! You have made our summer, and future family life, more adventurous, fun, and oh-so-happy!

Thank you Shannon! Your support and enthusiasm for biking with your family is like a nice cold drink at the top of a long climb on a hot day. Have fun out there and keep us posted on your adventures.

And for everyone else, thanks for reading. We need more supporters like Shannon, so please learn more and sign up today.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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NOTE: Thanks for sharing and reading our comments. To ensure this is a welcoming and productive space, all comments are manually approved by staff. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for meanness, discrimination or harassment. Comments with expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia will be deleted and authors will be banned.

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Mimi Harball
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Mimi Harball

Way to go Shannon!! Just reading this made me exhausted.