Dispatch from Walla Walla, Washington

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

[News intern Alaya Wyndham-Price spent the recent holiday in Walla Walla, Washington. She checked in on the local bike scene and shares her report below.]

Reggie Gonzales at the Bicycle Barn.
(Photo: Alaya Wyndham-Price)

Like Portland, it snowed in Walla Walla during the holidays, about four inches of the white stuff fell and then slightly froze to the ground — typical weather for this small valley town in the foothills of the Blue Mountains, about 250 miles from Portland. The town of about 58,000 is best known for farming, college, and wine.

I’ve been visiting Walla Walla for seven years now, and riding around the area, particularly on the trails outside the town proper. But it wasn’t till this trip that I realized how invested in cycling the community is here.

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Juggling work, life, and three kids — by bike

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Kidical Mass - August-11.jpg

Joe Hagedorn, with sons Cole
and Carter.
(Photos © J. Maus)

[Publisher’s note: This family biking profile comes to you from our newest writer, Alaya Wyndham-Price. Stay tuned for a bike-friendly business profile and other stories from Ms. Wyndham-Price.]

“We bike whenever we can,” Hau Hagedorn said. I sat with her and her husband Joe discussing their family’s commitment to bike commuting over tea this week. Hau and Joe are both professionals with jobs in downtown Portland, and are also parents of three young boys; Carter, age six, Cole, age four, and Hendrik, just 9 months.

This is the story of how they became a biking family.

The couple began easing into bike commuting about two and a half years ago, after Hau decided to participate in the Low-Car Diet by giving up the keys to the family car for two weeks while Joe was on a business trip. At the time, it meant balancing the schedule of her two older sons, her job, and doing regular errands by bike.

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