I love biking to work…once I actually get on a bike. Until then, I’m a master of excuses–weather, time, wardrobe, stress, you name it; I’ll make it a reason to take the subway into work instead of gearing up for a ride. But Emily Finch, a Portland mom who bikes around town with six kids–between the ages of two and eleven, no less–is putting all of my excuses to shame.
Bike Portland’s profile of Finch (and her bike family) is inspiring, especially because it wasn’t until very recently that she switched from a nine-seat Suburban to pedaling around with her kids. She started biking a couple of years ago, when she lived in Pennsylvania, but recently moved to Portland where she fully embraced her love of biking instead of driving:
I haven’t driven once in Portland… [Not having a car] has pushed us to do a lot more than I would ever do if I had a vehicle sitting there in the driveway, especially when it’s pouring down rain and everyone’s angry.
She says not having a car has been difficult, not just physically, but in the moments when she would otherwise be able to manage her family’s tantrums behind tinted windows in the privacy of a car–she’s literally had to bungee her kids into place in front of nervous onlookers in order to get her family home.
Still, she says it’s worth it for how much happier she is since she made the change: “I was really depressed before,” she told Bike Portland. “But I was so happy after I got the bike. I just loved it.”
So, much as we all have legitimate reasons to opt out of biking sometimes, people like Finch are a good reminder that if you’re committed to it, it can happen…and also be fun.
Photo: Bike Portland/Jonathan Maus