My husband, in fact, has a deep bicycling history. He and his brother were BMX fans riding Redlines and Haros in the 80’s and 90’s. His parents often hosted groups of teen boys at their home on the homemade halfpipe and back in the day his Haro Team Master and Team Fuji were top of the line. Over his various jobs he has often commuted by bicycle in Marin County, Los Angeles, and Montreal - always buying a different used bike to ride from an SE Pixie and SE Fixie-Floval-Flyer to a 26” Eastern BMX bike. He now seeks fun bicycles for our children to ride and has encouraged us that we can ride far!
We moved back to my childhood home in August and a fundraising job opportunity popped up at MassBike. I initially thought “I’m not a cyclist” but the note that spandex wasn’t necessary reassured me. I welcomed the staff and board’s embrace of all levels of cycling. My short trips running errands and weekend rides with the family make me part of the bicycle movement.
The most significant piece of my current bicycle routine is accompanying my daughter to her elementary school. A hybrid schedule made cycling during the long winter months very achievable at just two days a week. The return to a five day schedule in spring is perfectly aligned with the warmer season.
We’re bucking trends because my daughter’s school is lacking a bike-rack and she has to leave her bicycle leaning against a tree. We have just one other student who occasionally bikes with us, but I hope that all those parents idling in cars to pick up their kids will consider their own commute. School routines are often built around car culture, and I’m still figuring out the best way to communicate with staff at pick-up with so much traffic.
All-in-all we’re sticking with local bicycling and adding exercise, fresh air, and Massachusetts exploration into our lives. My grandparents would approve! (And I think they both would have loved using Strava on the East Coast Greenway.)
About Chrystal Walsh
Chrystal is MassBike's Development Coordinator. She remembers getting a shoelace wrapped around her bicycle crank as a child and still warns kids about that today. Currently, Chrystal runs errands by bicycle, accompanies her daughter on the school route, and rides rail trails with her family. Her nonprofit development career started in 1999 with Mother Jones magazine and she has worked in public broadcasting/media and health & human service organizations leading individual, corporate, and foundation giving.
To contribute your own personal biking story to be published on the MassBike website, contact [email protected].