Cycling became a passion for me in high school. I rode to and from school every day—it woke me up in the morning, and gave me freedom after class. Exploring on my bicycle kept me outside, active, fit, and happy. In college, cycling became a necessity—classes were farther from where I lived, my new home in Burlington, VT had a limited public transit network, and it felt like I had to be everywhere at once. My bike never failed to get me where I needed to be.
Now that I’m past the under-grad hump, I ride my bike for pleasure—it gives me a sense of adventure in the warmer months, a physical challenge, a way to meet people, and a demanding hobby.
When I found out that Happy Joyous and Freewheeling had the goal of spreading the joy of cycling to kids in the DC area, I knew I had to jump on board. The first thing I learned when I started working with students in the After-School Bike Club was how unnatural it is to ride a bike when you first try it out. The second thing I learned: how quickly cycling becomes second nature. Not only did passing the skill of cycling on to those students feel rewarding, knowing that they will be confident on a bike for the rest of their lives felt incredible!
I believe that Happy Joyous and Freewheeling helps young people feel empowered--cycling is way more than a sport or a means of transport, it’s lifelong freedom. I cannot imagine what my life would look like without my bike. Since Happy Joyous and Freewheeling aims to spread the love of cycling, I have no doubt that it will positively influence young people for years to come.