It's been hard to keep riding since my streak was broken and my exchange student program has been in full swing. Early mornings and unplannable schedules have thrown a hiccup into my biking pledge. My poor Mundo sits patiently in the backyard, waiting for her moment to shine again. Just today, I drove to five different stops to pick up the supplies for the final few days of the program. Then, I went back out and ran a couple more errands, both for the program and to make sure our family stays fed. I managed to do one of my trips by bike today--a quick adjustment at the chiropractor for my wonky back and a stop at the parks and rec department on the way home. It felt great to be back in the saddle and I can tell that my body is yearning to ride again.
The best news is that I'm going to be riding again soon with my newfound pledge of 365 days of biking (part 2). I also have a new friend joining the challenge. Sarah, of I Bike U Bike, has decided to join in the everyday cycling fun. Join us as we keep each other motivated and riding every day this coming year. We both have challenges and adventures ahead that will surely put our resolve to the test but it's just an enjoyable self-challenge. My goal is to replace as many car trips with bike trips as possible. Over the next few weeks, we will continue to take the steps that will hopefully lead us to car-freedom, like Sarah's family. Unfortunately, the giant dent in the bumper put a bit of a kink in the plan.
Even with all the driving I've done in the last couple of weeks, these students are worth it. For three weeks, our family grows and evolves with our new friends and experiences. In a few more days, things will quiet down around here and I will get back to my cycling adventures. Although I ache for my bike, the enjoyment we gain from this program helps diminish the longing.
Our exchange student program has had the pleasure of partnering with a fantastic little charter school called The Met. This is an amazing school, unlike any other in Sacramento (or even in the United States, possibly). Thanks to a recent renovation, it is the greenest high school in Sacramento, all LEED certified and with reclaimed materials in its construction. The Principal, Allen Young, is also unlike any other I've met before. While touring the campus, he stopped to chat with just about every student, calling them by first name and sincerely enquiring about their well-being. He stopped to pick up the few pieces of litter on the ground. The pride he feels in his students and the school is palpable and contagious. Immediately, I began picturing my little ones going here and getting an education that will truly benefit them for the rest of their lives, not just a conveyor belt of standardized tests, ancient text books, and Congress's newest vegetable--pizza.
The greatest part of the school: its bike shop! Check out Policy In Motion's article for more information about how Metster, Jeremy Gray, along with a group of other students put together this Bike Collective for his Senior Thesis.
STUDENT BIKE COLLECTIVE MISSION STATEMENT
Our mission is to teach Met Sacramento community members of all skill and knowledge levels about repairing and maintaining their bikes so that they may become more self-sufficient. We are dedicated to providing helpful and lasting hands-on bicycle help to Metsters in an accessible and friendly environment. Many Metsters rely on their bicycles for transportation, and we hope to create the collective to support them.
This beautiful Mundo is just icing on the cake!
This is how we should be raising children. By giving them the tools and experience to be functioning and progressive members of a society that encourages sustainable growth. It gives me hope to know that although many people have lost out on the joys of growing up on bicycles, there is a new, burgeoning bicycling generation who is reclaiming bikes as transportation and taking it upon themselves to help others along the way. This gives me hope (and a place for me to take my bike if it decided to break).
This is us. We're fun.