Saturday was Celebrate Natomas and I got to hang out with the NNTMA folks. The North Natomas Transportation Management Association is a nonprofit organization funded by the residents of North Natomas and help them choose transportation options beyond driving. They offer the Natomas Flyer to get commuters into downtown Sacramento without cars. They can give rebates for bicycle purchases for their residents. It is such a valuable asset for a community to have the support to choose walking, biking, or public transportation. One of my favorite services the NNTMA provides is their mobile bike shop.
A licensed bike mechanic pedals this monster to different community events and helps with minor repairs such as truing wheels, flat repair, greasing and oiling, and other general TLC for people's bikes that have usually been sitting in their garage since the tire went flat. All free of charge to the residents! If a bike is beyond repair, they will refer to a local bike shop.
It was disheartening to hear so many people gasp at the thought of not diving their child to school, even if it was a mile or less away. One boy complained that his legs hurt when he walked two days in a row. When Sarah pointed out that his legs would get stronger if he continued, he grabbed the freebies on the table and left. There is so much more education that has to be done at every level--in school, with parents, health care workers, and city planners all have to be involved in creating safer roadways for all forms of transportation and users.
It was a wonderful event with wonderful company, new knowledge and a fantastic bike ride to get there and back. Another new direction explored. It was my first time turning off the American River Bike Trail and onto the Garden Highway to get into Natomas. I love finding the routes that connect me to new locations by bike. It makes me more sure that we are ready to ditch the car.
This is us. We're fun.