Pedal Power

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." Mahatma Gandhi

This quote runs through my mind quite often. I love the implication of action. Be. Change. Wish. See. There are many changes I would like to see in the world, but one in particular has wheeled its way to the forefront of my consciousness. I would like to see a world less dependent on motor vehicles.

While we walk when we can, walking can be slow and tedious with two children in tow. But put them on two wheels and they ride like the wind. So we have been riding bikes. I have learned a lot about riding bikes the last few days:


1. My kids and their friends are excellent bike riders!
2. The railroad tracks are a fast shortcut to many locations.
3. I can ride to the library in less than 15 minutes (by car it takes just shy of 10 minutes) and thanks to the milk crate attached to the back of my bike I can return over 30 items. On my bike!
4. Bike riding draws much less attention than walking - no one I knew pulled over to see if I needed a ride.
5. It is fun to ride down hills and there is no shame in walking up the last one.
6. The soreness in my saddle will go away and I will eventually catch my breath.
7. I need more pairs of pedal pushers.


My biggest concern when riding bikes is cars, so I try visualize ahead of time the route I intend to take and use side streets whenever possible. I would love to see more people riding bikes to reduce the number of cars on the street, thereby making it safer for all of us to ride bikes. So I have challenged myself, and I extend the challenge to those of you interested, to ride my bike rather than drive at least one trip/errand per week. Just one, though don't be surprised if you want to ride more. Whether it be a trip to the park, the post office, running to the grocery store for a forgotten item - consider your bike. Be part of the change.


"When you pray, move your feet." African Proverb


  1. oh, I don't have a bike. It has been on my wishlist for some time now, and after reading this post I think it might be moved to the top of that list!!

  2. One of the best things I love about Walla Walla is that we are able to ride our bikes to do most errands. I found really cool his/hers old red schwinns at a thrift store in great shape. It is faster for me to ride.8miles to work than to drive and park. I think it takes about 9 minutes and it is a beautiful, peacful ride.

    Not to mention John & I can go have a fantastic date and pedal home. Sam is due for a real bike, soon as Frances comes home he gets his own sweet ride.

    I look forward to that day.

  3. Excellent outlook. I have had this in my head for a long time, since I stopped relying on my bike in college and got myself a car. I am definitely going to try to do this.

  4. that quote was taped to my computer for years while i was working on the school. :^)

    i live out in the middle of nowhere so we can't use our bikes to run errands, but we have cut our trips to town down to almost nothing. i joke that we are like the ingalls now, and it's a really big deal when we go to mankato for supplies!

  5. A couple of rolls to the bottom of your pants, and wa-la! Pedal pushers!

  6. Thanks for this challenge, I'm going to do it. John and I were just talking yesterday about how outragous the gas prices are and things we can do.

  7. I tried encouraging Cole and his friends last summer to start a campaign to get more bike lanes put in Auburn -- it's downright dangerous in some spots (still doesn't stop us however).

    Maybe we can mass together and make it this summer's project. I am working hard at my job right now so I can create more free time for this summer. We'll see how that goes.

  8. i like this challenge. now if the girls would just learn to ride without training wheels, we could certainly do it!

  9. "no one I knew pulled over to see if I needed a ride." That made me laugh out loud!! It also reminded me of a friend and neighbor we had that didn't want to walk anywhere until she got a jog stroller... remember? too funny!

    Great shots - I need a copy of that first one :) And thank you for taking my girl on your bike ride yesterday. I know she doesn't keep up with the rest and I appreciate your patience.

  10. Just like Lori, we live in the middle of nowhere on country roads with no sidewalks and lots of twisty, curvy, uphills and downhills. Also like Lori, we have cut down on our trips to town, too. And have brought it down to about once a week. I have my days where I miss living in town, but then I would miss living here, too. So gotta sacrifice something.

  11. We ride to the gym, and sometimes the park, does that count? We don't really have any stores or a library within riding distance. Oh how I wish we did. I LOVE the idea of biking about town. Good on ya, sister!

  12. Like Lori and Jenny, we can only do recreational country rides out here, which the kids do and Nicolas and I really want to get bikes and join them in doing. His dad and stepmom in Holland bike for hours every day, getting new food each day at different shops or going for yoga or for coffee. So cool. In the town nearest to us, the bike lanes that they created a few years ago are never used. There are always cars parked in them now. Love your pictures, and idea.

  13. My husband rides to work everyday when it's not below freezing here. He really loves it. I'm too afraid to with my 3 month old and 2 & 1/2 year old. I should give it a shot though.

  14. i love this.

    it's about time to break out the burley again...

  15. I'm totally up for the challenge, but you'll have to give me a couple of weeks. We still have a lot of snow on the ground here, and with highs in the 40s, it's still a little chilly for me to be riding my bike.

  16. Molly, I continue to be amazed anew at how motivational you and George are in setting good examples. In a world of "do as I say, not as I do" (ahem, Mr. Spitzer) I admire your alternative of "look what we are doing -- want to join us?" I love you guys.
    -- Mark.

  17. Oh I'd love to have a bike. A nice old retro-style bike. But it would take me ages to get to the grocery store or library!

  18. You should move to Davis.


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email: mollydunham@sbcglobal.net
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