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Joyride: Pedaling toward a Healthier Planetby Mia Birk
It's 1993, and I start this new job: bicycle coordinator for the city of Portland. "Bicycle Coordinator?" says my Texas family. "What the heck is that and why don't you get a real job like your brothers?" I had no idea then that it would be such a challenge or have such an impact on me, the City, and the nation. But nearly twenty years later and twenty pounds lighter, I can tell you this: it's been quite a ride, a joy ride. For less than the cost of one mile of urban freeway, for less than one percent of Portland's transportation budget, we have created a city where thousands of people can and do choose bicycling as a normal, everyday means of transportation. We have more money in our pockets. We are fitter. Our kids arrive by foot or bike at school energetic and ready to learn. We are less stressed. We are more free.
I have worked to spread this message far and wide, all across North America. From the small towns to the suburbs to the large cities and ex-urbs, even to my hometown Dallas TX, we have been finding ways to make communities more human, healthy, safe, and splendid. Joyride is about change — about creating healthier communities and improving our health. It's about the people behind the scenes, the battles we fought, our successes and failures. Today, as we face the undeniable and horrific consequences of our addiction to driving — the unrelenting Gulf of Mexico oil spill, air pollution, traffic crashes, and obesity, asthma, diabetes, stress, and other diseases directly tied to our sedentary, auto-oriented lifestyles, Joyride offers hope, for a brighter future for us all.
Enjoy the ride!
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History and Social Science » Pacific Northwest » Oregon » Portland » General
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Bicycling » General
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Bicycling » Pacific Northwest Bicycling