Small Beginnings as a Party Girl

Rachel Dingfelder – Pittsburgh, PA

Small Beginnings as a Party Girl

My reason for starting to ride isn't very lofty. 9 years ago when I was 19, I needed a way to keep up with my friends in college while we went out and party-hopped! Walking was way too slow and potentially dangerous in the wee hours of the night.

Over time, I found myself riding to class and to work – in fact, riding my bike home at 2am from my restaurant job was safer than taking the bus or walking. Another perk – I get street harassed A LOT less when I bike than when I walk, which adds to my sense of safety and mobility.

Nowadays, I've ditched my car and I ride just about everywhere. I love the way my lovely, 15-minute bike commute wakes me up in the morning. I love how going places with friends isn't just about getting to the destination – the to and from matters just as much! My life is more full of energy and interest because I commute by bike. I automatically have community because I live in a beautiful city with lots of beautiful cyclists who really care.

Cycling also led me to help run a community bicycle co-op called Free Ride for 3-and-a-half years. I gained so much experience in organizational management, managing volunteers, bicycle maintenance and mechanics and helping people empower themselves through cycling and working on their bicycle.

Thanks so much to my bike. And in a way, thanks to college parties too.

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