When Edward Doughty heard Sustain Charlotte's executive director Shannon Binns speak at a recent Leadership Charlotte event, he did far more than listen and take notes. Doughty went out and bought bicycles for his entire family that weekend as a birthday gift to his wife. The next day, they rode about 10 miles on the greenways. "The kids loved it. We had a great day!"
Since then, they've been doing lots of exploring on two wheels. One of the unique perks of riding bikes as a family has been discovering new destinations. "We found a little park in Huntingtowne Farms that we didn't even know existed."
Cycling is a family activity for this crew!
Doughty has lived in Charlotte for the past 23 years. His home is only three-quarters of a mile from work. Like many Charlotteans, he had just driven the short distance to work every day for years and hadn't realized how easy it would be to cover the space on a bicycle. Now he looks forward to "feeling the breeze" on his bike commutes.
Rolling to work in style!
Since Doughty and his family are fairly new to cycling for transportation, we asked him what advice he'd give to folks who are interested in starting to ride. Here's what he suggested:
- "Don't break the bank." Try a quality used (Sustain Charlotte recommends the Trips For Kids Re-Cyclery) or low to moderate priced new bike. Be upfront with your bike shop staff about your price range and cycling goals.
- "Have fun with it! Mix it up and just give it a go!" If you're hesitant to get started, invite a friend who rides to take you out for your first trip, or find a beginner-friendly social ride at WeeklyRides.com
- "Get involved." The more of us are out there riding and speaking up for safer bike infrastructure, the more change we'll see. Doughty said, "I'm pleasantly surprised by all the campaigns Sustain Charlotte has to make Charlotte more sustainable. It's a great community of people passionate about sustainability!" Learn more at ibikeCLT!
We're working to make Charlotte a safer place for families and all people to bike!