This probably isn’t the first post you’ve read about the harmful impact of personal vehicles on the environment. It’s also probably not the first time it’s been suggested that you abandon your car for the cheaper, cleaner alternatives of biking, walking, or public transportation.
Just like all those other times, you’re probably already thinking about all the reasons why it just isn’t possible for your life. Maybe you work 50 miles from home. Maybe public transportation in your town sucks (or doesn’t exist). Maybe you’ve got four kids and just assume that biking is out of the question.
Those are all formidable challenges, but we recently stumbled across a mother in Portland, Ore., that proves the last one doesn’t have to prevent you from living car-free.
Emily Finch, 34, has a lot on her plate. She has six kids between the ages of 2 and 11, and doesn’t own a car. Instead, she and her bubbling brood pedal all around the city together in a massive bakfiets cargo bike.
As BikePortland reports, passenger placement is key to efficient locomotion: four kids in the front, another one in a child seat behind Finch, and another one on a bike attached to hers via the rear rack. Nathan, her 11 year-old son, rides a separate bike by himself. The bike attached to the rear of the bakfiets is a key part of the motor. “I rotate kids into pumping position to keep them fresh,” Emily told BikePortland.
It’s amazing that the petite Finch is able to power the bike, which often weighs several hundred pounds when full, but it’s even more incredible that, up until a few years ago, she never rode a bike at all.
Around the summer of 2009…Emily said, “I started looking at my life… I was living in a giant house and had a nine-person Suburban. I remember thinking, there’s no reason I can’t walk or bike around town. “I was really depressed before,” she shared, “But I was so happy after I got the bike. I just loved it.”
So, what was your excuse again?
Images copyright Jonathan Maus/Bike Portland