Cycles for Change

Minneapolis, MN 2012

Yesterday I began taking photos again for the non-profit Cycles for Change at one of their Learn to Ride classes. Despite the very chilly weather, it was great being outside and getting back into the swing of photographing these bike classes and events. All of the students were young adults; half had never ridden a bike before and the other half were fairly new riders. It was heartwarming and humbling to see the students trying very hard just to ride a bicycle. Many of them are immigrants and want to be able to ride a bike for exercise, transportation, and to help make integration a bit easier, it seems. As Americans, most people learn to ride a bike as a kid and don’t give it much thought afterwards. I was silently (and a few times not silently) cheering them on yesterday remembering my own frustrations and excitement as a child trying to finally ride my bike for the first time all by myself. Yesterday’s class only reinforced how impressed I am with Cycles for Change and the work they do in the community. Volunteering there also makes me want to be healthier, more physically active, and maybe even a “real” biker someday.

Speaking of bikes and trying to be more physically active (despite these bad ankles at the moment), I’m disappointed that I haven’t been able to stick to my goal of a bike ride a day (yet). But! The sun is shining this morning and I think I will bundle up and head over the Palmer Lake and its three-mile bike path. I’ve been wanting to go on some rides in the morning but so far I haven’t been able to drag my butt out of bed early enough. Tonight I’m photographing one of Cycles for Change’s Bike Library orientations. This is another excellent program offered to members of the community through the organization and various other Twin Cities organizations. I’m looking forward to it!

Here’s a nice recent article about Cycles for Change if you’re interested:

“Cycles for Change: Changing names, changing lives in St. Paul”


Palmer Lake

I dragged my bike out for the first time this spring and went on a couple short rides this weekend.  I’ve been anxious about doing this again because of the problems with my knees that developed last summer (exacerbated by biking, most likely).  The first little ride I did went fine, and it felt so good to be exercising and just being outside in the fresh air.  Yesterday I went for a longer ride around a small lake near my house; the trail is about three miles plus the distance to and from the lake.  I don’t know if I pushed myself too hard too soon or if my knees are just permanently messed up.  But almost immediately after I got off the bike they began to hurt.  They’re still hurting today and I’m shuffling around like an old lady.  This is very depressing; I was hoping so much to be able to go on bike rides again.  Now I’m not sure if I should just wait this out or if I should go back to the orthopedic doctor whom I saw last fall.  I want to exercise, dammit!  I guess my final option is doing aquatic workouts at Courage Center with a bunch of geriatrics (who probably pee in the pool).  Great.