BTWD 2016 Member Profile Amelia Spilger – I Like to Ride My Bicycle 2016
“I like to ride my bicycle!” is the theme for the 2016 Bike To Work Day – emphasizing how much the original idea of bicycling “to work” has evolved in recent years. With many people working from home or local offices, using a bicycle means more than just a morning and evening commute. Often, it’s quicker to use a bicycle for local errands than to choose a car. As many MCBC members have learned, it’s much simpler to roll up to where you need to be and lock your bike than to fight traffic and circle a crowded parking lot.
As everyone gears up for this year’s Bay Area Bike to Work Day on Thursday, May 12 – part of National Bike Month – we spoke with a variety of MCBC members who use the bicycle as an integral part of their everyday life…
Another MCBC Member who “Likes to Ride Their Bicycle”:
- Name: Amelia Spilger
- Occupation: Full-time Mom & Small Business Owner
- Years Riding: 4 years on our family cargo bike + 10 years on road bike.
- General Location in Marin where you tend to ride most frequently: Around town in Fairfax & San Anselmo, occasional adventures to San Rafael and Larkspur.
What bicycle do you like the best?
With two little ones in tow, I’m in love with our family cargo bike. It turns afternoon errands into an adventure with my sons.
What part of your ride do you like the best?
How excited my sons are when I announce we’re going on a bike ride – they both make a mad dash for their helmets.
What do you like best about the benefits of riding your bike?
I love that biking connects me to my community in a way that wouldn’t happen if we were in our car. We’re waving to people as we pass, ringing our bell at other bikers, and chatting with folks around town about how fun it is to bike as a family.
What would you have liked someone to tell you when you started?
That riding a bike can be a part of your daily life. I started cycling in college – training for the AIDS Lifecycle in 2002. It was an amazing experience – and I fell in love with riding. It shaped my perception of what it meant to go for a ride – weekend, long distance, specific gear, and lots of electrolytes and bars. When I had kids, I let go of riding for a bit because I couldn’t do daylong or multi-day rides given my new role as Mom. There just wasn’t time. When we moved to Fairfax, I was inspired to see so many families on their bikes. It looked like so much fun and they were in street gear – no clip-ins, no spandex, no electrolytes necessary. While I still look forward to doing a multi-day ride again soon, I love doing daily mini rides with my family.
Where do you most like to ride your bike?
We love going out to Elliot’s Preserve and on loop through Ross Valley to spin and get some fresh air with the boys.
Why would others like to ride in Marin?
It’s so beautiful here. You really get to experience it on a bike.
What is your favorite ride/route?
We do a great loop through Ross Valley. It often includes a trip to a bakery and the library in San Anselmo. My all-time favorite ride on my road bike is Alpine Dam & Seven Sisters- there’s nothing like that view from the ridgeline.
What part of riding would you most like to improve?
The relationship between bikes and cars feels healthy here, and I think we are all responsible for maintaining that safe and respectful environment. I’m especially aware of it because I have my two boys on the bike with me – it’s something I try to be really consistent about, because they’re going to start riding soon and I want to set a good example of what it means to be a safe and respectful rider.
What is your favorite vision of the bicycling in the future?
More biking, more walking, more public transportation, less driving. I think we’d all be healthier and happier for it and we’d feel more connected as a community.
Finally, if there’s a further message you would like to share with the people who ride bikes in Marin County – whether simple, encouraging or aspirational – what would that be?
If you have wanted to be a part of the Bike to Work movement – running errands, ferrying kids or simply commuting to and from your office – it’s easy to start! You Can Bike There provides a number of resources, and we have Employer Toolkits to help others in your office or workplace leave their car behind. On Thursday, May 12, we’ll be out in force, with Energizer Stations on routes throughout Marin County.
Look for more profiles of MCBC members who Like to Ride Their Bicycle!
Editor’s Note: These interviews represent the words and opinions of the featured rider. As such, the views expressed in this profile do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition.