This guest blog was written by our member Nell Triplett. Got an idea for a guest blog? Email Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A donation to the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition from a family living 6,000 miles away from the Bay Area surely seems curious. But all it takes is two years living overseas in what many consider to be the bike capital of the world, Copenhagen, for us to recognize more than ever the incredibly important work of SVBC. SVBC’s role in making San Mateo and Santa Clara counties more bike-friendly looms large in our minds as we make plans for our return to CA and try to figure out the transportation logistics for two workplaces, one school, and one daycare.
Biking is as much a part of our day-to-day existence as a family of four in Denmark as hopping in the car is for the vast majority of families in the states. Thanks to more than 350 km (approximately 217 miles) of dedicated bike paths in Copenhagen alone, I can bike across the city faster than drive. As a result of infrastructure investments that support bike safety and transport connectivity, my 2-year-old daughter rides on the back on my bike and my 5-year-old son rides his own bike to their børnehave (preschool) – as does every other kid in our neighborhood. And because more than 60% of Copenhagen residents ride a bike to work or to school, our commute is when we get to greet and connect with neighbors, friends, coworkers, or just others enjoying the ride.
AS SVBC members know all too well, a morning bike ride into work works better than a cup of coffee. Add in a bike ride home and a work commute can provide the day’s workout. It goes without saying what the benefits to the wallet are by eliminating car/fuel or public transit costs. All benefit from better air quality when there are more bikes, and fewer cars, on the road. But for so many, and I count myself among them, the real reason to bike is for enjoyment, pure and simple.
It’s the two-wheel alternative and all it can offer for an easier, healthier, more affordable, more environmental, and fun transit option that prompted our donation to SVBC. Because of its programs, its advocacy work, and its workshops promoting bicycling in our hometown, our transition back to CA will be made easier by SVBC’s bikeability work. More support means SVBC can do more to make biking a first-rate transit option for all purposes and all people. After living in Copenhagen, our family now knows just how possible this option can be.