My independence

handlebar bouquet

About two years ago I bought a bike, and not just any bike–it’s a tricked-out bright red tricycle. This bicycle allows me much independence. I can ‘commute’ to work far more cheaply and quickly than by driving, I can keep up with my kids when they’re on their skates or bikes, and I can have the joy of getting places with my own muscle power.

Because I have a disability that limits my mobility (especially preventing me from walking long distances), my bike facilitates my independence in so many ways.

This evening I took a 30 lb load of compost to the garden in my basket along with some seedlings. I routinely carry a week’s worth of groceries in my “trunk.” Tomorrow morning I will pedal to the local Farmer’s Market and return home with several bags full of tasty local produce.

my garden ride
my garden ride
Jana is a university administrator and teaches History. Her soloblog is


  1. i love the idea of biking places. I electrified my bike last summer and had a blast whizzing around on it with baby in the trailer. Unfortunately baby has decided that he’s freaked out by riding so I haven’t been able to use it as much. Maybe next summer he’ll get over his fear…

  2. I love it I was just talking to dh about how we can bike more for our closer to home trips. Caroline, did you retrofit your bike with electric? How did you do it? I am really interested in looking into electric bikes, so any info you can give me would be great.

  3. Michelle,
    I bought a slightly used electric bike conversion kit from ebay. I think the kit originally came from this company.

    It is so much fun! A bit of a pain to put together, but if you’re handy, you shouldn’t have huge problems.

  4. Just as an FYI, the company that Caroline bought her e-bike kit from also offers them for trikes–I corresponded with them about this awhile back and then decided against it because I don’t have an enclosed garage to store my bike in.

  5. Bikes rule – no doubt about it. I get to commute to work via bike every weekday and I love it. – it’s about 8 miles, and I pass no fewer than 4 significant and beautiful lakes.

    It’s going to be raining pretty hard this evening on my ride home… but it’s no problem since I have a waterproof backpack. Getting soaked is part of what I love about it.

  6. I bought a bike the other week. I’ve been planning on it since my lovely rides at Versaille. And with the insane cost of gas and rush hour traffic, I get my errands and grocery shopping done while getting a bit of exercise. THe best was biking up to Westwood to see a film in the Independent Film Festival. I was home in 10 minutes. My friend, who had driven, spent 25 minutes stuck in the parking lot, and another 20 getting through the traffic to our rendezvous point!

    Another thing I love about being on the bike is being able to greet pedestrians with a cheery hello. So, if you see an asian woman riding on a bright red cruiser with a white helmet, give me wave!

  7. Right @ this moment, i’m experiencing once again that realization of what i really love being: a student.

    On facebook over the last couple of days, I’ve been blogging/posting on a philosophy & a writers application–the Kafka, Agamben, Nietzsche, Hau’ofa & a slew of others rush thru brain neurons & I’m ‘home’. I’ve loved it, and though i’ve been busy serving as YW pres for the current branch we’re in, & the previous ward we attended, i find that i am happiest when i serve myself thru philosophy, literature, art, studying 4 law school. Serving in the church has bored me–too many people other than myself that want a piece of me way too many times during the week. I can’t stand it.

    Teaching as a job is something i’ve discovered i DO NOT like. Again, same prob: too many people to care for.
    Apparently, I’m not the socialite that likes to offer. I’d rather take (as a student).

    I would rather stroll my metaphorical red bike toward online blogs of interest to me, read beautifully written books, ponder upon art & whatever’s written about a piece, devour & discuss philosophy, or invest in legal studies prep.

    oh, & like 2 swim & travel a lot.

    what can i say: this is my genuine independence.

  8. I just reread my last posting above here, and realized there there are actual moments that for me service is quite wonderful, immediately fulfilling, & makes my nice private time even nicer. So, I’m kinda reneging that service part since the first time I posted.

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