Create a Commuter Profile: Meet Veah
Each year, our Create a Commuter program helps more than 150 low-income adults earn fully-outfitted commuter bicycles while gaining the skills, knowledge, and confidence to ride to work and other places they need to go. Community members who are enrolled in workforce development programs with our partner agencies can take a one-time, five hour class where they learn all the necessary skills to become a successful bike commuter. The class includes instruction on route planning, bringing a bike on TriMet, basic bicycle maintenance, learning the laws and rules of the road, and much more.
This past fall, we were lucky enough to have Veah participate in a Create a Commuter workshop at the Native American Youth Association. She has since become an enthusiastic and dedicated rider. We spoke to her last week about what she enjoyed about owning a bicycle and her experience with the Create a Commuter program.
Veah was very positive about her experience, and said the Create a Commuter Program “gave me the tools to become mobile and find my way through the city safely.” She is particularly elated with how well her bike fits her, and now realizes that she had never had a properly fitted bike before. “My little bike is perfect,” noted Veah. ” Even when I had a new bike in my teens, it was too big. Having one that fit, that alone was a big advantage for me to be able to handle my bicycle. It works so well.” She now feels comfortable and confident riding to school, job training, to the grocery store, and on recreational rides.
Veah said that she loved the Create a Commuter program and that it was a full educational experience for her. A favorite part of the class was learning “how to identify when there’s something wrong with your bike. The maintenance and repair skills are so vital.” She added that she now has all the tools to continue bicycling, and will be able to teach her children those skills, too. She is currently looking for bikes for her kids, and is excited about taking the family out on rides together this coming summer.
We’re so glad to have helped Veah get out on her bike. Her incredible positivity and love of cycling is contagious. “I love my bike, I tell you, I just love it!” she said. “It’s given me wings. The wheels are like wings.”