Create a Commuter Workshop Introduces New Bikes to North Portland Residents
By Zan Gibbs, Adult Program Manager
On Saturday May 7th, 2011, we held a Create a Commuter workshop for adults enrolled in the workforce training programs at the Housing Authority of Portland (HAP). This workshop was open to all qualifying HAP residents, however we focused on North Portland residents, and held the workshop at New Columbia on North Trenton Avenue.
19 participants arrived at Noon, ready for a full afternoon of interactive lessons, indoor shifting practice, rules of the road and two bike rides. We were able to dodge most of the rain, and take folks down to the bike path off of the Columbia Slough that leads to Smith and Bybee Lakes. Residents who had lived there for years had no idea that there was this bike path by the river right by their house!
A lot of the residents in the workshop were community gardeners and therefore worked together and knew each other. This is great, as they can now encourage each other to ride to the garden plots, bring their children on rides, and ride to school or work.
There were two couples in the workshop, which is wonderful, as folks are much more likely to ride their bicycles, when they have someone to ride with. Many of the participants expressed an interest in getting healthier and losing weight, and they were excited to have a bicycle just in time for summer to start being able to do some exercise.
The group was a treat and honor to work with, and I will remember their smiling faces for months to come. I hope to see them again at our upcoming New Columbia events, committee meetings and family rides.