It’s time for another installment of the I Bike Richardson series, where we put a face on Richardson cyclists. We’d like to introduce Sarah Townsend. She took the time to answer a few questions about biking. Enjoy:
Sarah Townsend (with Richard, Eleanor, and Gabriel)
How long have you been riding?
We’ve always cycled casually, but I would say we started developing our current habits within the last year. We added the cargo bike to our family last summer, which really opened up our options since we always have two little kids and all their kid stuff to haul.
How often do you ride?
We ride about 5 days a week: to preschool, ballet class, the store, the park, friends’ and neighbors’ houses, restaurants. Basically anywhere in about the 3 mile or less range without a good reason to take a car. Our bike will haul 400lbs plus the rider, so there’ rarely a good reason to take a car. Except rush hour. I really don’t like rush hour.
Oh! And we recently went on a “bike date” to the new Studio Movie Grill on Spring Valley. We looked awesome and had a great time.
What’s your favorite route?
I have a soft spot for our route to Eleanor’s preschool, because it’s the first real car-replacement route we picked up. We take Dumont west (yikes! we’ll be so glad when it’s repaved!), then catch a bit of trail, back into the neighborhoods to end up at Hillcrest and Arapho.
Last week we explored a lot of new trails (new to us) and were pretty blown away! We traveled from Richardson Heights down to the Barnes and Noble at Preston/Royal, mostly via the trail system. It was a terrific ride except for some awkwardness at Forest, but I think we know how to handle it better next time. The fall colors were gorgeous and it gave us a whole new perspective on a part of Dallas we’ve driven around countless times.
Why do you cycle?
I cycle (in order):
1. For my happiness
2. For my kids’ happiness
4. For community
5. For the planet
6. For my wallet
What is your perspective on riding – in general or in Richardson?
I love that people wave at us. When was the last time someone waved at you in a car?
I love that we have become more connected to our immediate community and have made new friends.
I love being out of the car.
I love the interesting conversations we have with people, ranging from “that’s so awesome! Where can I get a bike like that!” to some version of “that’s really weird and definitely not safe. Why would you do that?”
I love that my daughter thought it was reasonable to suggest that we take our bike to make a trip to IKEA. (In Frisco. For furniture. She’s ambitious.)
Tell us about your bikes.
We currently have 5 bikes. In order of importance:
1. The Yuba. Love love love this bike. It really opened up a whole world to us after we tried pulling the kids in a trailer and my son completely lost it and disassembled his helmet. It takes us everywhere and in a pinch can carry our entire family. It’s bright orange and built like a tank, and carries one kid on the front and one kid on the back. You may have seen us around town and thought to yourself “what the heck?!”
2. Maximus. Purple awesomeness with 16″ wheels and Eleanor’s biggest triumph over her parents to date. Eleanor: Mommy, I want a new bike. Me: sure, you can have a new bike when you learn to ride with no training wheels (I’m thinking, haha, she’s 3, I just bought myself atleast 2 years). Eleanor promptly learned to ride without training wheels a week later and off we went to Richardson Bike Mart and came home with Maximus.
3. Nameless yellow bike with 12″ wheels, happily inherited by Gabriel.
4. Hand me down Trek something for Richard when he’s not on Yuba duty
5. Eggplant Townie for me when I’m not on Yuba duty.
We want to thank Sarah, for sharing her perspective on Richardson cyling.
We’d also like to extend an invitation to any cyclist who lives and/or rides in Richardson to share their story as well. You can either answer the questions (above) or send in a story – along with some pics to bikefriendlyrichardson(at)gmail.com.