A cycling renaissance is taking place throughout North America and across the globe. One need only do a search on Flickr for ‘bikes’ or ‘fixie’ to find limitless images of young urbanites the world over connecting with one another while utilizing cycles as part of their daily social routine. Automobiles are on the decline, as cars are increasingly viewed as impractical modes of transport within the city. Light rail, bus, and bicycle mode shares are on the rise. These are encouraging trends for those concerned with the livable streets and the climate crisis. In what will hopefully become an ongoing series, I asked three women whom I respect and admire a great deal for their thoughts on this cultural shift: Janel Sternbetz currently traveling, replied from New Orleans, Joliene Adams based in Eldorado Springs, CO, and Jakkz Raines who lives in Oakland, CA. Their answers illustrate cycling as a powerful tool for social progress beyond the confines of Portland.
REBEL METROPOLIS: How would you describe yourself?
Janel: Worldly, optimistic but realistic, passionate about reducing suffering for all.
Joliene: Alive. Awesome. Capable of more. Driven by a belief in basic human kindness. Happiest when I’m on my bike. I’m compassionate, a bit scatter-brained. Aside from being vegan, I’m not a picky eater. I’m easily frustrated by laziness and apathy. I’ve a strong belief that use of one’s hands and providing radical self reliance are intrinsic forms of human intelligence.
Jakkz: I’m a cis queer-identified feminist animal/environment-loving cyclist who works in mental health. I love to explore the world by bicycle, make music, immerse myself in nature, whether urban, wooded, alpine, or oceanic. I’ve been called quirky, stubborn, and passionate a time or two.