Full of ideas to include in my own book, I went back to the Internet and started writing to people involved in bicycle initiatives like the Bicycle Empowerment Network in Namibia and Maya Pedal in Guatemala, asking for more information and for photos to include in the book. I also combed the Internet for photos involving bicycles and even wrote to strangers whose wonderful photos I found on Flickr. Everyone I've contacted has been very generous with knowledge, time and images. I feel very lucky to be able to correspond with so many interesting and thoughtful people and to put all their information together in a book!
KW: What's your favourite part?
MM: My favourite part of researching this book is discovering more fascinating facts about bicycles and corresponding with people who are so passionate about them.
My favourite part of the book is the last chapter, which explores how people around the world use bicycles to power things like water pumps, computers and even medical centrifuges in places where there's no electricity. I love the idea of bicycles being used in ways I'd never imagined before: simple machines making a big difference.
KW: Who do you see as the target audience for this book?
MM: I imagine its readers to be kids ages 8 to 11, or anyone interested in bicycles in general. I'm hoping that the book will be included in many school libraries, alongside the books about how bicycles work. If I can write the book as I envision it, it'll not only recount the development of the bicycle but will inspire people to consider what a powerful and empowering tool it might be in the future.
Thanks for sharing your story, Michelle! We're looking forward to reading Pedal Power.
Got stories to share about biking with kids? We love to hear them! families[AT]momentummagDOTcom