Photo by Melanie van Soeren
Leslie WhittakerCycling along the Oregon Coast.
I was a late-bloomer: I didn’t learn how to ride a bicycle until I was ten years old and I cried through the entire learning experience. After getting over the initial shock, bicycling was my recreational activity for sunny days in my small town on Vancouver Island.
When I moved to Vancouver to attend the University of British Columbia, my relationship with cycling changed. I discovered Our Community Bikes, and got what I consider to be my first real bicycle: a lovingly refurbished white-and-pink hybrid that I affectionately named “Scott.” I strapped on a bright green milk crate, complete with a decorative purple stuffed elephant that I found lying around at UBC’s Bike Kitchen. I quickly became an everyday cyclist, commuting to classes and around the city.
I had never considered just how far a bicycle can take a person (or how far a person can take their bicycle?) until this summer when I clipped into my brand new Opus Legato and pedaled 1150 miles (1850 km) down the Pacific Northwest Coast from Victoria, BC, to San Francisco, CA. I’ve never seen so much beauty, been so hungry, or felt so alive as I did while cycling along the windy, spritzing coastlines of Oregon and California with two good friends and three beautiful bicycles!
As a recent Philosophy graduate from UBC, waiting for acceptance into law school for September 2013, I am excited to put my arts education to use during this internship at Momentum Mag. Not only do I get to learn how a magazine is created, I also get to learn more about and contribute to the community and culture of bicycling. I hope that my part in developing the next issue of Momentum Mag will help to inspire others to find the exhilaration of travel by bicycle. That fresh feeling of having arrived at your destination with your heart pumping and your cheeks flushed is truly second to none.
When I’m not pedaling, I can be spotted stretching at Semperviva Yoga studios or singing with my guitar at open mic nights around Vancouver.