Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Bike Girl

This is my daughter, Úna.


She is eleven years old and she is already an experienced bicycle commuter.

7th Street Stop

Úna rides all over town with us, in all kinds of places. Unlike many of her peers, she has a "real" bike- A lugged steel Trek Singletrack with fenders, a front basket, a rear rack, dedicated lights... for her birthday we bought her a Timbuk2 pannier bag. It was way too expensive for someone her age, but if she uses it as her book bag for the whole of middle school (which she plans to ride to), it will be a good purchase. We have started her on hauling cargo.

Make Them Carry It

She has conquered the Paradise Loop, about 25 miles with hills,

Mile 15

and we are not sure, but it is possible she rode almost 30 miles on her 40 year old Columbia last Halloween when we brought her along for Critical Mass.

Feather Face

Kids are capable of so much more than we give them credit for. Úna knows her way around town, she knows where the bike routes are, she knows how to signal her turns and how to hold her own. She has no fear of the road and just takes her time.

It also wears them out so they go to bed early.


  1. It is good to start them Young at Cycling,get it ingrained into their Psychic and hopefully they will keep at it for Life instead of being Hauled around in a Motorcar to School.

    Dont forget the most important thing they will be able to keep the Obesity and type 2 Diabetes at bay which an awful lot of People are suffering from in Modern Day Life because of lack of Exercise owing to the Modern Love of the Car.

    The best thing about it is being able to keep fit without the Expensive costs of a Gym,Cycling is practically free.

    When she is a Teenager she will be able to keep nice and Trim while her Friends are struggling to keep the Weight Down because of the American Disease of Motorcaritis and Junk Food.

    Nice very Irish Name Úna.

  2. I LOVE this! My 9yo loves to bike and last summer did 25 miles on his heavy one-speed bmx bike. We got him a light weight geared Raleigh mnt bike for christmas and he's going everywhere now. We plan to do more long rides soon. He's already said he plans to ride *everywhere* as he gets older. My 5yo, while only on her second year sans training wheels, is also proving to be quite the cyclist. I rode behind her on Sunday as she expertly navigated very slow, heavy traffic through a crowded event in a park. I kept telling her to get off and walk and she kept on riding - weaving in and out of people, slowly, warning folks she was behind them and politely moving through the crowd. It was truly amazing!

  3. Úna totally rocks!

    Supergirl on wheels!

  4. She looks like she has learned to protect her food, too, against stray would-be-nibblers! Very Cute.

  5. I'm a new reader and really like reading your blog. I have a 15 year old daughter who is similar to Una, just not as cool! She rides as many places as she can, considering we live in the suburbs with no bike lanes. I really hope her interest continues as she grows. I'd like to get her a new bike for her 16th birthday (where most kids her age get their license and even a car...don't get me started).

  6. l'homme- She has a nice Irish temper. too : )

    M&G- It is amazing how quickly they catch on when you start them young. They just get it.

    KT- I think so, too.

    Tinker- Do not, under any circumstances try to touch her pie. Just a warning.

    Jennifer- Glad you are enjoying the blog : ) My son is 15 and has declared that he does not want a car and would much rather have a nice bike. At 6'4" he has almost outgrown his 60" (!!!) MTB and we will have to find something else for him.

  7. sup pretty girl. we should all go see the runaways at the end of june.

  8. Well done Una, Not just for riding prodigious distances but also for ignoring the advertising lies that you need to drive a car or get a lift to be mobile.(apologies but my German keyboard won't give me a accent on the U)

    Our own boys are learning the same path. Eldest son was recently heard to say: People uye bikes for different things: Mine is for transport..."

  9. i can't wait to meet the mixte! mixte girls club for life.

  10. Very cool bike for the daughter.

    What I think is cool is riding around in Palo Alto and seeing the middle school kids with totally practical bikes -- racks and baskets, sometimes even fenders! I don't see this much in other South Bay cities.

  11. I nice pink bike. i use to love cycling at that age. it give you a great sense of freedom