“My experience level prior to bike commuting was [that] I knew how to ride a bike, and that was about it.”
Tresa Carter, director of community planning at BikeWalkKC, started riding her bike to work in Kansas City in April 2022. Despite some rough first experiences, Tresa stuck with it and now bikes to work every day on a RideKC Bike.
She thinks new bike commuters should likewise keep an open mind. “I thought my first ride to work was how it would always feel…and because I was open to trying and putting myself out there…my relationship to biking in just a couple of months is completely different. I choose a bike over a car anytime that I can now.”
Prior to bike commuting, Tresa was concerned about her physical safety or being hit by a car. Only a portion of her commute was on a protected bike lane. “I was terrified as a small person (who feels like I go unnoticed a lot) that I thought cars wouldn’t notice I was there. I was worried I would be seriously injured.”
Since making that decision to start commuting by bike, Tresa has noticed some big shifts in her life that have extended beyond her commute. “I’ve been shocked by how my confidence as a rider has changed and how…owning my space on the road has made me more confident as a human being.”
Join the Green Commute Challenge
Between Sept. 19 and Oct. 28, Kansas City area commuters like Tresa are logging their green commutes as part of the Green Commute Challenge. Now in its 14th year. the Green Commute Challenge inspires commuters on employer, university and community-based teams to use more sustainable alternatives to driving alone to work, including biking, walking, transit, scooter, carpool and vanpool. In addition to improving area air quality and decreasing traffic congestion, logging trips earns you points towards prizes from local businesses. Learn more or register at RideshareKC.org.