Trail Ramblings: Board Member Spotlight- Jake Miller.

Like most people I started riding a bike at a young age. It started with going up and down the street, then around the block. Soon it was my way to get to the swimming pool, or Ben Franklin to get some candy. Back then it was just a way to get around. I enjoyed it, but never really felt a passion for it. Once I was able to drive I didn’t own a bike again until I was 26. I had just started a new job and a coworker commuted year round, and owned about 7 bikes. He eventually sold me one of them, then two more. 

 I started riding everywhere. Work, hanging out with friends, errands, around town exploring our trails. Fast forward 6 years and after selling some bikes and buying more, I am a full time bike commuter. My partner, Chelsea, and I have been a one car family since we started dating 5 years ago. She admittedly wasn’t sure about going on a date with a guy who didn’t own a car, but it worked out. 

 Over the past 6 years my passion for riding my bike has not only grown, but changed as well. I was laid off from my job in March of 2020 with no answers on when, or if I’d be hired back. I went three months without receiving unemployment, or working, and had very little to do other than be at home. So I rode.

 I rode our trail system every day. I’d decided which way I rode based on where the wind was coming from. I would start near the zoo where I live, and ride north to the Dietrich trail to the Murdock trail all the way to 84th, sometimes 112th. I would ping pong my way to Mopac, Billy Wolff, than Boosalis. I could go more than 40 miles with out repeating where I rode. Over those months I continued to explore our city on my bike. It was the only thing I could do to not be sitting in my house.

  Biking for me is a way to slow things down. It is where I do my best thinking, it’s where I can enjoy myself, and where I can calm myself down. No matter how upset, depressed, or how tired I am, I feel better when I am on my bike. 

 I have only been with Bicyclincoln for a few months. I want to make biking better in our city for everyone. People who do it as a hobby, or for exercise, for commuting sometimes, commuting all the time. Biking should be accessible to everyone. Especially the people who need it most. Some people in our city can only afford a bike. They depend on it to get to work, the grocery store, everywhere. They deserve to have all the access people in cars have. There are a lot of things our city can benefit with great bike access. Lincoln has a history of being bike friendly. Our infrastructure shows that. 

I hope to continue to improve on what was created before me, for everyone in our city. Riding a bike in our city should be as safe and accessible as driving a car. 

 I’ll add that my commute from the zoo to SouthPointe is usually faster than driving 27th street during rush hour.