First time bicycle at Bear Creek

I know that riding a bicycle to Quaker meeting is not a new idea.  Some meetinghouses, including Des Moines Valley Friends,  have bicycle racks.


The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) offices in Washington, DC, have bicycle racks, showers and lockers.


William Penn House in Washington has bicycle stands in front.


As I’ve been writing, I want to explore fossil-fuel free transportation in rural settings, now that I’ve moved to Iowa (June 30th).  One of the first things I had hoped to do, after buying a very nice bicycle with money donated by my many friends in Indianapolis (done), was to get into shape to be able to ride from where I am staying in Indianola, to Bear Creek meeting.

Unfortunately, that is a 44 mile distance.  I’ve been riding almost daily, most recently for almost 2 hours and 17 miles.  One of the first things I’ve been reminded of is vertical distances traveled are much more significant than horizontal!  The main bicycle trail I’ve been using drops 1,200 feet in about 8 miles, but it is a pretty gradual slope for the most part.  Unfortunately the first part of the round trip is all downhill, so you know what happens when you turn around to go home.

Yesterday, though, I was worn out after only a couple of miles, but that was on hills that seemed to be nearly vertical!

The photo below is not meant to be a dishonest representation, rather symbolic, instead.  I’ve been so anxious to connect bicycles to Bear Creek, that we loaded my bicycle on a bicycle rack, so I actually only rode about 1.5 miles from the Interstate 80 exit (including a pretty good hill) to get to the Bear Creek meetinghouse.  My friend and Scattergood roommate, Jonathan Tesdell had his bicycle on a rack there today, too.

My goal is to get more Friends to ride their bicycles to Quaker meeting.  Especially in urban areas, this could be a family project.

I’d like to gather photos of Friends and their bicycles at Friends meeting, with a growing collection symbolizing Friends commitment to reduce fossil fuel use. Please send me your bicycle photos.


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2 Responses to First time bicycle at Bear Creek

  1. Pam Marguerite says:

    That’s amazing! I live about 3 miles from my meeting, and usually bike when it’s nice out. Friends and I are planning a 49 miles bike ride next month in honor of our all turning 49 this year, but it will be a lot to work up to it (and it will probably be mostly flat)

    I will try to take a picture of my bike at the meetinghouse next week!

    • jakisling says:

      Thanks Pam. That is a great story. I’d love to have your photo, and it would be great to have photos next month when you have your ride. What Quaker meeting is this? Jeff

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