A life rebuilt by bicycle (and a new Kickstarter project)

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Taking the Lane #14 is coming out quite soon. But first, the Kickstarter.

For this issue I asked people to send in submissions on the theme of “money and class.” It quickly became clear that other identity issues are inextricably important to this theme, and so the issue came to be called Bikequity and covers a wide scope of experiences and analysis about the socioeconomics of bicycling.

To give you just one example, here’s a short interview with one of the zine’s contributors, V.K. Henry:

a photo of a smiling woman with sunglasses1. Tell us a little about yourself—what is the most important thing to know about you?

I’m in recovery and I’ve been sober for six years. It changed my life and allowed me to become the person I’ve always wanted to be. It’s also an incredibly difficult path to walk.

2. What’s your connection with bicycling? How did you start riding, what does it mean to you, any big changes?

My essay in Taking the Lane #14 is all about my connection with bicycling! I left an abusive marriage in 2012 and my life was decimated. I was newly sober and financially dependent on my husband. I ended up selling my car and going into hiding in Oregon a few months later. The bus didn’t run early enough for me to get to my new job, so I bought an inexpensive bicycle and became a bike commuter. Bicycling empowered me. It allowed me to be present in my body again. It allowed me to keep my job and support myself financially. It created huge and wonderful change in my life.

3. What’s your contribution to TTL14? What’s changed since you wrote/drew it?

I contributed the essay I mentioned in my answer to question #2. A lot has changed since I wrote the essay (so much that I had to do some minor rewrites with Elly and change my author bio). My partner and I broke up and I moved from Portland, OR to Atlanta, GA. I recently decided to go back to school to pursue a degree in library science, and my partner and I decided to get back together. I’m visiting family in California as I write this. In four days, I will be in Portland again, then driving across the country to Atlanta, and finally moving to the Midwest. I also have a new nephew!

4. What’s the best piece of advice or wisdom you would share with someone new to cycling?

Be who you are on the road. Don’t worry about the other cyclists, or compare yourself to them. Wear a helmet and learn how to fix a flat.

To read her essay and approximately 15 others, please back the zine on Kickstarter. Thank you!