An interview with student leader and bike commuter, Jasmine Jolly

Student Leader Profile: Jasmine Jolly

An interview with student leader and bike commuter, Jasmine Jolly
How to you get to school and get around town?

I ride my bike to get around town. I also usually ride my bike or carpool to school with my dad, who is a teacher at my school, and another teacher.

How long have you been biking to school?

I started biking to school with my mom in about the first grade. When I was about 11 or 12 I started biking by myself to school, although sometimes with a friend.

What motivated you to start biking to school?

My mom said we had to! Also, it was just really easy. I enjoy bicycling because it gives me a sense of freedom that a lot of students seem only to believe they can achieve with a car.

What advice would you give to other students or families interested in biking to school?

Look for safe routes. Bicycling on busy streets can be uncomfortable and unsafe, even if you live close to school. Look for a nearby path or a quiet street. I would also recommend riding with a friend.

Tell us a story about a bike ride you’ve gone on.

Last summer on my family bike tour, we took the train to Seattle where we met a couple doing a similar tour. They were very friendly and exchanged phone numbers with my dad. Coincidentally, we ran into them a few other times on our tour. We even ended up staying in the same hostel on Orcas Island and had dinner together. The people you can meet on trips like this one are incredible.

Also, when you are on a bicycle, it’s not like being in a car where you get sick of the people you are sitting next to. I have a little sister and we don’t always get along; if we’re traveling in a car all day we end up sitting on opposite sides of the hotel room. When we travel by bike we camp, we walk down to the beach, and maybe watch the sunset or collect rocks. Biking and the outdoors help people to connect.

Have there been any resources that have been particularly helpful to you?

My parents, who are both avid cyclists, have been very supportive. I have also been involved with the Climate Protection Campaign’s challenge to walk and bike to school. Safe Routes to School bike rodeos are also a great way to learn safe bicycling and help parents feel more comfortable.