How Jimmy Became a Winter Bicyclist

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By Pamela Moore, Program Director

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Jimmy, a participant in TLC’s Transportation Options program, with a new bike for winter riding.

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Meet Jimmy, a very motivated participant in TLC’s Transportation Options program. When I first connected with him, it was easy to determine Jimmy wanted to expand his options for getting around town. He is a self-employed videographer capturing stories about everyday people in the Twin Cities. Already an avid transit user and walker, the idea of further reducing his transportation expenses was appealing. “Being self-employed has its financial ups and downs and any cost savings is beneficial,” he shared.

Jimmy worked with us on a transportation assessment that suggested he would benefit from bicycle ownership. Even though he was prepared for cold weather as a transit user, we recognized he needed additional gear for winter bicycling. We also realized his need for hauling heavy and fragile video equipment from one taping site to another. Referred to the Transportation Options program by Prepare + Prosper, Jimmy qualified for financial assistance to help make this possible.

As a Transportation Options program partner, Cycles for Change (C4C) has been instrumental in assisting several program participants, including Jimmy. This winter, the staff at C4C helped Jimmy find the right size bicycle and then equip his new bike with lights, fenders, and studded tires. Luckily, the day we were at C4C a used Burley bike trailer also was available for sale. It is the perfect size for Jimmy’s video equipment.

[/cmsms_text][/cmsms_column][/cmsms_row][cmsms_row data_padding_bottom=”20″ data_padding_top=”0″ data_color=”default” data_width=”boxed”][cmsms_column data_width=”1/1″][cmsms_featured_block fb_bg_color=”#00adba” fb_text_color=”#ffffff” animation_delay=”0″]“The mission of Cycles for Change is to build a diverse and empowered community of bicyclists. C4C implements a variety of programs that support people in getting access to a used bicycle, free bicycle repair, training in safe, confident cycling, and opportunities to help grow a broad-based, equitable bicycling movement. C4C operates two community bicycle education and repair shops in Saint Paul and Minneapolis.”[/cmsms_featured_block][/cmsms_column][/cmsms_row][cmsms_row data_padding_bottom=”20″ data_padding_top=”0″ data_color=”default” data_width=”boxed”][cmsms_column data_width=”1/1″][cmsms_text animation_delay=”0″]

To help prepare him for riding year round, we also shared a variety of useful resources with Jimmy, including the Smart Cycling Quick Guide from the League of American Bicyclists, a wallet sized Share the Road tip card from MDOT, and the Bicycling + Transit brochure from Metro Transit.

Jimmy’s story is just one example of how Transit for Livable Communities is working to ensure low-income Transportation Options participants are well-equipped to bike, walk, bus—and trim their transportation budgets—through the changing seasons.

Keep an eye out for Jimmy around town this winter. He just might tape you for his series on public access TV!

Winter bicycling is on the rise in the Twin Cities. Read up on key tips for a safe and enjoyable cold-weather ride.

To learn more about TLC’s work to address transportation as a basic need, empowering low-income Minnesotans to lower their costs and expand their access to education and jobs, visit our Transportation Options page.

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