It can be challenging to balance work and family responsibilities, let alone fit exercise into your schedule on top of that. Hau Hagedorn, a Research Program Manager at Portland State University and mother of three, manages to make it all work.
Riding her bike to work helps Hau clear her mind, escape the stress of traffic, and most important, fit exercise into her busy day. Hau has been commuting by bike for the last 8 years. Hau had her third child in this time, but made sure it didn’t interfere with her preferred method of transportation. Hau wants everyone to know they can continue riding their bike to work even after having a child. Hau commutes 3.5 miles with her eleven, nine, and five year old children to school and work almost everyday.
Over her eight years of learning on the road, Hau has some great tips to share with new riders. She suggests being prepared for your first commute by getting your bike tuned up, finding your route, and being ready to transition to work when you arrive. Her biggest advice is to channel your inner-child and try to view biking like kids do. Children hop on their bikes without any special gear and bike to school in their “school clothes”. Hau believes we can learn a lot from taking on a similar childlike view of biking. “If you approach it as something you can do without special gear I think it is much easier for someone who is interested in biking [to get started],” explained Hau. She follows her own advice and rides to work in her everyday work clothes. She encourages everyone to feel confident in wearing their normal clothes while riding their bike and to not worry about how they look.
Take it from Hau, be prepared for your ride, but don’t feel overwhelmed with the “need” to buy lots of extra gear. If you are curious, the only piece of bike gear Hau suggests, for anyone living in Portland, is a raincoat so you can bike all year around!
Thank you, Hau for sharing your great advice and being a rock star commuter!