Make Holiday Shopping a Joyride

| 12/18/2010 7:32:50 AM

Tags: holiday shopping, Mia Birk, Portland, bicycling, Joyride, Carolyn Szczepanski,

joyridecoverI’ll just come right out and say it: I hate shopping. Which presents a bit of a dilemma during the holidays.a bit of a dilemma during the holidays. 

I don’t want to be a miser, but I’m disturbed by the tremendous amount of stuff that is now considered necessary for comfortable human existence and I’m wary of adding more items to the cupboards and closets of my friends and family. So my tactic is to spread holiday cheer with knowledge and inspiration. I’m a big fan of gift memberships to worthy nonprofits or subscriptions to magazines, like, ahem, Mother Earth News.

So, if you’re like me, looking for a way to show your appreciation without participating in our destructive consumer culture, Mia Birk offers the perfect solution for the holiday season.

Who the heck is Mia Birk?

Well, Birk was there at the dawn of the bicycle revolution. Back when “bike lane” was a four-letter word, Birk was fighting to make streets safe and inviting for bicyclists. Her energy and vision as Portland’s bicycle and pedestrian coordinator in the 1990s turned that Oregon town into the nation’s most bike-friendly city, making once-crazy ideas realities on the pavement. When she left that gig, she joined Alta Planning + Design, a progressive engineering firm that's grown into an international outfit with bike-ped projects within and beyond U.S. borders.

And, this fall, with the debut of Joyride: Pedaling Toward a Healthier Planet, Birk added author to her already lengthy and distinguished resume.

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