We are continuing to celebrate National Bike Month! This week we're highlighting Yasmine Jewell, a young rider from the Dorchester/Mattapan neighborhood of Boston.
What neighborhood do you live in?
I live in Dorchester/Mattapan near the B-3 Police Station. My neighborhood has many modes of transportation, such as the Mattapan Trolley and MBTA buses. There are many local and corner markets located throughout Dorchester and Mattapan.
What’s your background?
I am currently an 8th grader at the John D. O’Bryant, located in Roxbury. Originally I am from Atlanta, Georgia, but I moved to Boston in my early childhood. My personality is filled with the passion for cooking, volunteering, helping others, and working hard. In my spare time I enjoy riding my bike, listening to music, cooking, and helping others. My values, such as family, keeping my promises, never stop loving myself, and not valuing someone else more than myself keeps my life organized. Considering what I value and don't value helps me make life decisions and determine my path in life. Currently, I work for Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition (MFFC) as a Vigorous Youth in Mattapan Square.
What do you use your bike for?
I use my bike for transportation at times. For example, if I am traveling to a destination and biking is the fastest route than taking the MBTA, I will use my bike. Other than riding my bike for transportation I ride for fun.
Why did you start biking?
I started riding my bike in the summer of 2016. As a volunteer at the Mattapan ABCD, I had to get to Mattapan. But as of now, I ride my bike as a stress reliever when my anger gets to me. There's something about being on my bike while going down a hill with my music in my ears and feeling the wind on my skin. Riding my bike makes me complete.
What is your favorite part about the biking community? Or Biking around the city?
My favorite part about the biking community is meeting different people. Each person in the community offers different advice, knowledge, and biking experiences. I greatly appreciate it because it is makes it easier to ask for assistance about biking in my community.
My other favorite part about biking around the city is riding in organized biking groups. Being apart of a group makes me feel safer, considering I am a new bike rider to riding safely and following the bike rules.
What advice would you give to someone who would like to start biking in the city?
The advice I would give someone who would like to start biking in the city is to be consistent in riding, to be confident in your yourself, and to connect with other bike riders that are just starting to ride too. So you know how to ride safe, not just for your safety but for pedestrians safety as well.
What actions do you suggest someone take to help make biking a part of the lives of more bostonians?
I suggest that someone attempts to get more of the youth involved in more biking events/ experiences because there is more youth bike riders than adults! Although the youth may not ride safe, adults have the power and resources to inform the youth like myself about safe riding. Not attacking the youth but working with them to spread the word can achieve the goal of more Bostonians riding their bikes, and safer riding on the streets for everyone.