Hey, my name is Leah DeHaan and I work as a bicycle courier in Bristol. I’m currently supporting the use of cargo bicycles as a means for deliveries and promoting their use for developing urban logistics.
Cycle touring really ignited my love of bicycles and I’m grateful for the opportunities it gave me to connect with people in new ways. For me cycling is a great tool to learn, develop and have fun with, there is something for everyone. I want to share and encourage others of the freedom that lies within cycling and bicycle related experiences.
How would you describe your mission?
My key focus will be to encourage, support and increase cycling opportunities in Bristol. I plan to promote that cycling is accessible to all regardless of age, gender, race and cultural background and can be done in different capacities to suit our own needs. I would like to remove the fear around cycling in a city and instead bring a sense of fun, enjoyment and lightness to peoples’ attitudes and approaches towards bicycles and cycling in Bristol. Accessibility to all for me means updating our bicycle culture/stereotype alongside improved cycle infrastructure; this approach will bridge gaps between the disparities that currently exist. Through working with a wide demographic, I would like to show that a cyclist can be anyone, we are all unique in our expression, whether we have never cycled before, or commute daily – we can learn to incorporate bicycles into our lives, allowing them to be a part of our existence and not an obstacle.
By updating and developing cycle infrastructure, we can allow people to feel safe and see their goal of reaching somewhere by bicycle as attainable. We share our roads and paths with others from walkers to cargo bikes, mopeds, cars and vans; with such diversity we must learn to work together to create safer, more respectful spaces. In doing so, we not only create vibrant epicentres that prioritise bicycles and pedestrians, we enable a shift within the city to support forward thinking solutions. In turn this can have a catalyst effect, stimulating new ideas for healthier cities.