The Carless Cyclist, Shannon Markley

With her newly powdercoated Marinoni
With her newly powdercoated Marinoni

I ride my bike a lot, but I drive a car as well. So I have to marvel at people, several of whom I know, who do not own a car. In Shannon Markley’s case, that has been her situation since 1976.

Shannon’s biography could be called “Life on a Bike.” She began cycling at the age of 7 and can take you to the exact spot on Beacon Hill where she learned to ride. For many of us, the bike represents an implement of independence, a moment in our young lives when we became, literally, self-empowered. The impact of learning to ride was to prove for Shannon far greater than what for most people is the later equivalent, getting a driver’s license.

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