Welcome to a new post in the Featured Jetter series! A Featured Jetter is someone who either has diabetes/is involved in the diabetes world, or is a bike rider of some sort/is involved in the biking world, or both. While we started this blog to share our journey of raising $11k for the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes in Death Valley, CA this October 2018 (donate here!), a blog only about us would be, well, kinda boring. In doing this ride, we wanted to connect with the wider diabetes and biking communities, and in doing this blog, we’ve decided we would like to raise up and highlight some amazing people doing wonderful work.
Dorothy and Broche met through mutual friends when Broche was living in Portland several years ago. Broche loved Dorothy’s energy, her commitment to living a sustainable life, and they shared an obsession with biking and tiny houses. Obviously they became fast friends, and even worked together in a professional capacity once or twice. They have not, however, ridden bikes together, so that’s still one for the bucket list. Also, Dorothy is no relation to the previously Featured Jetter Lauren Mitchell, despite their shared last name and shared passion for bikes. Clearly good people have the last name Mitchell. Read on!
Featured Jetter: Dorothy Mitchell
What is your relation to biking and/or diabetes?
I love being a cyclist in Portland and being part of making biking even more accessible here! I’ve been a bike commuter (car-free) since college. The freedom and fun of biking here in Portland, Oregon are some of the things I most love about this city.
I currently have the privilege of running the day-to-day of BIKETOWN, Portland’s public bike share program. We offer 1,000 bright orange bikes across the city that locals and visitors can check out, ride, and leave at their destination. We are all about increasing access and opportunity here in Portland, whether that means providing a job to someone who’s traditionally been excluded from the bike industry, helping people living on low-incomes to access BIKETOWN at a reduced price, or simply allowing Portlanders and visitors to see their city up close with the wind in their hair.
While I do not have diabetes myself, I have an uncle who has diabetes and is also a lifelong athlete and coach, particularly a cyclist. It’s been inspiring to see how hard he works to manage his blood sugar in order to be able to go on multi-hour training rides, not to mention swimming and other athletic pursuits.
[That’s so great!]
How has biking and/or diabetes impacted your life?
Biking has been a big part of defining how I see myself and how I see my environment. More than anything else, I identify as a cyclist. Mostly I’m a practical/commuter cyclist, though I’ve been known to do a short bike tour or three, and a few years ago, the Seattle to Portland 2-day ride.
I feel very independent and self-sufficient when I rely on my bike to get where I need to go. It saves me the money and hassle of owning a car, and it gives me a great excuse to move my body daily. I love the mental health benefits of being on a bike for half an hour before and after work – it’s a great way to decompress. Plus, you get to observe all kinds of interesting things about your city as you pedal by! When I go out and I’m on my bike, I also feel really good about the fact that I have an easy way to get home from any sort of situation that I don’t feel comfortable with. Just ride away!
What is your next goal related to biking and/or diabetes?
Last year I was proud of myself for dipping my toe in the world of Cyclocross racing. I took a ‘cross workshop, did three races, and had a great time. While I’m not sure I’m destined to race ‘cross next season, it was awesome to spend time on a bike that could handle rougher terrain than I usually ride. My goal for this year is to replace a couple of the bikes in my stable with a sturdy road bike that can handle gravel, and go on more recreational rides on some of the great trails around Portland, like the ones in beautiful Forest Park.
What is one idea, person, group, organization, or resource about biking and/or diabetes that you would like to share?
I love the community and energy being generated by the local Portland group Friends on Bikes. It’s a meetup group for women/trans/femme people of color to ride bikes and have fun together. Check them out on Instagram @friends.on.bikes. They recently started a Seattle chapter, too!
[Stay tuned for an upcoming feature of Friends on Bikes!]
What is your connection to #TeamJetlagged?
I am a proud friend of Broche since meeting through a mutual friend a few years ago, and supporter of all the awesomeness that #TeamJetlagged is achieving!
[Aww, thank you!]
What song should we add to our biking playlist?
Dude. Playlist is clutch. I would highly recommend just about any Jason Nevins remix to keep that energy high, but for some steady-pedaling inspiration, complete with sax solos and synth effects, I recommend mindless french pop hit “Love System” by Le Galaxie.
Check out these and other Featured Jetter recommended songs on our YouTube playlist!
For more Portland-specific bike info, make sure to check out @BIKETOWNpdx on both Instagram and Twitter.
If you or someone you know would make a good Featured Jetter profile, let us know! teamjetlagged(at)gmail(dot)com
Don’t forget to DONATE today to help us $11k for diabetes research during our JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes in Death Valley, CA this October 2018!