Kailey Kornhauser and Marley Blonsky are proud to call themselves “fat cyclists” and they’re on the mission that I have fought for personally and through my work with the NY Bicycling Coalition – to get more people of all sizes on bicycles.
Bicycling is healthy, fun, and great for the environment and for EVERYONE, regardless of age or physical condition. A great column about Kailey and Marley, who are taking their cycling message nationally, was in The Washington Post recently. They have a great attitude that I hope inspires more people to buy an appropriate bicycle, ride safely, and fall in love with cycling.
In the column, Kailey said she used to try restricting what she ate and refused to use the F word (fat) about herself but finally gave it up and accepted herself as she is, taking what she calls a healthier approach to her life.
“I was always trying to change the fact that I was a fat cyclist into being just a ‘regular’ cyclist,” she told the columnist. “Now, I spend my time loving myself and moving my body because I enjoy moving my body and not as a punishment to my body.”
Marley thinks people have forgotten that riding is fun. She said most people ride when they are kids and stop as adults because they think riding is only for “certain people.” This is what she hears often: “I would love to do it, but I can’t.” And her response is: Why can’t you?
Kailey, 27, is a doctorate student in Oregon studying natural resource management. Marley, 33, is a sustainability manager for a logistics company in Washington state.
They are daily bike commuters who go on multiday cycling trips and call themselves “adventure cyclists.” They met on Instagram and are teaming up to make a presentation in March in Washington, D.C., during the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Summit. The theme this year: “Safe Streets for Everyone.”
They created a GoFundMe page in December to help them pay for the trip. They felt uncomfortable asking for help, but when they saw that other speakers received funding, they took the plunge. After the column was published, they made their goal!
Both got into cycling a few years ago. Kailey said she had to ride because she didn’t have a car to get to her classes. Marley chose to become a bike commuter.
Marley said she often gets asked about how to lose weight by riding. She has to tell people she has no idea. She’s not concerned about changing her body. “At some point, I said, ‘This is who I am, this is me,’ and I embraced it.”
Kailey said they are not against people changing their bodies. They have a simple message: “You don’t have to change, and the things that happen to you because of the size of your body are not fair.”
I hope Twin Tiers residents of all sizes learn from the example of Kailey and Marley and take another look at cycling. With the right equipment and a positive attitude, anything is possible.
Thank you for reading,
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