This post was written by Education Intern, Emily Dzieniszewsk. Emily is a Master of Public Health Student at the University of Pennsylvania
Jack grew up riding scooters until the age of 13 when he started riding bikes. As his skills improved, Jack soon rode around his local city of Montreal. Years later, Jack can be seen riding and teaching biking in Philadelphia. Jack currently serves as the Bike Hub Manager at Bartram’s Garden, but you may have seen him doing bike rentals at Wheel Fun Rentals or giving bike tours with Philly Bike Tours. He also does other amazing work such as performing in circuses, teaching circus arts at the Philadelphia School of Circus, and managing the front house at the Kimmel Center.
Danielle has been riding since she was 7 years old and at the age of 14 began going on trails and riding throughout the city of Philadelphia on her own. Although new to the team, Danielle has no doubt she can handle helping both small and large groups of people learn how to ride. Besides being the assistant bike hub manager, Danielle is an artist by trade. She enjoys making ceramic mosaics, paintings, digital art and video editing, cosplay and prop making as well as baking and cooking in her free time.
Why Bike? Jack says, “Biking was a refuge [from feeling] stressed or overwhelmed in college, even if it wasn’t a leisurely bike ride, the ability to explore a new place via bicycle was de-stressing.” Jack also loves how biking has allowed him to save money, lessen the number of miles he puts on his car, and the community of like-minded artists and bikers he has been able to meet. Danielle says,
“Biking has given me the freedom to travel as I please. There’s nothing more fulfilling than making it from point A to B with your own strength and testing your endurance. It has changed my life for the better, I know I can accomplish anything.”
At Bartram’s Garden, Jack’s favorite things are the swing set in the woods and all the phenomenal activities and programs the Garden offers to engage with the community. He sees the Bike Hub as a place where families can borrow bikes the same way they might borrow books at a library for children that may grow out of their bike in a year. It is also a way for adults and kids to try out bikes without having to commit to a big expense. Similarly, Danielle mentions the positive community impact the Bike Hub has.
“Seeing families, adults, teens and kids get involved and learn to ride or just enjoy nature in their community is great. I’m proud to help Bartram’s offer these activities to the public!”
From his experience, Jack really enjoys working with people of different ages and supporting them as they learn to ride and find the joy of biking. He recognizes the importance of adult learn to ride classes. “You might not think an adult needs a bike riding class, but the need is great. Even if they all don’t show up every time, the fact that it is full online every time for years really emphasizes the need for alternative transportation and recreation.”
With only a few weeks of experience, Danielle can already reflect on a successful moment she had at the Bike Hub.
“I was watching a young child learn how to ride for the first time, going from kicking off to full on pedaling with no assistance! It made me proud to be a part of the bike hub.”
Both Jack and Danielle are quite busy, so we could not be more grateful for all their hard work and dedication to the Bike Hub. Join us at the Bike Hub to meet Jack and Danielle and enjoy a ride around the Garden! Learn more about the Bartram’s Garden Bike Hub here and about recent bike events at Bartam’s Garden here.