Women Who Ride: Tatiana Rebanal is Seven Years Old and Stoked

A few weeks ago the Oregonian published the “Women Who Ride” piece that I’d been working on for a few months. It’s a collection of short interviews profiling 9 women-cyclists from age 7 to 83 years old. Putting it together was one of the most energizing and inspiring projects I’ve undertaken in a long time. I tapped into all kinds of new cycling worlds and philosophies and got to connect with some women who opened my eyes and exploded my bicycle heart with awesomeness.

The hardest part of the project was trimming the interviews to suitable lengths for print and online (if you read the print version of that story, you should definitely check out the online version to see more photos and expanded versions of the profiles). I loved hearing the voices of so many kick-ass women and I wanted to include all of their funny, poignant, insightful and surprising comments. As a compromise, I’ve decided to publish the interviews in full, one-by-one, here on this blog. In some cases, we’ll also get some rad additional photographs. (And also a few interviews that didn’t appear in the newspaper version because of the limitations of the decade-by-decade structure.)

We’ll start with Tatiana Rebanal – a spirited 7-year-old with a whole lotta bike love.

Tatiana Rebanal, Age 7


What’s your favorite part about riding bikes?

Sometimes when you’re really hot, the breeze on your face is really cool.

What is your favorite place to ride?

To Oaks Park or to all sorts of parks in the neighborhood.

Do you ride with friends? If you do, what kind of adventures do you go on with your friends?

I only go on short adventures on my bike because I am only 7.  If I was with my sister, we would probably go a little farther because she is 10.  With my family, one adventure we do a lot is to go to the supermarket or school.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever seen from the seat of your bicycle?

As I am riding on the back of my mom’s bike, the reason I am always quiet on the bike is because I have all these different games that I imagine in my head.  One of my favorite things is to count curb cuts.  I notice how there are lots of sidewalks if we aren’t downtown yet don’t have curb cuts.  In my head, I picture myself hopping down the curb on my own bike.  I also pretend that I’m bouncing off everything as we go.  Everything I see, I picture myself bouncing off: like traffic lights or lamp posts or the Safeway sign.

What’s your favorite snack during a bike ride?

I usually like pears or crackers.

Pretend you have a friend who doesn’t ride bikes, what would you say to them? How would you convince them to try bike riding with you?

I would say: You should try bike riding because it’s a lot of fun.  You should try bike riding because I think you’ll like it, it cools you off.

Photo by Beth Nakamura. Taken for the original Oregonian article.

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3 comments

  1. She’s got it all figured out :)

  2. Great post. Reminded me of my friend’s daughter, Tsukino Machin, and her Japanese racing exploits in the JCRC and Tour du Japon series.

    http://team-machin-e.blogspot.com/search?q=tsukino

  3. just in case we should ever forget why we like to ride :) fundamentals :)

    thasnk for sharing Heidi!

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