As far as advocacy goes, I have been an enthusiastic Cyclist for over 20 years. I have been involved in all kinds of political movements: defending trails, building trails, supporting projects to make the infrastructure safer and easier for people. Never paid a dime for my efforts but passionately offering help with the solution on every turn. Today, I have a broadened perspective of the potential the bike has to connect communities inwardly. By promoting more sustainable local cooperative efforts, we can bring the lessons of our collective consciousness to the streets of urban America.
Instead of getting into the history of what the car has done to promote urban sprawl and consumerist disconnect, let’s look at what we have and build from it. First off, we have endless pavement, why spend our limited resources to pour more when cities like Portland, Minneapolis, even NYC are proving by painting in bike lanes we can greatly improve the safety factor of riding a bike in traffic. We have far to go to reach any of the European levels of mass bike transportation or innovative street to greenway projects but we must start somewhere: with the paint.
This is a federal collaborative issue that spans beyond the Bike Industry to our greater bike community but I believe the leaders in both need to be finding more and more ways to bring us, women into the
conversation. Since I first stepped up and grabbed a magaphone to sing the song of the bike integrated lifestyle, I have noticed some of the most impactful leaders to be women. Most don't even call it a job (or get paid) but one by one are making a huge impact on the streets of America. Why is women that getting results? Because as mothers and sisters we understand that safety is not only keeping us in cars, but it preoccupies us as we ride. I guess you could say that as we pedal we empower ourselves into action. Woman are also cutting through a lot of the red tape because we are by nature mindful and frugal about spending. Instead of picturing a big monstrous project requiring an extensive budget to boast our name, we are looking for the quickest easiest way to get the most out of every penny, and every mile.
With this, it is all about the paint. Weither your community is ready to go all out and paint big green bike lanes or just simply improve the space to the right of the white line, the more leaders we have stepping up to bring these implementations to your local Transit Authority, the sooner we will all be able to just smile and enjoy the ride.