I’m not an activist. I just ride my bike.
I’m not a world changer. I just ride my bike.
I’m not a superhero. I just ride my bike.
Because I ride my bike, I have met people from many different walks of life. I ride with teachers, bankers, bike shop employees, factory custodians, college students, former students, retired engineers, and even the occasional priest. Each, in his or her own way, has taught me about the benefits of surrounding myself with people different from me. I’ve also learned to speak up for those with no voice and to use my vote to make my voice heard.
Because I ride my bike and enjoy the relationships that stem from those early morning coffee rides or evening hammerfests, I’ve found ways to make cycling inclusive. Hosting free bike maintenance clinics for new riders, leading no-drop group rides, or even buying a cup of coffee for the new rider helps our cycling community grow. It’s so easy to forget what it was like starting out, and it takes minimal effort to stop and act. Small gestures add up to effect change well beyond our city, even changing our world.
Because I ride my bike and love my city, I hosted our city’s first Cranksgiving this fall. It’s part bike ride, part scavenger hunt, and they’re held all over the country. I had no idea what to expect but was blown away by the generous riders that braved cooler temps to ride and purchase needed items for two local homeless shelters. Despite the lack of bike lanes and bike racks at stores, we traipsed all over our city to purchase food and supplies. As we shopped, riders were excited to be able to serve our community in a creative way. Instead of just picking up a few items on the list, I saw riders going above and beyond what the “race” suggested in order to help even more people. People on bikes helped feed our neediest neighbors.
Because I ride my bike, I gain insight to my personal challenges. I understand what it’s like to struggle on a difficult route or hit new distance PRs. I know that because I ride my bike, I’m stronger.
And because I’m stronger, I am an activist. I am a world changer. I am a superhero (at least in my kids’ eyes) all because I ride my bike.