And so it was, ten years ago this week, that citizens of the metro-Atlanta area where I live checked “yes” to form what was then the newest city in the United States. I honestly believed the words to the song, “We can build a beautiful city, yes we can, yes, we can.” In fact, I walked around singing it for days.
I didn’t intend to get involved beyond bearing witness as a writer. However, callings-to-serve came, I answered, and I did what I could to plant seeds of positive change during those first few critical years when intentions were set. Ten years later, however (after living here more than 20 years already), everyday folks still can’t ride bikes safely to the supermarket or city hall (nor does the latest master transportation plan enable it in the next 20 years), less than 1% of students ride bikes to school, and citizens still need to advocate for pedestrian access during construction every single time, and that’s frustrating. Here is the media release I’d love to one day see.
I have been working on making my peace with things-as-they-are here, and the fact that the path and pace of change does not align with the beat and rhythm of what my heart knows to be true. Documenting the rubber-hits-the-road reality in my book, Traveling at the Speed of Bike*, has helped me feel like I’ve done all I can now. Maybe someone, somewhere will read chapters 3 and 6 and the epilogue and say it’s time for change, not just in this city but in every place called home across the USA. Maybe you will be that person (see You Are Needed).
* as well as in Food for My Daughters
See here for links to buy my book, Traveling at the Speed of Bike, on Amazon in all global markets. I’m an indie author and your support is greatly appreciated. A portion of proceeds from the sale of all books is donated to help more women and girls ride bikes. Currently, that means funding my ability to do “Pedal Power with Pattie” Basic Bike Skills Classes for Women for free.