(photo courtesy Megan Ramey)
Meet Megan Ramey. While working as a sustainability consultant for major corporations in Boston, Megan discovered that there was no one-stop, easy-to-use source for all the info she needed to plan two-wheeled trips with her family on vacations. So she created it.
Megan launched Bikabout* in 2014. It’s a website that inspires 2-wheeled tourism in North America’s best biking cities by making it easy to book travel and lodging, rent bikes, and find the best bike routes curated by locals. The two most popular downloads, by the way, are the Cape Cod Weekend and the Great Alleghany Passage Trail. Her maps have proven so popular that chambers of commerce and other places that know the economic impact of bike tourism have hired her to create custom maps, and her husband’s fun photography has been purchased by state tourism agencies as well. Megan told me:
“I like fresh food, local businesses, and biking there. Plus, I wanted to move the needle on bike advocacy. Bikeabout started out as a passion project, and because of it, I’ve gotten to see the best of the best.”
It’s no surprise, therefore, that after a stint in Wisconsin when Megan and her family were considering moving again, she did a deep-dive into about 30 different cities to evaluate them (with her own proprietary point system) across five criteria (natural playground, farm-to-table culinaria, strong community, urban homesteading, ability to live “car light”) in an Excel spreadsheet she named Oxymoronic Utopia. The winner was Hood River in Oregon, and Megan, her husband, and daughter moved there four years ago. She became known quite quickly as the woman zipping around with her daughter on an electric bakfiet (a type of cargo bike).
Within two years, Megan was appointed to the City of Hood River Planning Commission. She now also serves as the Active Transportation Representative for the Portland metropolitan area at the Oregon Department of Transportation, and is the community engagement director of Thrive Hood River (a nonprofit founded in 1977 to protect Hood River’s farms, forests, special wild places and the livability of its cities and rural communities). Hood River became the first city in Oregon to pass a resolution recognizing a Climate Crisis in late 2019. Megan recognizes the palpable potential for real change and the role that moms, in particular, play. She says that when they show up at meetings, she notices that things get done. Megan added:
“COVID has taken 30 years of advocacy energy and condensed it into months. Combined with the potential of ebikes, which are instant joy, I’m incredibly optimistic.”
(photo courtesy of Megan Ramey)
If we’ve learned anything from Megan, it’s this. Follow your passion, and keep showing up.
* And yes, there are Atlanta photos and tourism details on the site! Megan took a tour with Bicycle Tours of Atlanta after she met owner Robyn Elliott (also featured in this “You Go, Girl!” series) and became friends at a national tourism conference!
Tap in every day in August for my “You Go, Girl” series showcasing 31 Women in 31 Days who are making it more welcoming to ride bikes in the USA. If interested, you may enjoy my book, Traveling at the Speed of Bike. All proceeds from the sale of my book help more women and girls ride bikes.
The complete series:
10. Meet Irene Lutts
14. Meet Jenn Dice
28. Meet Megan Ramey
30. Meet Aly Nicklas