Inspired by my brilliant friend, Courtney Williams, New York City’s Bicycle Mayor, I am currently already post-interview and under final consideration to join the Amsterdam-based social enterprise BYCS’ international consortium of bicycle mayors as the first representative from Metro Atlanta (you can see the bicycle mayor global network map here — I may do a little blog series showcasing each bicycle mayor, as I did with the “You Go, Girl” series recently).
It is an independent, volunteer position of about 4-8 hours a week. (Note: According to BYCS, no one else from Metro Atlanta has pursued this opportunity. If there is someone else who believes they are better suited for representative, please contact me and perhaps we can share the role.) I’m a League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructor (#5382), a People for Bikes Ambassador, a Georgia Bikes and Atlanta Bicycle Coalition member, and the author of the Traveling at the Speed Bike book and blog. I’m a daily rider, a frequent advocate for equity and access-for-all (with a passionate focus on underrepresented women and girls, for which I have a 25-year record of service and advocacy), a mom, a voter, a senior now, and even a survivor of road violence.
THe #1 Thing I Will Do Is Shine a Light on Others who are already doing heavy lifting.
Additionally, As Metro Atlanta Bicycle Mayor, I intend to LISTEN, LEARN, EXPLORE, AND share:
1. Raves about a wide range of regional successes;
2. Routes that are welcoming to alL (and reasons why more routes aren’t);
3. Resources that may help more people participate in the biggest bike boom since the 1970s.
I am, in fact, already doing these things in some ways already*, and I expect to learn additional ways from both global and local colleagues to create a greater impact in concert with all the good that’s already happening here in Metro Atlanta as I continue to add my voice to things I know could and should be better.
I am also committed to using this opportunity to lay the foundation for future local bicycle mayors to take over if and when I leave for Peace Corps Uganda (currently delayed due to COVID-19). Additionally, my hope is that my time as a Bicycle Mayor will make me more valuable in Uganda as well as I aim to help more girls and women there access and ride bikes. Kampala already has a bicycle mayor named Amanda Ngabirano, and I look forward to getting to know her.
There is no election. However, it is required that I submit letters of endorsement from local and national leaders, as well as advocates and enthusiasts for bike riding, who believe in my ability to make a difference. If willing to help, simply write a short note (on your company or organization’s letterhead, if possible), sign it with your name and title, and email it to me by September 27 so I can include it in my endorsement package. Your support is greatly appreciated, and I look forward to being of service to you as Metro Atlanta Bicycle Mayor.
* See my recent series of profiles of women making the USA more welcoming for bike riding (and imagine local spotlights of business owners; advocates; elected officials; and rubber-hits-the-road issues relating to all aspects of equity, diversity, and inclusion); my Bonus Resources and Classes pages (and imagine info that connects you to local education opportunities and best practices from other communities that may work in yours as well), and my Ride Spot posts (and imagine this expanding to include welcoming routes throughout Metro Atlanta, and what needs to be dismantled before true safe-access-for-all can be achieved).