Crazy Story (And A Call for 5 New Bicycle Mayors)

As you know, I’m still on hold for Peace Corps Uganda (delayed from June 2020 to August 2021 as of right now — you can read that crazy story here), BUT I just learned that St. Lucia and Cambodia volunteers are on the move in January, with lots of additional movement right behind that.

All departing volunteers are expected to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by early second quarter 2021. The Executive Director, Jody Olson, gave a fantastic, detailed update on what’s going on and how the organization is preparing to pivot to meet increased needs around the world (especially regarding escalating inequalities during this pandemic, particularly for women and girls). It’s positive and exciting and, my god, we need that right now.

What this means, of course, is that the pressure’s on for me to fulfill my stated Goal #2 as Metro Atlanta Bicycle Mayor ASAP and encourage at least five other people to apply to become Bicycle Mayors in their Metro Atlanta cities or counties so we can get things up and running before (if) I leave late next year.

This may be you if you are already doing pro bono advocacy work to try to make where you live more welcoming for bike riding, especially if you are an independent voice who can serve as a catalyst with no concern about being fired or silenced when speaking the rubber-hits-the-road truth. Bonus points if you represent the diversity of your community in more than one way and are targeting marginalized populations in your proposed work (for instance, I’m a woman and a senior, and I specifically serve to enable more women and girls to be able to safely and equitably ride bikes).

I broke down what to expect below*:

  • The application process kicks off with this simple form on the Amsterdam-based social enterprise BYCS’ website;
  • If under consideration, you will then have a Google hangout interview with the folks at BYCS;
  • If advancing after that, you will be instructed to request at least six-to-eight letters of endorsement and prepare a work plan to submit (it is requested that you donate about eight hours a week — you may already be doing this);
  • Your complete application will then be evaluated and you will perhaps become the first Bicycle Mayor serving your specific community;
  • You then begin to implement your plan while participating in the global Bicycle Mayors network in monthly Zoom meetings and collaborative efforts (such as the recent joint statement from Bicycle Mayors representing the Americas for World Day of Remembrance 2020; plus I am heading up a global art project, still in development).

* If you’ve read this far, you’re clearly interested and obviously already well on your way. Let’s talk.

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