Dear Metro Atlanta Mayors and County CEOs:
Hi. I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself to you. My name is Pattie Baker and I was selected by the Amsterdam-Based social enterprise BYCS to represent our 10-county region (as defined by the Atlanta Regional Commission) as the first Metro Atlanta Bicycle Mayor.
It is an eight-hour-a-week pro bono position where I serve as an independent local catalyst as well as a global collaborator to help accelerate positive forward movement and encourage more people to ride bikes. There are 105 Bicycle Mayors now around the globe. I am the fifth in the USA. You can see the network map and meet the Bicycle Mayors here.
As Metro Atlanta Bicycle Mayor, my three specific goals are to:
Goal 1. Shine a light on the people and places making it more welcoming to ride bikes. Examples: See Meet Greg and Meet Marjon. If you have under-reported stories about unsung heroes in your community that you would like me to consider, please feel free to contact me. I’ll be spotlighting a different county each month, according to this schedule*. Also, if your municipality is already doing one or more of these 7 low-hanging-fruit actions, I’d love to shout it out!
Per the request of Byron Rushing, the ARC’s Bike Walk Program Manager, I’ll additionally be compiling a list of “the bike people” who get things done throughout the region, so please feel free to send me the names and contact info of your go-to passion people at city hall, in your business community, and among your citizens.
Goal 2. Encourage more people to become Bicycle Mayors of their cities or counties. If you know anyone who may be interested, please give them my contact info and I can support them through the process. (Big thanks to the local, regional, and national people who supported me. Here’s a little bit more about my qualifications for this position**, if interested. Every Bicycle Mayor is different, but most have particular areas of passion and focus.)
Goal 3. Create and share routes throughout the region that are low-stress and welcoming to all, and teach bike skills to more women and girls (note: women make or influence 80% of all consumer purchase decisions; they “trip-chain” more, which means they make more stops when they are out and about; and bike riders shop locally more and more often than others so encouraging women to ride bikes can boost your local economy).
See my free self-guided bike tours here — your city or county may already be represented! I hope to add one new one each month, according to this schedule*.
You can access my free basic bike skills classes available via text and downloadable PDF. I also offer one free, in-person class per month (to just one or two students at a time, due to the pandemic). My proven rubber-hits-the-road work can help you boost your educational offerings on your Bicycle Friendly Community application. For an example of a success story, Meet Diana. You may also find my free Bonus Resources helpful — it includes bike skills videos and a templated Seniors-on-Trikes course.
I center “joy” in my outreach as that so often gets lost — and isn’t that ultimately what brings us back to bikes in the first place? My current “Joy” campaign of public service announcements may help lift spirits and boost local economies during these trying times. See the print ad below — feel free to use it in your local outreach efforts. (See the outdoor ads here.)
Please feel free to share my information with the 70 mayors within the Metro Atlanta Mayors Association (MAMA) network (you may also enjoy my Come to MAMA post) and CEOs of our ten counties — as well as with your councilors, commissioners, staffs, and constituencies.
If you have a specific “ask” of me, please do not hesitate to reach out.
I am just one small person with a little bit of time to offer as Metro Atlanta’s Bicycle Mayor (here’s how I’m allocating those hours this week), but I believe in the stone-in-the-pond ripple effect of our collective efforts. I look forward to crossing paths with you virtually or in person while Traveling at the Speed of Bike.
Trust the journey,
* January 2021: Cherokee County
February 2021: Clayton County
March 2021: Cobb County
April 2021: DeKalb County
May 2021: Douglas County
June 2021: Fayette County
July 2021: Fulton County
August 2021: Gwinnett County
September 2021: Henry County
October 2021: Rockdale County
** I have been doing paid and pro bono work relating to all aspects of triple-bottom-line sustainability for years. I am a League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructor (#5382), the author of Traveling at the Speed of Bike (book and blog), and the person appointed by the first mayor of the City of Dunwoody to start and lead the Sustainability Commission within one week of when where I live became the newest city in the United States in 2008 (after first attending a meeting held in the City of Chamblee about the then-new ARC Green Communities Program — I was excited to revisit Chamblee recently to ride its new Rail Trail, pictured above). This commission baked principles of sustainability into the city’s DNA from the get-go.
Scheduled to leave for Peace Corps Uganda in June 2020 but currently delayed until Fall 2021 due to COVID-19, I intend to use this upcoming year in a positive way.
Disclaimer: I assume no liability for any action anyone may take as a result of my sharing free information