Eric & his son Joaquin

When and why did you decide to become a Bike Austin member?
I became a member of Bike Austin in mid-October at one of our Member Love Happy Hours at Cycleast. Aside from the Bicycle Sport Shop gift card incentive (ha!), I was drawn to issues being addressed by the organization. Being new to town was another reason why I joined. I figured I could also, on occasion, meet other cyclists here in Austin.

You’re a student member.  Tell us what you’re studying and why/if you think the $20 is a cool deal for students.  
I am currently in a dual master’s degree program—doing an MA in Latin American Studies and a MS in Community and Regional Program. As a student, any dollar counts, so if a membership includes a gift card that in turn encourages local small businesses and is useful for cycling equipment, why not join such a dope initiative!?

What benefits or positive outcomes have you enjoyed as a Bike Austin member?
I’ve definitely met a couple of individuals—one of which is familiar with my hometown/hood so we were able to hit it off pretty well. But I am mostly drawn to the policy aspect of the organization. As a planner and student of political economy in general, the work that the organization does around community development and transportation policy is very important and insightful.

Why is Bike Austin important to the Austin cycling community?
The City of Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the US. Unlike other major cities in the US, Austin lacks certain infrastructure for public transportation. Bike Austin’s advocacy work can help organize around this particular issue and make sure that the cycling community is not sidelined by politicians and developers.

Why/how are donations important to Bike Austin’s Advocacy Fund and education programs?
Any type of advocacy work requires people but nothing facilitates getting people together like funding! Think about it—I wouldn’t have joined if brews and a nice gift card wouldn’t have been readily available. All jokes aside though, funding for an education fund is crucial, especially if the organization wants to be inclusive of the most vulnerable communities in Austin, namely immigrants, parents, people of color, and low wage workers.

Anything personalized or fun about your experience as a cyclist and why Bike Austin has made this more possible, empowering, safe, groovy, etc.
I look forward to Member Love Happy Hours!