When and why did you decide to become a Bike Austin member?
Which time? I was a member of ACA at least once or twice a few years back. I joined “Bike Austin” itself in the summer of 2016. Why? I was fortunate to be able to leave my career in 2015 (the word “retirement” makes me uncomfortable). Getting involved in bike advocacy had long been something I wanted to do after getting rid of the pesky demands of my traveling sales engineer job.
What benefits or positive outcomes have you enjoyed as a Bike Austin member?
Bike Austin membership literally pays for itself, considering the Go Local card, Bicycle Sport Shop gift card, and the other discounts. Not to mention the monthly Member Love Happy Hours. For the past few months, I’ve been volunteering here and there and have enjoyed getting to know more of the staff and members and making some new friends.
Why is Bike Austin important to the Austin cycling community?
I think the most visible impacts are new bike lanes/cycling infrastructure and being instrumental in passing the mobility bonds. Less noticeable, perhaps, are the education initiatives, ride database, and providing a sense of community for cyclists.
Why/how are donations important to Bike Austin’s Advocacy Fund and education programs?
Well, money makes the world, and the bike wheel, go ’round. Donations fund much of the advocacy and educational initiatives at the heart of Bike Austin’s mission.
What cycling story do you want to share?
Last spring, I discovered that Walk Oakland Bike Oakland was hosting an “East Bay Punk Rock History Ride.” It was just too compelling to pass up. I cashed in some frequent flyer miles, arranged for a rental bike, and spent four days in PERFECT weather, bombing around San Francisco and Oakland. The last day was the ride itself. Several people on the ride asked me what I was doing out in the Bay Area. My answer was that “I pretty much came out just for this,” which they were kind of amazed at. (And weirdly, met the sister-in-law of my former boss.)
Anything personalized or fun about your experience as a cyclist and why Bike Austin has made this more possible, empowering, safe, groovy, etc.
I like to ride to HEB, Costco, or most any errand (check out my kitty litter panniers!). Recently, a woman at HEB hunted me down in the dairy section. She’d seen me riding and using proper hand signals and such. She said, “I just want to thank you for riding so predictably. It was just like following a car, and I knew exactly what you were going to do.” Fortunately, I had some Bike Austin cards with me, and I hope I convinced her to join!