You’ve heard part of my story here, let me fill you in on the rest. A good part of the reason I love cycling is the freedom it gives me. With my bike, I can get to work, I can meet for coffee, I can get downtown and out of town. I can take a leisurely lap around the neighborhood, or I can challenge myself to ride faster, farther distances. For my nephew’s birthday last summer, we spent the day on our bikes. We found a block party, and cyclocross racing, we stopped for pizza, and we picked up presents (at a bike shop, of course!).
Another big reason I love cycling is that it allows me to have a positive impact on my city. Fort Wayne is my hometown. I volunteer with several organizations including Living Fort Wayne and Fort 4 Fitness because community involvement is important to me. I’ve met some really phenomenal people, and have had the opportunity to be involved in projects that improve the quality of life in our area.
As a cycling advocate, I get to work with city leaders, local bike shop owners, nonprofit groups and everyone in between to talk about events, infrastructure, education and bike culture. It sounds like a lot – and it is. But, it energizes me. I look forward to meeting and connecting and talking about bikes.
In 2016, I became a League of American Bicyclists’ Certified Instructor, with the hopes of teaching Smart Cycling courses here in Fort Wayne. It’s an intensive training program, focused on learning how to teach the skills and techniques for safe, predictable bicycling. Through that class, I established relationships with other cycling clubs and League members.
I’ve attended the first annual Indiana Bike & Walk Summit with representatives from the City of Fort Wayne and Fort Wayne Trails. In 2017, and received a scholarship to attend National Bike Summit. Both experiences helped me connect with advocates and learn from them. I also use those lessons to shape our organizational goals.
Ultimately, my goal is to tell the story of our bike life so that everyone wants to be a part of it.