“If you’re a Person Who Lives in a City, your voice matters. If you’re a Person on a Bike, get out there and ride.”

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Because if you’re an elected official in New Albany, wouldn’t it be wonderful if you read and digested thoughts like these?

Why I’m Not a Cyclist, by Kea Wilson (Strong Towns)

 … I resist the term “cyclist” because I don’t believe riding a bicycle should, by necessity, be an extreme sport. You don’t magically become a NASCAR racer when you get behind the wheel of your Honda—and if the street outside your house was designed like the Indianapolis motor speedway, you’d probably be pretty stressed out. I ride a bike for the same reasons many Americans do. Or the reasons that many of them would if they thought they’d be safe doing it:

  • Because it’s cheaper to get to the grocery store or the movies on my bike, and quicker, especially if I’m headed to that ultra-packed downtown food festival
  • Because some of my best memories are from group rides with friends to north city breweries, rain-soaked and happy by the time we sat down for burgers and $4 drafts
  • Because it’s good exercise? Kind of. But I’d be lying if I said that mattered much to me …

 … We can all see the problems in our neighborhoods—and if people get the message that they need to be experts to participate in conversations about how to fix their towns, then we’re losing out on an enormous and crucial resource.

Engaged citizenry shouldn’t require expertise, any more than riding a bike should require a $2000 frame and a mastery of cycling lingo (and to my cyclist friends reading this: forgive me for whatever I’ve butchered). If you’re a Person Who Lives in a City, your voice matters. If you’re a Person on a Bike, get out there and ride.

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