news Executive Director’s Corner: Reaching Out for Connection
These last three months have been quite the ride. I miss my team. I miss meeting all of MCBC’s supporters and hearing everyone’s amazing stories. And I even miss the velvet rainbow guy playing banjo outside my office window every afternoon (ah, Fairfax!).
Like so many of you, I’m feeling beaten down by the relentless onslaught of bad news. Increasingly, I find myself turning to the bike for solace.
I realize there is more than a little bit of entitlement that allows me to live in this beautiful place and disappear on my bike whenever things get to be too much. I realize I am incredibly lucky to live in a place where bike riding is safe and accessible for so many people. But, I also know that the fight to raise the stature of the almighty bike is an honorable one—especially right now.
Though we praise the bike for better health and a cleaner environment, rarely do we think about the ways the bike helps build community in a world where human connection is hard to find. I think of all the times I’ve waited at a red light as bike commuters bunch up next to me, sharing a nod and perhaps a brief conversation about the beautiful weather or a snarky comment about the traffic we’re sure to pass once the light turns green.
And while it’s easy to talk about the uncertainty of these times, there is one thing that is clear—the bicycle movement is growing. People are dusting off their old bikes, buying new ones, and finding peace on two wheels. One of our goals as an organization is to balance the demographic of riders in Marin to include more women and people of color.
Riding bikes should not be a privilege, but rather a means of transportation and recreation accessible to all. Projects around Marin, like the protected bikeway on Francisco Blvd. W. or the bike path on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge are helping us make this dream a reality.
It’s hard to say what the future holds and how we will come out of all of this but I hope our current state of affairs will open dialogue and bring us closer together. The bicycle may just prove the perfect tool to make this happen.
Thanks for your commitment to MCBC’s work during these very trying times.
P.S. I really do miss hearing all of your stories and I’d still love to meet so many of you, even if only by Zoom for now. Get in touch!