Who We Are Getting to Know Tarrell Kullaway, MCBC Executive Director
MCBC welcomed new Executive Director Tarrell Kullaway on July 1. Tarrell, who grew up in San Anselmo, returns to Marin from Seattle with 25 years of non-profit experience, including seven as Senior Director of Development for Cascade Bicycle Club, the nation’s largest statewide bicycle advocacy organization.
MCBC staff and Board Directors were delighted to find someone with Tarrell’s background and love of bicycling. We asked her to share her thoughts, experiences, and dreams on the latter:
What kind of bicycle(s) do you ride?
A 333fab commuter/touring bike and a 333fab road bike. My husband made the touring bike for our honeymoon trip (we rode along Highway 1 from Oregon to SF; the part through West Marin was dreamy).
What do you like best about the benefits of riding your bike?
I named my first bicycle “Happy.” I think that pretty much explains it.
Where do you most like to ride your bike?
I always enjoy nice rolling hills and gentle curves out on a car-free country road. My favorite thing to do is not to have a plan and just meander around, stopping at anything that catches my eye. I also enjoy urban riding at night when most people are sleeping.
Why would others like to ride in Marin?
I’d bet I’m preaching to the choir here: it’s so much easier to say “hi” and make friends on a bike. Plus it’s often faster than driving, relieves stress, and is a guilt-free way to get around. Oh, and it’s fun.
What is your favorite ride/route?
The first time I rode from San Anselmo to San Francisco as a teenager. I couldn’t believe how far my bike could take me.
What part of riding would you most like to improve?
In Seattle we did a study that showed that 60 percent of voters say they would ride more if they felt there were safer places to ride. I’m still learning all of our pinch points in Marin, but what I’m seeing so far is that a lot of infrastructure ends unexpectedly, in unsafe places, leaving the riders to their own devices. This is simply unacceptable. I’d like to see more wayfinding, bike-dedicated signals, and a commitment to cross-jurisdictional collaboration. Paths run through so many different agency and municipal right-of-ways around here, it’s a challenge to get everyone to work together. That’s why our work at your Bicycle Coalition is so important. I imagine we’d have even more “paths to nowhere” if MCBC weren’t out there making our voices heard.
What is your vision for bicycling in the future?
Yesterday I was riding in an exceptionally unsafe section near the Civic Center where the bike lane simply stops. A guy leaned out of his truck and called me an idiot. He was probably right. But there was no other option. And I’m a seasoned bicycle commuter.
Why is it acceptable for there to be no place to get around except by car and when did we stop caring that kids and senior citizens have no safe ways to get around independently? What created the animosity between drivers and people who bike?
It doesn’t have to be this way.
With your support, we will work to bring better public awareness of what bikes bring to our communities, an understanding that bicycles are a critical part of the solution to traffic and climate change–and that people arriving by bike bring far more money into the communities where they ride than people who drive through by car.
With your support, your Bicycle Coalition will work to ensure that bikes are considered as an equal part of the equation whenever transportation projects are envisioned. We will always have a seat at the table because decision-makers will know that we represent thousands of people, from all walks of life, who care about creating better communities through bicycling.
With your support, we will expand trail access all over the County, in this, the birthplace of mountain biking.
With your support, MCBC will buy out all the bike parking racks this side of the Mississippi because bike parking will be overflowing at all Marin community events.
With your support, people in Marin will stop complaining about traffic and, instead, rave about the lovely path they rode in on, grateful for the beautiful scenery that surrounds them in this place we call home.
Finally, if there’s a further message you would like to share with the people who ride bikes in Marin County – whether simple, encouraging or aspirational – what would that be?
My vision–and I bet it’s yours as well–is going to take a heavy lift.
It’s up to each one of us to shift the narrative. There is so much potential here, but it’s going to take all of us speaking out and giving generously to make this vision possible. Thank you to everyone who gives their time and treasure to see this vision through. I look forward to working with you.
members make it happen
MCBC’s work to make bicycling more safe, fun, and accessible relies on your generous giving. Please support the organization making your rides better by joining us today, or making a one-time or recurring gift to MCBC.