Biking as transformation

Catherine Girves, Yay Bikes! Executive Director

Catherine Girves, Yay Bikes! Executive Director

'From the Saddle' is a monthly note from our Executive Director. 

You may be surprised to know that I don't care whether you ride a bike. In fact, no one at Yay Bikes! really cares whether you ride a bike or don't ride a bike. While most of us like to ride bikes, and help other people like to ride bikes too, our organization doesn't exist just to get people to ride bikes. I know, I know: part of our mission is to get people to ride bikes! So—huh?!?!

See I happen to think riding a bike is an important thing people can do to feel profoundly connected—to their best selves, to their fellow (wo)man, to their place and the environment, to their version of The Divine. I think it's an entirely unique experience in that regard, different from, say, the experience most of us have playing chess. And because it can offer us such a sense of connectedness in an increasingly disconnected world, I truly believe, because I've experienced it myself and witnessed it in countless others, that bicycling transforms lives. 

So no, Yay Bikes! does not exist because we think people should ride bikes, as if we were instigating an arbitrary, moralistic finger wag for the lapses of modern (wo)man. Yay Bikes! exists because we know that bicycling provides access to transformation.

So yes, Yay Bikes! does want you to ride a bike! But if you have another access to connection and transformation, go for it. Regardless of your orientation to actually getting on a bike and riding it, I hope you'll support the type of transformation we're up to. Because I tell you with certainty that we at Yay Bikes! are creating a beautiful world for all of us, cyclist or not: from the experience of "badassery" in a woman who overcomes fear to ride roads, to the safe streets that allow a grandpa to take his time in a crosswalk, to the quiet traffic that encourages a family to play on their front lawn.

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Happy January!