Yay Bikes! Journeys recount how Yay Bikes! is transforming lives and communities, from the perspective of those we’ve impacted. In this installment, we hear from Yay Bikes! Board Member Bill Ferriot about how Yay Bikes! has developed his ability to speak up for what matters to him.
WINDING HIS WAY TOWARDS YAY BIKES!: "If there is a way to ride, I've tried it. But I had no idea all the places it would end up taking me."
Road riding, mountain biking, gravel grinding, "bikepacking", BMXing, bicycle commuting, etc. Bill Ferriot has been there, biked that. "All the various subcultures within bicycling are just fascinating to me. It's always fun to see people expressing themselves through the various ways they ride." When Bill moved to Columbus, he soon fell in with some cycling friends (of course), and soon enough Ray George was among them (of course). When Ray set to work developing a bike culture here, Bill quickly went all in, designing Bike the Cbus tees, being a work horse at various events and ultimately joining the Yay Bikes! board in 2011.
GAINING CONFIDENCE: "I've learned through Yay Bikes! to be a powerful advocate for change that's important to me, as opposed to just mouthing off."
Bill credits his time serving Yay Bikes! with helping him become a more effective advocate, and significantly expanding his social and professional networks. As Bill became more steeped in the business of change making and "The Yay Way", he learned how government works, how street design happens, who makes decisions affecting his neighborhood and how to influence the process. He soon gained the confidence to attend community meetings about proposed West Side–area roadway improvements and speak powerfully for what he, as a cyclist, hoped to see happen. Meanwhile, his community of bicycling friends has become a constant source of fun and adventure, emotional support and opportunity.
PAYING IT FORWARD: "I can only hope that my contribution allows people to experience the process of learning and growth I have through cycling."
Bill has made it his mission to share with the world all the good that bicycling has brought to his life. And while he may be most comfortable quietly working behind the scenes to advance the cause, anyone who's experienced a Yay Bikes! event has experienced his care and consideration. Certainly you've seen his brilliant design and photography work, which he's artfully employed to generate interest in our rides:
Yay Bikes! is grateful to Bill for his quiet, earnest leadership and his too-many-to-count quick "yeses". We especially appreciate his role in helping Yay Bikes! communicate the greatness of our organization and the majesty of riding bikes!
Helmets off to you, friend!
To share your Yay Bikes! Journey, contact Meredith to set up a chat!