Today, Bike Easy kicks off Membership Month. As with most things of spring 2020, it feels a bit strange. Your Membership support is more important than ever, but with the covid crisis, it doesn’t feel right to celebrate this month as we normally would (and in many ways, like the Bicycle Second Line, we just can’t).
Along with scrambling to adjust, we’ve been feeling quite reflective at Bike Easy these days. In preparation for Membership Month, we’ve been asking each other questions like “What does biking mean to you?” and “What is the value in Bike Easy Membership?” and I wanted to share some answers.
To me, Membership is education, Membership is advocacy, and Membership is community. Membership is the capacity for Bike Easy to do our work, and Membership is belonging & contributing to the movement for better biking. And that movement is growing! With current traffic changes, there are more people out biking than ever and local bike shop business is strong. We want to carry that momentum into Membership Month and beyond.
So, what does biking mean to me?
As a long-time advocate for protecting and improving Greater New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, I see biking as an equitable and resilient form of mobility that helps build a just, healthy, and happy future for all the people of Greater New Orleans (and the world!).
More personally, biking is also how I’ve built a lot of my close community in New Orleans. Long before I had heard of Bike Easy, I met many of the folks with whom I’m still good friends through organizing alleycat races, riding in early “social rides” and Critical Mass, and going on the occasional bike date. Now, of course,I’m honored to play a leading role in the bike community.
As for education, biking has taught me a lot about myself. In my years biking in New Orleans, it’s been a mirror to understand how I’ve continued growing and evolving in this place – from coming to grips with shifts in my appetite for risk (i.e. givingup the fixie with no brakes) to better understanding how I keep myself grounded and motivated.
What does biking mean to you?
All month, we’ll be asking for and sharing your stories to celebrate Membership Month. And, of course, we’ll be asking you to start or renew your Bike Easy Membership with a generous contribution. Whatever your reasons for riding, investing in Bike Easy is the best way to ensure biking is easy, safe, and fun for everyone in Greater New Orleans.
This year, we’re asking everyone to sign up as a Sustaining Member with an easy, automatic monthly donation to support Bike Easy’s education, advocacy, and community work.