Cheers to the new year, y'all! First of all we are turning ONE this week (!!!) but more on that later. In the meantime, it's THE TIME of year when we resolve to change up our routines and reignite our relationship with our personal health and well-being (because Christmas cookies). If you live in the Macon area, Bike Macon is the perfect opportunity to get moving -- literally! We rode along with Rachel Hollar, founder of Bike Macon aka Macon's first grassroots bike advocacy group. The organization is committed to making Macon more connected, bikeable, and walkable through advocacy, education, and creative events that allow the community to become more comfortable with walking and biking around town. Read more about Rachel and her vision for Bike Macon below!
Inspiration for beginning Bike Macon? Participation in a fun, social bike event during Macon’s Cherry Blossom Festival Parade inspired me to start exploring the city by bike every day. I was having fun, saving money, and spending more time outdoors. Two months later, I applied for a fellowship to start a bike coalition because I wanted my neighbors to experience those benefits as well. In June 2015, I was selected as a K880 Emerging City Champion through 8 80 Cities and the Knight Foundation. The fellowship equipped me with the tools, networks, and resources to create Bike Macon. In just a few months, I’ve been able to engage a diverse group of stakeholders + team of volunteers to support my vision of a healthier, safer, and more socially-connected community.
Benefits? I’ve been relying on my bike as an alternative means of commuting to work for about six months. I love that I can sneak in exercise during the day without taking extra time from my schedule. Additionally, through this group, I have met the most talented and dedicated individuals. I’m looking forward to the meaningful change this group is leading -- to help Macon become a city that embraces walking and biking as an essential form of transportation.
Personal mantra? “Mai Pen Rai” - it’s a common Thai expression meaning many things: no worries, it is what it is, it’s okay. I spent one year teaching English in Thailand and this is one of the traits I admired most about the locals. Their attitude encouraged me to never take things too seriously and face everything with a smile.