Let’s Organize and Ride Together
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. – Theodore Roosevelt
Sunday morning I had the honor to ride with the Polk Area Bicycle Association and attend a post-ride brunch to present the 2013 FBA Bicycle Club of the Year award to PABA. It was a unique privilege in that I made the nomination to FBA based on my experience with members of PABA during the 2013 Bike Florida “Orange Blossom Express” spring tour when I was the Ride Director for Bike Florida, and then presented the award to PABA co-presidents Nellda and Jeff Clark as the interim Executive Director of the Florida Bicycle Association.
It was nice to see some familiar faces and meet new people, including Mary Crowe of Bicycling in Lakeland. Bicycling in Lakeland is a non-profit group recently formed to promote cycling awareness and education for all aspects of cycling in the Lakeland area.
Driving back to Oldsmar, I thought about localized organizations like Bicycling in Lakeland, Tampa BayCycle, South Florida Bike Coalition, and how they partner with the Florida Bicycle Association. Or should I say, how they should partner with the Florida Bicycle Association.
I admit, I haven’t asked nor talked to Tampa BayCycle, South Florida Bike Coalition or any other localized bicycle advocacy group directly about how we benefit each other, but I will. I did talk to Mary Crowe on Sunday, and granted we both seek members to support our cycling causes, our organizations are not in competition for membership. I’m convinced that cyclists need to join as many cycling advocacy organizations as possible at the local, state and even national level just to prove we, cyclists, are out there and united.
I’m a firm believer in ‘put up or shut up’ when it comes to supporting a cause. Imagine if every cyclist that ever wished for better bicycle infrastructure or respect from motorists when sharing the road joined their local club, their local advocacy group (if one is around), and on a statewide level, the Florida Bicycle Association. Just imagine the numbers of cyclists this would organize!
Yes, the “Ask is ON” here at FBA for generating membership at all levels, but I’ll put up as well and promise to become a member of any bicycle club or organization that is or becomes a member of FBA. Why not? We are here for each other. You may have local issues to resolve at the local level, but FBA has resources, connections and a lobbyist in Tallahassee to cover the state. We can work together and metaphorically speaking, ride together. Let’s do this!
For excellence in Florida cycling, join a local bicycle club or group AND join the Florida Bicycle Association!
Becky Afonso is currently serving as interim Executive Director of the Florida Bicycle Association. FBA encourages guest bloggers; if interested in having your cycling story, information or respectful rant seen here, please contact Becky at firstname.lastname@example.org.