Happy Holidays – part one
Ah yes, the holidays. One would think this to be a slow time of year for Florida Bicycle Association, but in the three years I have had this job during the holidays, it has yet to be the case. Oh sure, it’s not as intense as say, a Florida Bike Month (March), but it is busy.
We have a Florida legislative session to prepare for that starts January 9, 2018. (See our legislative platform page for more information. Don’t forget to sign up for the e-news updates!) We have our Ride Leader / Ride Marshal program to get underway and we have the day-to-day tasks of website updates, social media posts, phone calls, emails and most importantly, thanking our members for their support (just to name a few). One can easily get swept up in the positive spin of bicycling that one can easily forget about the blog. The blog! The one place where we can tell our positive spin stories!
How about a holiday treat? For the next three weeks, our blog is going to be dedicated to a true, feel-good bicycle story. The beginning of this story is featured in our winter Messenger (in the mail to members this week!) and, well, why not share it here on the blog. Enjoy!
Mateo is a high school junior, earning Florida Bright Futures Community Service Hours through his contributions to Florida Bicycle Association. After witnessing first-hand his enthusiasm for cycling, Mateo was asked to tell his story. The following is Mateo’s first chapter in describing what the bicycle means to him. We hope you enjoy this unique perspective:
I was born in January, 2002 in the small country of Ecuador (South America) or more specifically Quito, the capital of Ecuador. From that moment to this day, I had no idea what plans destiny had prepared for me. It turns out I lived a life full of ups and downs.
The very first thought from my childhood that pops into my head is my obsession with bicycles. Probably since I was about three years old, I remember watching videos with my older sister about these exciting events sponsored by Red Bull with iconic characters like Chris Doyle and Ryan Nyquist. They were big characters at the time, and there were feelings inside my body that I needed to convey. Of course, I was a child and was not really sure what that feeling was, therefore, I expressed it with tears and sometimes excitement. I had a lot of energy inside of me and didn’t know how to show it or how to spend it. And even if I knew I was not going to tell anyone. I was really reserved and my mother Rosa was worried about me so she took me to a psychologist and in a brief summary he told my mother that I had a hyperactivity disorder. It was not as bad as it sounds since I was just more active than the rest of the kids.
Time passed, exactly a year, and I still had that disorder, I somehow figured out how to control myself but not quite enough. Still, I was really reserved, but soon something happened that gave my life a turn of 360 degrees. On December 31, 2006 I saw right below the tree a gift, a big box with a sticker on top that said “For my beloved son, Mateo.” It was wrapped in red paper, so perfect and precise for the moment, and once I opened it, a bicycle, such an insignificant thing for many, but not for me. It was a key that would open the lock that made me so reserved, a lock that opened my heart to everyone and a key to a new world full of anecdotes and experiences. It was a pure moment of destiny, the type that you just can’t fabricate.
Stay tuned for part two next week.
On behalf of the Florida Bicycle Association Board of Directors, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season.
Do you have a bicycle story to tell? Photos to share? Be our guest and be our next guest blogger! Send your story and photos to Becky@floridabicycle.org.
Speaking of stories, our quarterly Messenger newsletter is available online for your internet reading pleasure. Visit the FBA website Home page or click here. Want a hard copy of our Messenger? Join Florida Bicycle Association or visit one of our bicycle shop members!
Complete Streets Savvy, or CSS, is a general bicycle educational presentation. The purpose is to provide basic information with regards to the Florida Department of Transportation’s adoption of Complete Streets policy and how cyclists and motorists can share the road safely. This presentation runs 10 – 15 minutes and is designed for legislators, county and city elected officials, civic organizations and other entities that meet regularly and need informative content. There is no fee. Visit the FBA Presentations page to see our complete line of signature presentations.
Have you heard? We have Move Over for People bill sponsors!! Thank you Senator Baxley, District 12, for filing SB 116 and House Representative Stone, District 22, for filing HB 117. Would you like to work the process with us to see these bills become a law? Visit our Legislative Platform page to learn more about our advocacy initiatives and to sign up for our 2018 Florida legislative session email updates.
Bike Florida and Florida Bicycle Association share a common cause in bicycle education and promotion for residents and visitors to the Sunshine State. Share the Road license plate proceeds benefit Bike Florida and Florida Bicycle Association to further these efforts. What’s on your motor vehicle? Get the Share the Road license plate!