Jul 032012
A New Bend in the Road

Just over a month ago I had absolutely no idea I would be writing this post.

My life was pretty full with a job I enjoyed, bike/transportation policy work as a civic volunteer, this blog, Belles and Baskets rides and coffee with Betsy, occasional shopping events to encourage more women to ride through the medium of putting them into cute activity-friendly clothing, and a wonderful family.

Oh sure, I could anticipate some transitions as my husband finishes up grad school and job-hunts and my younger daughter graduates from high school and gets ready to attend college this fall clear across the country, where she’ll study musical theatre. But in general I knew what lay ahead, the way you scan the road ahead while riding your bike to spot obstacles and opportunities and keep pedaling toward the horizon.

And then one day I saw this….

Bicycle Alliance of Washington Executive Director Job Announcement 2012

Since at least 1994 (which I can date with ease due to certain electoral outcomes that year) if you asked me what I would consider my dream job the answer has always, always been, “To run an organization doing work I believe in passionately.”

So that’s what I’ll be doing starting August 1!

When I accepted the offer from the Bike Alliance board it was a week before the passage of the new transportation bill, with its cuts to dedicated funding for bike/pedestrian infrastructure and Safe Routes to School, but I knew the possibility of those cuts was there–making an organization like the Bicycle Alliance with its statewide membership and mission more critical than ever.

I am deeply, deeply thrilled and honored at the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. I look back at a really serendipitous set of events and career choices that have led me to this point and prepared me to attack the climb ahead with gusto (which is important considering the steepness of Seattle’s hills!). I feel so incredibly lucky.

You know from reading this blog that in addition to riding around town in skirts and heels I care a lot about transportation policy and how it shapes our ability to ride safely and comfortably. The Bike Alliance works to make biking an everyday transportation choice, to pass legislation that balances user needs on the streets, and to help build local bike organizations.

In fact, I got started as the founding chair of Spokane Bikes (formerly Bike to Work Spokane) because the Bike Alliance leadership came to Spokane in 2007 and asked how they could help grow biking and make it more visible here.

They served as our original nonprofit home before supporting our decision to transition to the Spokefest Association in order to grow a local nonprofit that could meet local needs. So I have the Bike Alliance to thank for launching my work as a bike volunteer that helped prepare me to come full circle and lead the organization.

I wouldn’t be doing my (new) job if I didn’t close by asking you to consider joining the Bicycle Alliance to support biking for everyone. If you get the Share the Road license plate you can show your love of biking even when you’re driving and give other drivers a nice visual reminder that we’re all in it together, you’ll get a BAW membership to go with it, and you’ll know you’re investing in your values and priorities.

Share the Road license plate supports the Bicycle Alliance of Washington
Support the Bicycle Alliance of Washington: Become a member when you buy the Share the Road license plate.

Your Turn

  • What do you expect a statewide bike advocacy organization to focus on?
  • What bike organizations do you belong to now and why?
Sharing is karma--pass it along!

Reader Comments

  1. Thank you so much! I’m so excited.
    As for the license plate, check with your state’s equivalent of the Bike Alliance and see if they’re working on it. It took legislative approval to get it and I bet they’d love to have ardent supporters work with them to get that created. In Washington proceeds help support the work of the Bike Alliance.

  2. A BIG congratulations from New Mexico! What a fantastic job! HURRAY!

    Love the plate…can we petition New Mexico to make a similar one?

  3. Congratulations! I’m very happy for you and all the people who will benefit with you at the helm!

  4. Way to go Barb! Congrats, perfect position, you’ll be fabulous!

  5. So great to have you stepping up to statewide with BAW. Spokane will continue to improve while your energy and outreach will help all of us across the state.

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