Pedal with Politicians: Show your elected officials their city from a bike seat

Spokane Valley Pedal with Politicians.

Washington Bikes teamed up with Spokane Valley cyclist-turned-advocate Mark Mims to host a Pedal with Politicians on August 18.  This followed on the heels of a recent victory to save the Broadway Avenue Safety Project.  Fifty riders (cyclists and politicians) turned out for this event and, by all accounts, it was a success.

Why you ask? In light of the recent victory not to suspend the Broadway Safety Project, local advocates wanted to let elected officials and agency staff know the benefits, challenges, and joys of bicycling. There is no better way than to take them on a bike ride! Marc will post more about their successful ride.

But for now, let’s talk about why Pedaling with Politicians is a great event and how the Bicycle Alliance can help make that happen. We have worked on such events in Seattle, Spokane, Bellingham, SE Washington, and Walla Walla. People are always trying to connect with politicians at town hall meetings, coffees, and in their offices. But going on a bike ride and getting them out of their usual environment in a fun setting is hard to beat. They get to experience the issues first hand and understand the benefits and challenges of bicycling from the “drivers seat.” It is clearly a win-win. The politicians get to hear the big picture from Bicycle Alliance staff, but also their constituents can brief them on the local issues. When you are advocating with these politicians for more bicycle friendly legislation, it feels great to say, “Hey, remember what we showed you and discussed on that bike ride you enjoyed so much?”

And remember, take pictures of them with bikes and smiling advocates. And send them along with a thank you note.

If you are interested in organizing such a ride, contact our ED Barbara Culp at 206.224.9252 Ext. 325, or Barbc@wabikes.org

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