I was biking along side one of my City Councilmen a couple weeks ago, updating him on how our Complete Streets Policy Development workshop went. We talked about some of the local streets that seemed, in my mind, incomplete and some fixes that may or may not work. I thanked him for his support of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and told him how great it was that he not only supported the concept of bicycling for transportation, but that he himself was a cyclist. How important it is that he can relate to the issues that come up and see firsthand what it is that we are talking about when we speak of streets that don't work well for bicyclists.
Now how did I get so lucky as to bike along side my Councilman? Well, everybodyBIKE organized a series of 17 Summer Rides that take place every other Friday and Sunday. These rides have been phenomenally successful, ranging in participation from 10 -100 people! Participants also vary in age from little kids in trailers to 80 years old. There are cruisers, mountain bikes, road bikes, people in spandex and bike shoes, as well as dress clothes and heels. It's a wonderful mix of people who are joined together for a common love, bikes.
I hope that your town has a similar ride, it may not be as extensive as the Summer Rides, but it's a great way to meet new people, and possibly chat with your elected officials.