Ray’s Soapbox: Community Forums Educate and Inspire

sandee@communitycycles.orgAdvocacy, News

Submitted by: Scott Allman is an e-bike enthusiast and advocate.  He has donated several bikes to Community Cycles. Thanks to Scott, and feel free to submit your own cycling opinion. You could be featured next!

As an early adopter of e-bikes (I started riding them and promoting their use waaaaay back in 1999!), I was excited to hear about the “E-Bike Gains and Growing Pains” Leslie Bohm community forum in June, the first of three such gatherings at Community Cycles this summer.

Dispelling E-bike Myths

The panelists were terrific, as were their presentations. Ash Lovell, a national expert on policy from PeopleForBikes. Our very own mayor and e-biker Aaron Brockett. And industry expert Nat Campbell from Yeti, a revered MTB brand from down the road in Golden.

Alas, some e-bike myths are like Zombies: They refuse to die. I asked the panel if they could kill one, just one, of the Zombie nonsense about e-bikes, what would it be?

Lovell:  “E-bikes are unhealthy. Spend your money on a real bike.”

Brockett:   You are approached alongside by another rider who scolds, ‘You are cheating.’

Campbell:  “Prohibit them because they are always tearing up the trails.”  

And there is an ugly side to community meetings. Ranters will make speeches without even a hint about bicycling in Boulder. Zealots will steer all conversation to be about the Rain Forests. Curmudgeons will find the free food to be wanting. Dax Burgos and the Community Cycles team handled these interruptions with subtlety and grace. 

More Community Forums Ahead

Keep an eye peeled as these June/July/August gatherings are announced. The next one on July 15th is all about mountain bikes and features Dave Wiens, who runs the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that you will learn something. Some piece of info will attach to the dangling lures of your curiosity. Let’s be mathematicians for a moment.  

What are the odds that you have already visited the magical mechanical “CC” shop on 26th street? Do you know about every bicycle project that was recently completed, or is in progress, or is planned for our sweet community? OK, then what about the presentation on mountain bikes on July 15th? Even with assistance from an Artificial Intelligence chatbot, my bet says you are stumped.  

Besides, community forums are not just about the information.  It’s also about the people, on the panels and in the audience.  It is an evening of small adventure towards the end of another fine Boulder day. It is thinking to yourself,  “I am glad to be alive.  Gratitude and thanks for life here.  We are many and we are downright blessed.”  And the next day, hop on your bike, or maybe even your ebike.  Don’t say I never told you so!

Ray’s Soapbox welcomes submissions from Community Cycles members and supporters. Timely cycling-related topics of local interest are given first preference. Our guidelines: Maximum length is 350 words. No name-calling or ad hominem attacks. Keep it positive, please. All submissions are subject to editing. We reserve the right to not publish submissions. Photos or other graphics are encouraged. (soapbox photo credit: Peggy Price)

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