Bike Denver: Creating A Better City Through Bicycling
September 1, 2017
The non profit organization, Bike Denver, has brought some pretty great events, education opportunities and group rides to our community at Enterprise Coworking. We wanted to get to know more about their non profit business, so we hung out with Elayna McCall, Bike Denver’s Education & Events Manager, while she made a batch of her awesome spinach dip for our Summer Potluck Cookout at Enterprise Coworking last month. Here is what we learned!
D: “Hey Elayna, let’s first talk about what Bike Denver is and what is Bike Denver’s mission?”
E: “First and foremost Bike Denver is a bicycle advocacy organization. My role is in Education and Events, trying to promote increased ridership in the bike community through teaching people how to safe cycle, how they interact with other vehicles on the road, including other bikes and cars. We teach more physical biking, things to do, things not to do, how to interact with pedestrians, and in this growing bike city, how are we all going to share the road together. We listen a lot to the people in the bike community, we like to focus on their needs, what kind of infrastructure that works or doesn’t work for bike routes. For example, if the city builds a bike lane that doesn’t work well, we take the feedback from the bike community and talk to the city about positive changes they should make. Bike Denver is present at City Council meetings, we speak with our local council people to try to promote biking in all the districts, especially the districts that don’t have any bike lanes to add them in the future.”
D: “How did you come to work with Bike Denver?”
E: “I always wanted to work at Bike Denver when I first moved here. I believe that Bike Denver is a bicycle advocacy group that really understands what it means to bike as a means of transportation. My background in International Education helps my role as an educator for Bike Denver in many ways. We want to get all types of people to use biking as a means for transportation, not just the white guy in spandex.”
D: “What is the most challenging thing about working for a non profit organization?”
E: “The most challenging thing about working for a non profit is the limited resources and limited staff.”
D: “What is the best thing about working with Bike Denver?”
E: “It’s necessary to get political in order to change policy to get better bike infrastructure, but my favorite part about working with Bike Denver is in the interaction with people for events, rides and our programs. For me, the most important part of this job is building relationships with people. You build relationships by showing up, by being there, by saying ‘I’m going to do this’ and then actually doing it. When you show up, it brings people back, they decide to support your organization.”
You can catch Elayna or James Waddell, Executive Director, at Enterprise Coworking for the upcoming RiNo Ride & Burger for the Cure, a fundraiser group ride benefitting LLS, on September 13th. Bike Denver is also providing our community with two bicycle education sessions in the classroom on September 12th and September 26th.
Thank you Elayna and Bike Denver for doing this important work in the bike community!