Greetings

Greetings Fellow Riders,

Hopefully you had an opportunity to get out and enjoy the Memorial Day weekend on your bike.  If you did, we would love to hear about your experience (#bikeindianapolis).  Please let us know if you took advantage of our challenge to virtually Bike to the 500.  We look forward to seeing you in August for the real deal!  Stay tuned for additional information as the date approaches.

This weekend we launched a campaign to heighten awareness for our cause and we welcome your support.  Several yard signs were placed on well-traveled trails around town with the intent to enhance membership.  When you see these signs, consider sharing a post to your social media to help further their visibility.

Spring is a great time to get your bike situated for the riding season.  Please consider visiting your local bike shop for your cycling needs.  There you will find great folks dedicated to help you get the best ride experience possible.  Need help locating a bike shop near you?  Check out the map on our Ride page.

May the wind be at your back and your path smooth.

Best Regards,

Andy

2 Comments
  • William H Watts
    Posted at 10:29h, 28 May Reply

    Yes, I have seen the signs, and, in some ways, I find both the signs and this message enormously encouraging. But in other ways, I find them problematic.

    I’m not a big fan of advertising in public spaces, and I wonder a little bit about whether these signs are legally perrmissible or a good idea. If BI can put up such signs, i wonder what would stop someone from puttting up Trump signs or anti-cyclist signs.

    On the other hand, though, I have been a member of Indycog/Bike Indianapolis for nine years, and it has been a long time since I have seen any kind of concerrted effort to recruit members. (The last time I heard, there were fewer than 60 members). It has also been a long time since a member of the BI Board wrote or spoke publicly, on this blog or elsewhere. I applaud both of these developments.

    But here is my real issue. The signs seem to imply that signing up Bike Indianapolis is a way to get more trails and more cycling infrastructure. I wish that were true, but I see no evidence for this. Can you point to anything Bike Indianapolis has done in the last four years to help to get new infrastructure? Can you point to plans the organization has for future activities that will promote infrastructure? In short, what exactly is one supporting when one contributes to Bike Indianapolis?

    Damon Richards, the paid Executive Director of Bike indianapolis, recently circulated a message from the Atlanta Bike Coalition, which is actually conducting a campaign to improve infrastructure in that city during the covid-19 crisis and beyyond. If you go to that organization’s webiste (https://www.atlantabike.org/), you will find a wealth of information about what the organization is trying to do. It has a strategic plan. It has a policiy agenda for 2020. It has specific programs designed to promote cycling.

    Where are comparable documents for Bike Indianapolisi? How can one know what this organization is tryiing to do?

    If these signs and your message mark a new phase for Bike Indianapolis, one in which it becomes a more energetic and focused organization, and one that engages and mobilizes its members, I am all for it. But if these signs are for the old Bike Indianapolis, that lacks any clear sense of purpose and does not communicate in even basic ways with its members, then I think these signs are clutter, and should be removed from public spaces.

    Bill Watts

  • Bill Watts
    Posted at 12:34h, 16 September Reply

    I conveyed this list of six steps to reform Bike Indianapolis to the Board six months ago. I believe they remain relevant:

    Watts 2/24/20
    Steps to Reform and Reinvigorate
    Bike Indianapolis
    1. Set clear, attainable goals for each year, and announce them publicly.
    Review the goals at the end of the year, before setting goals for the following year.
    2. Communicate with members and the public before, during and after projects. Engage members in these projects.
    If the organization is revising the Riders Guide, or advocating for certain infrastructure, tell the public what you are doing. Convey the impression of an active, engaged and vital organization. When the organization has accomplishments, make sure everyone knows about them.
    3. Make the selection of the board public and open.
    Both CIBA and Bicycle Indiana publicly announce their board openings, and their members vote on board members. Bike Indianapolis needs to do the same. Without such a process, Bike Indianapolis is simply an association of cronies. It is inward-looking, and is not accountable or visible to the community of cyclists it aims to serve.
    4. Preserve the independence of Bike Indianapolis.
    One of the important functions of Bike Indianapolis is to advocate on behalf of cyclists in the City. It cannot properly fulfill this function if it is lead by the same public official who oversees these operations for the City. (What models for a city official leading an advocacy group can you find?)
    5. Clarify the role of Damon Richards.
    Four years is a very long time to have an interim director. In addition, Damon has sometimes spoken of his position as a “retirement job.” In the long-run, a bicycle advocacy organization needs an engaged and fully committed director. How can Bike Indianapolis get to that point?
    6. Establish metrics of success and review them annually.
    The board needs to establish measures for the success and effectiveness of the organization. How can they know that the organization is living up to both its obligations and potential? How can it make the success and effectiveness of the organization are known to others?

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