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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Yay Bikes

This post is to inform everyone that I have officially resigned from the board and as president of Consider Biking, and that I now have no relationship with the organization. Have no fear—for the purpose of this community, what this means is simply that our forum has a new name (Yay Bikes!) and that it is no longer affiliated with Consider Biking. We’re working on improving the functionality of the site, and obviously the look is different now, but basically all is as it was before my yearlong travail with the group formerly known as COBAC.

It was last December at this time that I was announcing to the world that Consider Biking had merged with the Central Ohio Bicycle Advocacy Coalition (COBAC). It seemed to make a lot of sense back then—COBAC brought to the table long-time bicycle advocates with legislative expertise (and nonprofit status!) and Consider Biking brought grassroots momentum via this very web forum. I thought that we’d eventually meet somewhere between top-down and bottom-up to create a hybrid organization drawing from the best of both worlds. But over time it was my experience that the “top-downs” weren’t willing to budge from their view that there was a very particular way business must be done to achieve success—including strict adherence to Carver’s Policy Governance Model, uninspired replication of other cities’ efforts, and board leadership more resource-rich than representative. My insistence that we be a creative, innovative, grassroots organization, to the extent that it was appealing at all, seemed to be so not for the sake of it, but for the extent to which that methodology could generate membership and financial resources. And, frankly, given a governance structure in which the director was to dictate and manage what volunteers contributed under the name Consider Biking, I did not feel inspired to expend grassroots effort and generate dollars for the organization, nor did I care to advocate for others to do so. So I left to follow my heart and to allow Consider Biking the space to operate as they see fit, and I hope the community will continue to thrive for both our efforts!

Those who remain on the board of Consider Biking are: John Gideon, Ira Weiss, David Roseman, Kurt Lehmkuhl, and Catherine Girves; Jeff Stephens remains Executive Director. Newly seated board members are: Juana Sandoval, Lisa Antolino, Paul Rozelle, Alan Martin, Shari Heinrichs, and Tricia Kovacs. These are all good people. If you’ve given money to the organization in the past year, please know it’s in hands of a team that will continue to advocate on behalf of all cyclists in this town. I’m no longer privy to the insider scoop regarding the future of Consider Biking, but I think it’s safe to say that they will continue to be the city’s source of legislative bicycle advocacy and education.

Meanwhile Austin and I will now devote full attention to the task at hand: getting back to our grass roots and celebrating commuter bicycle culture in the city of Columbus. Stay tuned! We’ll continue to offer Bike to Work Week activities, Bike Art & Music, and this forum (with upgrades forthcoming), as well as lots of other fun stuff. I know it will be an awesome adventure, and I hope you all will join us.

Meredith Joy
The website...


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