Thursday, August 27, 2015

Hanging Out

The best part of bike touring is hanging out.  Stopping and spending time.  Taking in the scenery.  Breathing and enjoying the current moment.  Having a couple beers with strangers. 
When I lived in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois (2007-2010) there was a tiny bike cooperative - The Bike Project.  A crew of regular volunteers and members seemed to be there all the time - hanging out.  I'm headed off on this tangent, because I think BiCi Co. will be that destination and connection for our community.  Beyond the nuts and bolts and bike safety training, BiCi Co. will be a welcoming social space.  Conversation may involve bikes but will often veer into politics and the local bands playing this weekend.  The crew will be diverse and reflect both cycling die hards, Park Street neighborhood residents, and the downtown employee recreational cyclists.

My camp spots have been stellar this trip.  On the bank of Black Creek.
Hanging out.  That seems like a shallow goal for a nonprofit social enterprise.  Perhaps, until you step back and realize that most of the jobs folks get nowadays are through connections and networking.  Then hanging out means jobs access.  I could also describe how major projects and social movements are often hatched while simply hanging out.  The more diverse the group, the better.  Some of the best teaching and learning happens during down time and “hanging out”.  That’s when the experts aren’t frazzled and get one-on-one time with those that spend extra time in the space.  So yes, BiCi Co. must be somewhere folks want to hang out.  I think that means we’ll have a coffee maker with an honor box and some places to sit down and chat.  It also means, that we’ll plan unstructured time in the space and social meet ups.

Note - The Bike Project grew from a small room to two large locations with paid staff in three short years.  Urbana, Illinois is now a Gold Bicycle Friendly Community.

This construction company fence makes me pine for Anne Cubberly's creations.
I tasted ALL of those honey wines.  And left with two bottles.
In Salmanaca, NY.  This shrine was amazing and confusing.  The whole front yard.
One of the prettier swamps.
This fellow galloped up to meet me.  Expectant.

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