Angela Koch left one of the country’s most established bicycle-friendly cities, Portland, to join Revolution Cycles in our dream of getting more people on bikes everyday, and the progress that we’ve made with her help is incredible. Circumstances change and people move on, and in a few days, we’ll be watching Angela ride off into the sunset, but we’re grateful for the energy, passion and knowledge that she has brought to her role as our Events and Advocacy Coordinator this year. With no small amount of humor and chutzpah, Angela has worked tirelessly to increase cycling participation in our communities and to improve riding conditions by developing relationships with local advocates. We wish Angela the best of luck in her future endeavors.
And now, a few parting words from Angela:
I’m leaving in a few days to head south on my next great adventure. I’m going to be close to family but deciding to leave was, well, kind of a bummer. I was asked to write a final swan song but I’m finding it difficult to put together words that clearly describe my feelings. So, relying on a quick fix employed by any mediocre writer worth his salt, I’ll turn to quotes to guide the way.
If I leave here tomorrow, will you still remember me?
It’s true, there’s a little bit of ego in all of us when we leave a position and I hope I was able to make a positive impact in even the tiniest way here in the DC area. Not just because I’m goofy enough to quote Skynyrd and wear crazy knee socks and bright blue glasses but because this is my passion: I want to be a bicycle change agent.
As I move on, I hope to see Hub Spins grow and more people join in on fun social rides such as touring the monuments at night (and getting kicked out by the Feds) or biking in the middle of the frigid winter to drink cocoa and see the National Tree. There are countless creative ways to get more butts on bikes and to those of you who supported this cause by joining us on rides, I say thank you. To those of you who haven’t yet, I ask why not? All the cool kids are doing it!
I also hope more of you will participate in the public process by visiting Arlington, Rockville or DC Bike Advisory Committee meetings, advocating for improved enforcement or engineering in your neighborhood, supporting your local advocates or engaging in bike programming. Read this amazing guide put together by our friends at FABB to learn how to advocate for better bike facilities. Join WABA. Write your electeds every single time something good happens when you’re on your bike and tell them thank you for supporting bike-friendly programs and projects. Speak up to your friends, neighbors and loved ones and become an advocate in your own circle, to your own tribe. Be a bike ambassador everyday and make bikes memorable for good reasons.
It’s the way you ride the trail that counts, here’s a happy one for you.
I recall my excitement over learning about the many urban trails and bikeways when I first moved here from Portland. Those were my happy trail days and while I’m a seasoned cyclist here, I still haven’t lost the joy of riding here. The greater DC area has grown increasingly bike-friendly to the degree that we now boast the 6th highest commuter rates in the country (according to the American Community Survey 2009 report). Arlington County is putting in automated bike counters (leading the country by doing so) and sharrows and continues to maintain programs that support and encourage cycling. DC has its new cycletracks and bike lights and plenty of new bike lanes to boast about. Capital Bikeshare is one of the finest examples in the country of high-level partnerships that are undoubtedly increasing the profile of bikes as a solution to many problems. Our own City Hub is also a top notch, unique example of encouragement, retail and advocacy all rolled into one. There are plenty of great initiatives that are taking place right here in DC, so hats off to the many community leaders, planners, transportation professionals and electeds who work to make that happen. And helmets off to those of you who ride everyday or just started riding. Keep it up!
How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.
If you don’t do this kind of work, it’s hard to wrap your brain around how progressive it is for Revolution to have created this position, so since I’m leaving, I don’t mind one bit making a shameless plug. For bike retail to openly embrace advocacy and fully integrate it into their culture and business structure is unprecedented in the bike shop world. As scary as it was to be a part of a team carving a new path, I am thrilled to have had this opportunity and look forward to seeing many great things from this company and the next person to fill my shoes. This job has been a dream and that makes leaving it so much harder for me. But life happens and I must move on. Free bird.
I hate goodbyes. I know what I need. I need more hellos.
So this is it, my final goodbye yet I agree with Charles M. Schulz that hellos are much better than goodbyes. Rather than leaving here with a sad farewell, I’d like to say thank you to all the wonderful people at Revolution, our community partners and friends, those who support this great work and everyone who rides a bike. I’m leaving Revolution but I’m not leaving the revolution so I’m sure we’ll meet again.
But, for now, as a final adieu, I leave you with this: announce your pass, don’t be afraid to add a little color to life and, of course, more cowbell!
PS: a final parting gift to anyone who would like to sing and bike with us on Saturday on the Ugly Sweater Ride. Credit and thank you to my PDX friends for the modified lyrics.
Deck the Roads
Written by: Amy Stork, Jim Waigand, and Jeff Bernards, Modified by: the Bikecraft Carolers
Deck the roads with tons of cyclists, Fa la la la la la la la la
Tis the season for idealists, Fa la la la la la la la la
Don we now our rain apparel, Fa la la la la la la la la
Call your friend, and sing bike carols, Fa la la la la la la la la
Grab your helmet and your u-lock, Fa la la la la la la la la
Join the sheep who’ve left the flock, Fa la la la la la la la la
Hitch your trailer to your seat post, Fa la la la la la la la la
To the store to get some French Roast, Fa la la la la la la la la
Pedal til the old year passes, Fa la la la la la la la la
Cold air fogging up your glasses, Fa la la la la la la la la
Summer soon will come again, Fa la la la la la la la la
Just keep riding with the wind. Fa la la la la la la la la