After twelve years at BikeMN, I am filled with gratitude. I moved to Minnesota in 2002 believing that surely there would be a bicycle advocacy organization here. There was not really one at that time, and it took a group of dedicated advocates to figure out how to get one started. I can still remember the day that our state’s thriving bike industry made the initial investment and Dorian Grilley agreed to launch The Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota at QBP in Bloomington back in the fall of 2008. I joined as the second full-time staff member just two years later and the work has never been dull or mundane. The accomplishments of this organization are simply too many to count, but BikeMN quickly rose to one of the most successful statewide bike/walk advocacy organizations in the nation.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have been a part of so much positive change here. Helping to certify more than 200 League Cycling Instructors. Working with our team to have more than 30 national bike-friendly communities. Piloting and implementing the innovative best practice- Bikeable Community Workshops with MN GreenCorps and the Departments of Transportation and Health. Creating arguably the most successful elementary and middle school bike/ walk safety education program: Walk! Bike! Fun! and nurturing its growth and evolution. Cultivating BikeMN’s supporter base to more than 40,000 individuals in more than 200 communities and every county in Minnesota. Developing the Bike Walk Leadership Network and local leadership teams with our amazing staff. Passing groundbreaking policy and funding at the state level for Safe Routes to School and Active Transportation. Guiding policy work through committees with public agencies around MN. Leading innovative strategic plans with input from diverse stakeholders. Defining equity and anti-racism work and beginning its successful implementation through hiring practices.
It has been the greatest privilege to do this work with absolutely incredible partners, tireless supporters, super volunteers, dedicated board members, and the best staff anyone could ever ask for. I will be eternally grateful for sharing so much positive work-life with all of these amazing people. Patty, Natalie, Michelle, CJ, Will, Jo, Mae, Kate, Ted, Maya, Karl, Tim, Angela, Helena, and Dorian- thanks for all you do to make a difference and being the best colleagues! The future of biking and walking in Minnesota is brighter than ever. Now is your time to plug in and support this important work. Together, we can keep working towards a Minnesota where every person everywhere can easily walk, bike, and roll as ways to move in daily life.