It started with someone saying "What about a biking group?" at a green task force meeting.
Then, in our newsletter, we asked if anyone was interested.
Some people were interested. They offered to lead a group. Developed a mission statement. Came up with a name. And picked a date for a kick off ride through our little city.
Last Saturday night, in front of the local library, thirty-two people gathered on their commuter bikes, their cruisers, their teenage son's rusted ten speed. Older kids had their own bikes. Little ones were tucked into trailers or atop of connector bikes. We spent the next 45 minutes and 4.3 miles cruising around the flat streets of town. People gawked on their front lawns as our bike parade went past. Car drivers smiled and waved us through the intersection. The group undulated back and forth. Introductions made while pedaling. Ideas tossed around. Someone said they were setting up a website for the biking group. Others exchanged edible gardening ideas. "Wouldn't it be fun to do a bicycle tour of local edible gardens?" Still others suggested that we ask the locally owned market to stock grass fed beef.
Who knows where this group will go. What streets we'll meander down. Whether members will one day ask City Hall for better bike lanes and bike parking downtown. Whether those people standing on their front lawns will join us next week or next month. What friendships will be formed, recipes or equipment exchanged, commuter routes set up.
That night was simply a first step. We knew one thing, though. As we parted exhilarated, our cheeks pinkened, our thighs burning and our hearts pumping, we realized what had happened that night. We had formed a community - one built for the road ahead.