I have my tough days at work, and then there are the times where I find myself thinking “I really get paid for this?”
Wednesday June 20 2018 shall go down in history as one of the latter days, as three bike events in Montgomery County all fell into place on the same day. I started off with an “I’m late for work!” frantic ride from my West Philly home to 69th St, followed by a relaxing trip on the Norristown High Speed Line.
MontCo stop #1 was at the ACLAMO Family Center in Norristown. Together with BCGP’s Greg Young and Brenda Hernandez-Torres, we had a lovely ride through Norristown and along the Schuylkill River Trail with a group of local residents. Many in our group hadn’t been on a bike in decades and had never been to the trail, despite its proximity. This was the core goal of the ride: to connect residents from underserved communities to their local bike infrastructure. After the ride, there was even talk of forming their own club, with the working title of BiciCLAMOs!
By ride’s end I was already late for my next engagement, the official introduction of the Bike MontCo plan at Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) in Blue Bell. I had a bit of a harrowing ride getting there, including a good up close and personal experience with the much maligned “wide outside lane.”
Safely at MCCC, I had a front row seat (because I was late and that’s the only seat that was left) for the plan unveiling, which included several changes that resulted from our feedback to the initial draft. After the plan meeting, I had the chance to ride along several interesting bike facilities in the MCCC area, including a beautiful sidepath that took me way off course, a neat little connector to a local SEPTA Regional Rail station, and my first ever ride on a Google Maps trail that was actually just a mowed path in a meadow.
My final event of the day was in Jenkintown for the kickoff Supporter Social for our newly reinvigorated Bike Montgomery County affiliate group. The road there (mostly on Susquenanna) was dark and full of terrors, including cars illegally parked in the bike lane at the bottom of a hill.
I arrived in Jenkintown dirty, gritty, sweaty, hungry, and with a smile from ear to ear. And the burger was delicious.
Yes, I do get paid to ride my bike around all day. Occasionally.
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