I work for Give Them Bikes! because doing so has allowed me to pursue my dreams.
In my dreams I ride bikes, not professionally, never in a hurry, but happily, with joy, and usually with a friend, for that is when riding bikes is the most fun. In my dream last night we abandoned our bikes at the top of a dock, that carefree dismount associated with the front lawns and driveways of suburban kids not worried about bike theft, and we ran down the dock and jumped in the water. We swam to a boat and they invited us aboard. It began to sail away, accidentally arriving in my hometown where by magic our bikes awaited us. We got back on them and I showed you the salt-sprayed road that winds around the outer edge of the peninsula, the scenic boulevard that separates the waves crashing against the rocks to our right from the interior upward sloping land to our left.
Riding bikes is an expression of freedom, this is an accepted and nearly stale trope. Freedom is meaningless in dreams, anyhow. You follow along as your fate unfolds before you, and you coast through feelings of purpose. It is movement and meaning synthesized.
Likewise riding with a friend is something deeper than freedom. It’s where freedom meets collaboration. It holds within it the truth that nobody is free when others do not have bikes. The bicycle community refers to the value of self-sufficiency, and the freedom that a bicycle affords, to use your energy and momentum to go anywhere. This is true and important but just part of the way there.
I am interested in mutual support, where vulnerability and preparation meet. I choose to make myself available to the community and be honest about what I need and what I can provide. Just like riding bikes with friends, there’s an understanding that when one cannot go on for whatever reason, we all stop, check in, and regroup. Give Them Bikes! has let me pursue the dream that we are all friends, and that nobody gets left behind. The real ride won’t begin until everyone who wants to join gets to. Period.