Marvin Randalson: Moving on to new adventures
Almost exactly 15 months after I began my career with Bike Cleveland it comes to an end this Friday.
On November 17th of 2013 I started my position as volunteer and outreach coordinator of Bike Cleveland and became the second staff person in the organization’s young history. We have laughed and cried together and engaged in the social activity of riding bikes together. While I am sad to leave my position as Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator of Bike Cleveland, it is with excitement that I have taken the position as the Transit Administrator of the beautiful City of Sandusky, Ohio, home to Cedar Point, nearby Kalahari and a quaint transit system with 600,000 riders. As I look back on my time at Bike Cleveland I would like to share the following thoughts:
I feel, as an organization, Bike Cleveland has only scratched the surface of the power of this burgeoning movement. I consider myself to be honored to be a part of the growth of Bike Cleveland and I look forward to watching biking reach even greater heights in 2015 and beyond. I look forward to working with my friends on the board and staff of Bike Cleveland in my new position in Sandusky as we try to work the same magic there.
As Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator I have done my best to tell the story of people who ride bikes in Cleveland, and the numerous reasons people choose to ride. My passion has been talking to people who don’t ride or have genuine concerns about using bikes for running errands, commuting or simply for recreation. I also have enjoyed conversations with people from all walks of life on where they feel bikes belong in our culture and what needs to be done to make bikes and cars play better together. The highlight of my job was connecting our volunteers to our work and to demonstrate to people the humanity and dignity of people on bikes. The labor our volunteers donate along with their personalities, their smiles, and their stories that make our outreach effective, and that will grow this movement.
I want to thank everyone who opened their arms to me during my time here at Bike Cleveland, with a special thanks to Jacob, for providing me with this amazing opportunity to grow as a person and for being a good friend to me and my family. I appreciate the graciousness of our board members and the depth of experience they bring to Bike Cleveland and to our community. Our board members share a vision for a better Greater Cleveland built around bikes and other forms of sustainable transportation, it has been an honor to work with them.
Looking back on my time at Bike Cleveland we did a lot.
In my time at Bike Cleveland we have:
- Increased our ranks from 396 members to 670 members today
- Reached out to the public at dozens of events to talk about how to get more people on bikes.
- We lead a successful outreach program called Central on Bikes that engaged people of the community on bikes. In total we we reached over 600 people and repaired 200 bikes in the historic Central neighborhood.
- We partnered with the Cleveland Indians on the first ever Bike to the Ballpark.
- We Returned the Rust Cup to the CLE, beating Pittsburgh in the National bike challenge.
- We brought more new faces into volunteering for Bike Cleveland, finding new superstars who believe in our mission and want to make Greater Cleveland a fun, safe place to ride a bike.
- I Became an LCI Certified Bicycling Instructor by the League of American bicyclists.
- Side note: In the April of 2015 Bike Cleveland will host an LCI Seminar, to increase the number of trainers in our region, and increase the knowledge and skills of safe biking.
As I move on to new exciting endeavors this is just the beginning for Bike Cleveland. In the next couple months they will be adding two new staff members, providing the opportunity for new ideas and new energy to move us forward. This new blood will build on the work we have done and make 2015 the best year ever for Bike Cleveland.
I look forward to continue to be apart of this movement and to seeing all of my friends again at Bike Cleveland events, and around town.
BTW: If you are interested in applying to be Bike Cleveland’s next Outreach & Volunteer Manager you can download the job posting here.