Sitting at the Austin airport, I looked up from my coffee to see Eileen Schaubert walking my way. She has moved out of Austin to Santa Monica so it was a big surprise to see her in Austin. Eileen is one of the most active advocates, whereever she is.
With Eileen was Dr. Talia McCray, a Professor in the Community and Regional Planning department at University of Texas at Austin, who has been working on a program to raise interest in cycling in the African American population. She will be giving a talk during the Women’s Forum on Monday…assuming the weather cooperates.
I asked Talia why she was doing the program and she responded, “I think cycling is excellent exercise and a different way to view life. I wish to help people who typically don’t cycle to experience the joy of cycling.” Talia related a story of one of the people in her program who came and hugged her with tears of joy in her eyes.
The fastest growing demographic in the relatively flat cycling participation is women and children. Minorities are also growing as a part of the cycling market. I’ll talk about the statistics that were presented at the last Interbike Conference in a later blog but keep in mind that major changes are here now.
I’ll be watching and reporting on the League’s efforts to reach all cyclists as equity and equality become a larger part of the cycling mix.