Cycling Over Sixty

A Social Justice Tool

May 30, 2024 Tom Butler Season 2 Episode 44
A Social Justice Tool
Cycling Over Sixty
More Info
Cycling Over Sixty
A Social Justice Tool
May 30, 2024 Season 2 Episode 44
Tom Butler

In this week’s episode, host Tom Butler shares the dates for his 400-mile Season 2 Challenge and reveals some good news about a lodging option that will make the ride even better.

Staying active is key to healthy aging, and Tom provides an update on the Cycling Over Sixty Strava Club National Senior Health and Fitness Challenge, a perfect way to celebrate National Senior Health and Fitness Day.

To wrap up National Bike Month, Tom takes a look at the power of the bicycle beyond personal fitness. He welcomes Ed Ewing, executive director of Bike Works, to discuss the role of the bike as a social justice tool. Ed shares his passion meeting purpose in the efforts of Bike Works in low-income communities.
 
Tune in for inspiration and a look at cycling as a tool for positive change!

Link to Road Scholar "The Heart of the Civil Rights" trip:  roadscholar.org/find-an-adventure/23423/The-Heart-of-the-Civil-Rights-Movement-With-Your-Family

Thanks for Joining Me! Follow and comment on Cycling Over Sixty on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cyclingoversixty/

Consider becoming a member of the Cycling Over Sixty Strava Club! www.strava.com/clubs/CyclingOverSixty

Please send comments, questions and especially content suggestions to me at tom.butler@teleiomedia.com

Show music is "Come On Out" by Dan Lebowitz. Find him here : lebomusic.com

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this week’s episode, host Tom Butler shares the dates for his 400-mile Season 2 Challenge and reveals some good news about a lodging option that will make the ride even better.

Staying active is key to healthy aging, and Tom provides an update on the Cycling Over Sixty Strava Club National Senior Health and Fitness Challenge, a perfect way to celebrate National Senior Health and Fitness Day.

To wrap up National Bike Month, Tom takes a look at the power of the bicycle beyond personal fitness. He welcomes Ed Ewing, executive director of Bike Works, to discuss the role of the bike as a social justice tool. Ed shares his passion meeting purpose in the efforts of Bike Works in low-income communities.
 
Tune in for inspiration and a look at cycling as a tool for positive change!

Link to Road Scholar "The Heart of the Civil Rights" trip:  roadscholar.org/find-an-adventure/23423/The-Heart-of-the-Civil-Rights-Movement-With-Your-Family

Thanks for Joining Me! Follow and comment on Cycling Over Sixty on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cyclingoversixty/

Consider becoming a member of the Cycling Over Sixty Strava Club! www.strava.com/clubs/CyclingOverSixty

Please send comments, questions and especially content suggestions to me at tom.butler@teleiomedia.com

Show music is "Come On Out" by Dan Lebowitz. Find him here : lebomusic.com

Tom Butler:

This is the Cycling Over 60 podcast, season two, episode 44, a Social Justice Tool, and I'm your host, tom Butler. Welcome everyone. This is the place where I am having conversations with people who I think have something valuable to say about all kinds of topics related to cycling. I'm especially interested in learning how to get and stay fit later on in life. This is my journey to use cycling as a way of staying fit. Before I get to the conversation for this episode, here's a brief update on that journey.

Tom Butler:

The Cycling Over 60 Strava Club National Senior Health and Fitness Challenge is about halfway through. Our goal is to hit a combined 3,500 miles. As of Thursday evening, we're at 1,537 miles with 26 people participating. We have some work to do still, but the goal is definitely in reach. As a group, we have had 66 activities that have contributed to the total. It is definitely not too late for you to jump in to the club and contribute. Just join the Cycling Over 60 club on Strava and look for the post on May 23rd with all the details. I'm excited because I might actually break into the top 10 on the cycling over 60 Strava club this week. I am doing a century ride this weekend and I think that might get me there.

Tom Butler:

I got some good news related to this season's challenge. If you are new to the podcast, my goal this season is to ride about 400 miles across the state of Washington on US Bike Route 10. My plan is to leave on Thursday September 12th from Anacortes, washington, and end on Monday September 16th in Newport, washington. Now that I have decided on dates, I will put up a full route plan in a post in the Cycling Over 60 Strava Club soon. It would be great to have people join me on this ride. I do know there'd be some logistics to work out, but if you're interested, let me know.

Tom Butler:

The good news that I got this week was from the North Cascades National Park. I had hoped to stay at New Halem Creek Campground. However, the park website stops taking reservations for the campsite on September 8th. After the 8th, the campsites are labeled quote out of season. I was able to get an email from the park that out of season means you can't make a reservation, but that the campground might still be open on a first come basis. Since my wife, kelly will be supporting me, it should be easy for her to get there early. In addition to New Halen Creek. There is also Goodell Creek Campground only a mile away. Goodell Creek will be open, but there are no services. I'm really hoping that I'm going to be able to camp that first night. I think that that would be an awesome end of the day in a really beautiful place, but I'm going to have to have an alternative because there is a possibility that these campgrounds will be closed. A shout out to the awesome rangers at the North Cascades National Park Service Complex for doing such a great job answering my questions.

Tom Butler:

We have come to the end of National Bike Month. I just have to say that I really enjoyed my conversations this month. This week I was looking for a unique way to wrap up the month and I started thinking about considering the bike from a different angle. In a number of conversations people have talked about the value of the bike in low-income communities, so I looked around to find someone that could speak about the bike as a tool for social justice. I was really happy to find an organization nearby called BikeWorks that has just the focus I was looking for. Their executive director, ed Ewing, joined me to talk about how they are impacting frequently overlooked neighborhoods in Seattle. My job this week was made really easy in that I just got to sit back and listen to all the interesting things Ed had to share. Here is our discussion. I'm excited to be talking today about a particular aspect of the bicycle, and I'm joined by BikeWorks Executive Director, ed Ewing. Thanks for being here, ed.

Ed Ewing:

Thank you, Tom. It's great to meet you and I really appreciate the opportunity to share about BikeWorks.

Tom Butler:

Yeah, this week wraps up National Bike Month, so today I want to talk about the bike as a social justice tool, and I see the efforts of BikeWorks in Seattle as evidence of the impact the bicycle can have. Before we go there, ed, what are your earliest memories of the bicycle?

Ed Ewing:

Oh goodness, what's come into mind too. One is the day I discovered balance. I didn't have training wheels and my dad gave me a push on a bike that was a hand-me-down for my brother, my oldest brother. It was a Czechoslovakian bike of some sorts and I don't know how we ended up with it perhaps growing up in Minneapolis and its Slavic roots, or whatever we ended up with a Czechoslovakian bike, but it was mine and I remember my dad, you know, just after work, and taking me to one end of the alley and just giving me a push, and I hit every trash can in the alley and then a dog came out of the shadows barking at me and I remember my dad kicked the dog away and and I was off, you know, and it's, it's a.

Ed Ewing:

I'll never forget that day, you know, just discovering balance and and scared, and also I think I was crying and laughing at the same time. You know a lot, of, a lot of early childhood memories, and my parents were active cyclists. You know just memories of when my brother and I were old enough to ride, just sitting in the baskets behind them and with our hands tucked in their belts and a lunch packed for the day, and we'd be going around the Twin Cities exploring the, the cities, uh, the, the lakes and whatnot, and would stop for a picnic or check out a concert and it was just. It's just really fond and good memories of the bike, yeah that's awesome, I think about.

Tom Butler:

You know that motivation when you're a kid and you're seeing everybody else riding a bike and you're just so anxious for that day and mine was the case. You know no training wheels, a bike too big for me, all that but I was so motivated that, despite you know crashing, getting back on, going a little ways, crashing, getting back on, you know it's like I'm going to stick with this, I'm going to make this work.

Ed Ewing:

Yeah, yeah, go at this, I'm going to make this work. Yeah, yeah, it's, it's, uh, you know, I think another memory is, you know, my, my brother, when he went to college. You know we were, we were very close and he went, he was at ROTC, uh, naval ROTC and went off to college and and just processing, being alone, and a lot of those summer days you know that we would spend together. You know, here I had, you know, myself and the bike, and so I would set out in the city and just ride and explore, and as long as I kept the IDS tower, you know, in sight, I knew how to get back to where you know where I am.

Ed Ewing:

And and I used that same technique when I moved here to Seattle in 88, new to the city, I had my bike and I was like, well, as long as I can see the space needle, I know how to get back to the general vicinity of where I am. I just remember the sense of self, the sense of the efficacy, the grit, the sense of independence, of self-empowerment that I got from that. It really shaped and fuels me even today, you know, just to be able to go places on your own power.

Tom Butler:

And how are some of the ways that cycling has remained a part of your adult life?

Ed Ewing:

You know, it's really. I feel very lucky to have turned my passion into my career. You know, when I moved to Seattle in 88, I was working for Honeywell and did the corporate path for 20 years and the bike was always with me. I traveled quite a bit and my territory was Washington, northern Idaho and Montana, and so during the summer months I could pack my bike and take it with me to Spokane, tri-cities or Missoula or Billings or wherever, helena, and it was a way for me to exercise, to see the city, to think. It was a way to just process the day. And if you're going to be traveling that much, it was cheaper than the gym, you know. And so it really is tracked with me.

Ed Ewing:

And I've started bike racing in the early 80s and still to this day, you know, participate in master's bike racing and it's a way to stay fit. It's a way to stay, you know, physically and mentally fit. It's a way to stay fit. It's a way to stay, you know, physically and mentally fit, it's a way to process. For me there's something about a cadence of 90 to 95 or 94 RPMs that just really helps me reset and it's just a great way for me to exist. You know, it's such a part of me. Some people have yoga, some people run Meditation. I mean that's what it is for me, that's what the bike does for me.

Tom Butler:

Yeah, I've talked about before on here that there seems to be. You get in a rhythm and you start, you keep that rhythm going for half an hour or whatever, uninterrupted out and on a long ride, and to me it feels like a bit of meditation on a long ride. And to me feels like a bit of meditation. You're just kind of in sync in a rhythm and there's not a lot of distractions, especially if you're out on a trail in the wilderness or something. And yeah, it's really nice that way.

Ed Ewing:

I discovered exactly what that is called. A few years ago. I did some therapy and my therapist suggested this type of therapy called EMDR, and it's where you revisit the trauma and then they're through a rhythm in your eyes, looking back and forth, or tapping on your legs or on a table or holding some paddles that gently will pulse, you know, left right, left right, at a certain cadence. And the way she explained this to me is that some people experience it running, some people experience it swimming, some people experience it biking and when she said that I just almost jumped out of my skin. I was like that's it, that's what I get from biking, and that's. It's that sweet spot of like 90 to 94 RPMs where I could sit there all day.

Ed Ewing:

And I noticed you have the picture of a poster of STP, the Seattle to Portland ride. I can't think of a better day than to spend all day on your bike just riding at that pace, eating, drinking, talking to people. For me it's this bliss. It really really is. But it took that association to go. Okay, that's what it is. That's what why I bike and why I process things just life, work, relationships, whatever it might be. When I'm riding I'm able to think about those things reset, reposition, reframe have gain a deeper understanding through just that left pedal, right pedal, just the right brain, left brain, motion, and it's just. I finally figured out what that was and it's like that's, it's just something that naturally occurs, you know, for a lot of people at a certain cadence or a certain rhythm really fascinating for sure.

Tom Butler:

can you talk a bit about bike works, what goes on at BikeWorks, and then kind of what your personal experience and passions that drew you to becoming a leader with an organization like BikeWorks?

Ed Ewing:

Yeah, absolutely yeah. You know BikeWorks has been around since 96. It was specifically founded with the intention to increase access to bicycling, specifically and intentionally in South Seattle. If anyone's familiar with Seattle, seattle's a beautiful, beautiful city. It's also a very segregated city. Seattle's the fifth I believe the fifth whitest city in the nation and not all of those resources reach all communities. So communities like Rainier Beach, the Central District at that time, white Center, tukwila Skyway, you know a lot of those resources, the abundance of resources in this town, don't reach those communities or reach those communities at a different level.

Ed Ewing:

And so something as simple as the bicycle, you know, and we work with a lot of schools that have very high free reduced lunch percentages. So a free reduced lunch program is those who need assistance with school lunch or breakfast or after school snack. They receive assistance from the school district to purchase lunch. It's probably like $3.50, $3.75, maybe $4 a day. If there is a high need for free reduced lunch assistance, chances are there is not a lot of disposable income in that household and so that reduces the access or the chances or the opportunity for either a youth or adult to get a bike. You know when the primary, you know focus is rent or mortgage, is food, is education, safety? You know having access to a bike and transportation is somewhat limited.

Ed Ewing:

So Bike Works was founded on the premise of increasing access to bikes and it's evolved into increasing access to bikes and social justice, with a centering and focus of racial equity, because the communities that we focus on in South Seattle it's predominantly of color. Understanding the complexities, understanding the systemic racism of how Seattle and why Seattle looks like it does, where a lot of major cities are Understanding that and using that and leveraging that and anchoring our efforts in that provides a deeper understanding of what's actually going on in these communities and what we can solve with a bicycle and also what are the larger conversations that come out of those discussions around the bicycle. You know South Seattle has two of the most dangerous streets in King County and that's MLK and Rainier Avenue streets in King County and that's MLK and Rainier Avenue. And so you know, recently partnering with Cascade Bicycle Club and talking with the mayor and the mayor's staff and transportation advocates at Seattle Department of Transportation, to really help shape the levy that's coming out and to focus and prioritize the South End, the South End's needs for safety and the ability to recreate and access transportation safely.

Ed Ewing:

You know we, through the bike shop and through our youth and adult programs, we get 3000 bikes a year into the hands of youth and adults, predominantly black and brown youth and adults in the South, in South Seattle. So that's 3000 lives a year. The stakes are high down here. It's a very real need and we also feel that it's our responsibility to tell the bigger or the greater story of what's going on in these communities, why they look the way they look and how we can change that. You know so it's. The bike is just really the entry and the bigger conversation is what's going on in these communities.

Tom Butler:

That speaks to our mission statement of resilient communities, understanding what resilient means and how can we influence that using our passion, the bicycle seen these issues before you came on board with BikeWorks and I'm wondering if you could talk a little bit about what drew you to the organization, kind of your personal interests, kind of your personal passions.

Ed Ewing:

Sure, yeah, it's. You know, being involved in bike racing since I was 17, I was acutely aware that I was the only one of color, oftentimes even. You know, growing up in Minneapolis, you know, through the support of my parents, you know, and modeling their behavior, like seeing them ride a bike and normalize that type of activity for me and my dad was an amazing golfer and my brother is now and seeing my parents do those activities, you know it normalized that. And sure, there's basketball, track football, but that's a lot of the exposure that especially youth of color receive is through basketball, track football, those really accessible sports, and you see yourself doing those sports but you don't really see yourself cycling at a professional level, yourself cycling at a professional level. You don't see yourself playing golf at a professional level. If it wasn't for, like Lee Elder and Calvin Pete and those guys, you know, it just would not have been. You know possible, you know if you can see it, you can be it. And so you know, growing up, bike racing and being around bikes and just being in the bike racing world, which is predominantly white, I was acutely aware of my color, of the dynamic that was there, and it's something that I always wanted to change and my attitude was you know, there's no one that can tell me I don't belong here. Believe me, there were plenty of efforts where that was the case, but I had the ability to unpack that with my parents and they're very, very, very strong individuals and taught my brother and I, gave us a skill set to navigate through that and be successful in spite of that. And so the deeper I went into my career, I started focusing more and more on the professional development of people. I was a corporate trainer, both technical and sales trainer. I'm engaged with a development of people. I was a corporate trainer, both technical and sales trainer. I've been engaged with a lot of people. I started going away, migrating away from the actual product and focusing more on the people.

Ed Ewing:

And then in 2000, early 2000, I was laid off and it was the best thing that ever happened to me because I finally could figure out what exactly I wanted to do. I think when you're in college, you're taught to go to college, get a degree, get a job you know be successful. And especially in the Black community it's like get your education, get that college degree, get a job, work your way up the corporate ladder, buy a home, settle in that sort of thing, buy land For me. I followed that track for quite some time. Then, in 2000, when I was laid off, I was very fortunate to get a year of severance from an organization and I raced my bike full-time. It was a wonderful experience.

Ed Ewing:

Then the market continued to fall. That one year of unemployment turned into two and that turned into three, and the bank account was getting smaller and smaller and I was getting more and more nervous. And I just remember, you know, just laying in bed in tears, going. You know, I don't know, I don't know what I want to do, but I know I'm done with that. I want to do something that feeds my soul. And so, as cheesy as it sounds, when you're unemployed you have a lot of time.

Ed Ewing:

And there's one day I was sitting on the couch feeling sorry for myself and I was watching Oprah and I saw this guy from Chicago who looked just like me. He had dreads, he had glasses, it was like I was looking in a mirror and he was an attorney and he was saying the same things that I said, like his being an attorney didn't feed him anymore, didn't fuel his soul, but he loved baking. He loved baking cakes. It didn't fuel his soul, but he loved baking. He loved baking cakes and so he stopped. He quit his job as an attorney in Chicago and started baking cakes and he turned it into a business. And here this guy is. We're probably the same age, we have the same glasses. We looked like we could be brothers. His man is now making a living and making cakes. I'm like God, if that guy can do it, I can do it.

Ed Ewing:

I was like I don't know what that is, you know, and at the time I was teaching spin classes. You know, I just kept throwing it out to the class, going like, yeah, you know, this is my background. This is what I did. I love cycling and it's my goal to give you the best cycling experience here as I can. That's my commitment to you. Lo and behold, after class people would come to me and say, hey, you know, tell me more about your background. What did you do? And you know the people that were asking me these questions. I had no idea who they were, but they're like you know, howard Schultz is a publicist, or the vice president of Boeing 787, or you know the most successful attorney in Seattle, but they're all cyclists. I had no idea, and so they slowly, through questioning, would just ask me these questions and helped me really understand what it is that I wanted to do.

Ed Ewing:

And then I went to work for a cycling coaching organization called Cycle University and I remember Craig came in my spin class one day and he's like, hey, you know, we should talk because you're indirectly sending me clients because you're teaching a bike racing format. So I went to work for Craig for five years and at that time Cycle U was in the same building as Cascade Bicycle Club and I met Chuck Ayers, who was the ED at that time. And so one day Chuck comes down to the studio and he's like, hey, you know, would you like to have lunch with Ron Sims and myself and a couple of members of his staff? And I was like, uh sure, Am I in trouble? What's going on? He said, you know, I'd really be interested in your experience. I know you're a bike racer and you know, at that time Ron was new to cycling and um had was really good friends with Chuck and Ron was really surprised at the lack of diversity in cycling. And so it's like, you know, at Cascade at that time they were looking at their staff, they're looking at their membership, they're looking at their programmatic efforts, they're looking at just who participates in their events.

Ed Ewing:

And it was pretty much north of the ship canal and predominantly very, very white, like 90, 92, 94% white. And Chuck was like, you know, we really want and need to do something about this and would love your perspective, and I imagine you were acutely aware of this, and I was like gosh. You know I am, and prior to that I had been thinking about just getting and creating a very simple email list of all the site lists of color that I knew here in Seattle, like the owner of Ezell's Chicken, louis Rudd is a good friend and I met Louis in 88, riding opposite ways on Lake Washington Boulevard, and we both stopped and was like God, I thought I was the only one out here and we've been friends ever since I mean, that was 1988. And so I had been thinking about creating just this club or just based on membership, we could share ideas and cycling tips and routes and we could just ride in community. And so I was able to share that with Chuck Ayers and with Ron Sims and say, yeah, this is something that I've been thinking about. And then Ron turned to me and said hey, ed, would you like to run this effort, this story?

Ed Ewing:

And where I was wrestling with the questions of what do I want to do with my life? I know I don't want to go back to the corporate world, the sales and marketing world, and really sitting with that, really struggling with that and just bringing my full self regardless to the, to these spin classes, being vulnerable, being open with people, really getting comfortable with answering the question I don't know, I don't know. And I gravitated to the people who would be like, let's explore that, and away from the people who were like, well, you'd better know, you better get a plan. You know Seattle's this blah, blah, blah, why don't you know? And I never got that pressure from my parents. My pressure was like my parents were like we have full confidence and faith, we know you're going to figure this out and we're here for you to help you figure it out when you want our insight. And so, coming from a place of just vulnerability and being raw and open and transparent, and it's like this is all I got. You know, this is all I can be right now.

Ed Ewing:

And to the point where you have this prominent Black leader in Seattle, king County executive, turn to you and go and would you like to run this effort? And here's some funding to help you and get you started. And Chuck at Cascade going yeah, we want to do this. And all I had to do is say yes. And then I freaked out. But then I was like Ed, wait a minute, hold on. You know bikes and you know business. You've had 20 years with big blue chip companies Fortune 50, fortune 500 companies since you're 24. You have that business acumen, you know those business principles and so just blend that with your passion for cycling and you can do this. And so I made a business plan and I had been thinking about, I'd been learning more about Major Taylor, and so you know, and I went back to Cascade and said here's a pilot project. It's called the Major Taylor Project. It's specifically called the project because it's evolving and it allows other organizations to participate in the project.

Ed Ewing:

And the project is to increase diversity in cycling and we're going to start with youth. We're going to start with youth in high schools and we're going to start with a very basic program just introducing youth to cycling, because it wasn't like back in the day. Things have changed. Like back in the day, you know, you'd have these mobs of kids in the neighborhood on BMX, bikes and Huffy's just you know, roaming, exploring, and you just don't see a lot of that anymore. And so just reintroducing people, reintroducing kids and specifically in black and brown communities, is putting it back on their radar. Because you know you have those traditional sports like basketball, football, baseball, track, you know, but cycling was just not even on the radar. So in a sense we had to remanufacture the demand. We had to reintroduce communities, reintroduce youth to the activity, to the recreation of bikes, not the sport. And that was a huge conversation within Cascade at that time.

Ed Ewing:

This was 07, 08. You know, is the focus bike racing Is the focus? Mountain biking Is the focus, bmx. And I said, you know, let's just cast the biggest net possible. It's not to turn these kids into bike racers, it's just to reintroduce them to biking and then to ask them you know, what do you want to do with the bike? And what we found out is a lot of these kids. Their world was just home to school, school to home, and then, working with the schools, and I, fortunately, again in spin class, had a lot of teachers and principals who were like you know what I get, what you're doing here, it's more than the bike and when you're ready, I want this at my school.

Ed Ewing:

And so we started in SeaTac and White Center and through the guidance of principals and people in the district who were like no, I know what you're trying to do here. This is good. We're connecting with these youth in a different way, in a non-traditional way. We're getting them outside of the classroom and they're exploring their community. They're getting their workout as well. There's access to exercise physical fitness. But the bigger thing is we're expanding their world, and once you expand their world, then that's perspective that they'll never forget. And so my attitude was like I don't care if they never bike again, as long as they see themselves in the world in a bigger way.

Ed Ewing:

And there's a lot of youth who haven't you know that we've worked with who stopped biking, but now they're mountain climbing or they're cross country skiing, you know, or they're scuba diving, or they're running marathons, or they're like started the family, you know and you know, or they, they literally needed the bike as a tool to get them to UW, you know, or as a tool to get them to Gonzaga or Western or whatever. They just didn't have a way there. And so I had been thinking about this, but I also I always kept it in frames like it's not just about the bicycle, it's about reaching these youth and expanding their world, and why and how I'm so confident in that is that that's what the bike did for me, you know I. So I know it's possible, you know it's. It's like I wasn't a great student, I learned differently, but I connected in through sports and through moving my body, and that's where I got my self-confidence. When I wasn't feeling confident in the classroom, I got my confidence from either the football field or the bike, you know, and, and that allowed me to do other things, to take on other things, and so that's kind of how I framed this.

Ed Ewing:

And you know, after my 10-year stint at Cascade, I went into an environmental nonprofit as interim executive director and then after that I went to the Seattle Parks Foundation Foundation. I wanted to get into philanthropy and really kind of had the same mindset. You know, access to parks and green spaces in the South End, like the Duwamish Valley and then North and Northgate or, excuse me, lake City area, where, in these black and brown communities, access to parks and green spaces was really low. So my efforts there were to really help increase access to green space or create green spaces so people black and brown folks can enjoy the outdoors. And you know I was kind of happy doing that. But the bicycle and the bike community and the parks community was really intermeshed, so it kept in communication with folks in the bike world, meshed, so it kept in communication with folks in the bike world. And the executive director at BikeWorks at the time reached out and said hey, ed, this is 2018 or 2019. We're creating our strategic plan. A big focus, if not. The focus of our strategic plan is going to be racial equity, and we are creating a racial equity task force of 16 people community leaders, past staff, present staff and there were 16 of us in in. She's like I'd like you to be a part of that. And so I accepted that and we, when we worked together for a year all through 2019.

Ed Ewing:

And then it continued into 2020, right as the pandemic hit and right after George Floyd was murdered and in Minneapolis I grew up probably four or five blocks from where he was murdered, so that was my community, and so the conversation was you know how's everybody doing. And when the pandemic hit, funding at the Parks Foundation was cut because a lot of it was tied to city funding. So I was laid off again and again. Through just being honest and transparent, I said, you know, I'm doing pretty good, considering I just got laid off.

Ed Ewing:

And that afternoon my predecessor called me and said hey, would you give me the chance to get back into the bike world? Here's what I'm thinking. This is very much succession planning. I've been here 10 years. Your name has come up a couple of times. I've got to learn and understand, know more about you and in your work in the racial equity committee or task force. And I was like just say when to say when. And I was like just say when, just say when.

Ed Ewing:

And I also said I don't want to rejoin the bike world as a diversity, equity, inclusion person. I don't, because it's got to be a position that has gravity that once funding was cut, the DEI effort in that department went away. And that's exactly what happened at Cascade. I went from director of the Major Taylor Project to director of diversity and inclusion department and funding was cut and then that went away. So I said, based on that experience, I do not want to rejoin the bike world or bike works just as a DEI person. If it's a deputy director role that holds DEI, okay great, I said. However, it seems to me that your efforts and the organization's mission is DEI, so let's look at if that, if the possibility for me to be a deputy director I would be interested in that. And so she went away and figured it out and told the board about it. The board pulled me in for a conversation and I was offered a deputy director position in let's see April, no May of 2020. And I never would have guessed that my dream job would have shown itself, would have materialized, in the middle of 2020. And I never would have guessed that my dream job would have shown itself, would have materialized in the middle of 2020.

Ed Ewing:

After the start of the pandemic, after the murder of George Floyd, when we have just a ton of civil unrest and recognition that something needs to happen, I tell people it was the perfect, unfortunate storm and I was ready for it. Bikeworks was ready for it because, since 96, social justice and racial equity has been the core of our work, so it's not like we had to pivot to focus on this thing. That was right in front of us. That is our focus. And then also you have another layer there where bikes were deemed an outdoor, socially distant, acceptable activity. So you had the bike world. Bike sales went through the roof. Then, when bike inventory bikes under $1,000, when that ran out, our sales went berserk. Because we only sell used bikes. The average price of our bikes is like 400 bucks. We had an abundance of bikes because people were sitting around cleaning out the garage. In 2020, we had over 8,200 bikes donated to Bike Works. So you know, the whole industry was going nuts. We were going crazy. Then, when the when the industry ran out of bikes, we had an abundance of bikes still available. So our sales, you know, just went crazy. So it was again.

Ed Ewing:

I tell people it was this unfortunate, fortunate storm and you know I was ready for it. You know, and I also think that over the years, just asking for what I wanted, remembering that episode of Oprah, and I'm like, no, this is what I want. I want a deputy director position or executive director position in the bike world, and I was very clear about that, not going into it in a cocky way. I just feel blessed. I to this day, I feel blessed that this opportunity has happened and I also worked really, really hard to make this happen. You know, and, and that started in 2007,.

Ed Ewing:

You know, joining Cascade and and and speaking, speaking to the issue, speaking to the, what we're doing here, this is about racial equity and we're engaging in communities of color, and here's why Because you have low access to physical activity, you have high rates of obesity, you have high rates of diabetes, you have discrimination, have discrimination. All those things are barriers that we have the ability to help remove, because these are great kids, these are great communities and we just need to help remove those barriers and increase access and knowledge. And speaking to that and using that, you know, at that time, cascade had 17,000 members Using that platform. That 17,000 people, it's like no. Speak the truth, be honest about it, call people in, don't call people out. Clear vision of where we're going to go and ask for their support and involvement in that.

Ed Ewing:

A lot of those conversations evolved very authentically. That's how I formed a partnership with Group Health. Cascade had an existing relationship with Group Health and we were engaging them very transactionally, kind of very traditionally. In one meeting, I had read their community health assessment that any organization like your Group Health or Kaiser comes out with. And I was like you know hey, you know I'm new to this it seems to me that your areas of priority in your community health assessment are the same areas where we have Major Taylor. I think there might be a way for us to work together. If you look at the same areas, there is like high food, reduced lunch, high obesity rate, heart disease, low access to physical fitness or physical activity, and I was like, well, I think the bike can meet a couple of those metrics physical activity and transportation and they got it right away. Like you know what, we should be partnering with you at a deeper level because this is preventative, this is a preventative initiative and we should be fully behind this. And so that's when the relationship with group health was transformed and with cascade and just took off.

Ed Ewing:

You know from there and again it was whenever I was in front of group health executives or whatever I was like here's the, here's what's going on in these communities. And you guys know this, we know this and we have, you know, and we have 17,000 members and a staff of 50, we can partner and really move the needle in these communities. You know if we really work together and we're clear about the priorities. You know every opportunity I had, I just, and to this day I tell exactly what's going on. You know it's not to shame Seattle or anything, it's just like. You know we've got all this tech, you know business in this town.

Ed Ewing:

Yet if you look at the rates of the graduation rates of black and brown male youth in Seattle public schools, you look at the graduation rate. You look at the disciplinary rate, look at the rate of black young black men being put in special education. The rate of black young black men being put in special education, it's one of the worst in the country. It is one of the worst in the country. Yet we have two of the richest individuals in the world living here. It just boggles my still to this day, blows my mind. I feel that we no matter when I was here at Cascade or here at Bike Works or when I was at Cascade we have a responsibility to tell the bigger story of what's going on in these communities. It's not just the bicycle.

Tom Butler:

It's what's really going on. You know, I just appreciate so much how real you're being about this conversation and about the place that you were in, and there's a bit of a magic there. You know a bit of a you know kind of you throw yourself out in a real authentic way out there and there, you know, cool things happen and it really feel like the emotion of that moment when you've got this vision and then you're offered this like why don't we partner together? And that partner is somebody that can really make those things happen, and that's that's really cool and I, man, I could dig into that and spend a whole bunch of time in that, but I want to, I, I want to.

Tom Butler:

I want to ask about this and, uh, you might need to do a little bit of interpretation of what I'm saying. But when you talk about systemic inequality, I mean these are well-developed systems. These are hundreds of years of systems maintaining inequality, and what you just said there was, it's more than about the bike. But at the same time recently was interviewing someone. They called the bike a simple but noble machine. So here you have. This bike works in a place where, I mean, what I'm hearing you say is so much potential in Seattle of doing the right thing and again, the systemic inequality that is baked into the area, just like you know, everywhere across the United States. How do you see the bicycle as a tool against such a huge system? Does that make sense? What I'm asking?

Ed Ewing:

Yeah, it does. It happens in a couple different layers. One in a very, very personal, grassroots level, or layer. The bicycle is a great equalizer because it's just you pedaling this machine. What I've witnessed is youth riding next to an adult, and it could be black or brown, white, what have you? And you have a youth in tennis shoes and a t-shirt riding a new bike and a third of the age of this adult riding, and this kid is like leaving this person behind, or they're just on this journey together and they're just chatting, you know, and it turns out that you know this kid is talking to. You know an attorney and this kid wants to be an attorney, and you've just spent all day riding together and it's like, oh well, why don't you come in for an internship? So there's that one-on-one level where you just don't know who these people are. You don't know, and you spend time biking together, you get to learn, you get to know someone at a deeper level, you establish that relatedness, you are reconnected with humanity, with one another's humanity, and that's when the real conversations and the relationship can take off.

Ed Ewing:

Center looks like white center. Why Tukwila looks like Tukwila, why the central district no longer looks like the central district used to look and the history of the central district and how the diversity of this city is moving further south or out of the city. And people are like, well, you know, it's a lot of tech has brought a lot of diversity, and we have to be clear about diversity, what that is. It's like African-American, latino, pacific Islander, asian those communities that used to be the anchor of the Central District. You know, the black community here has shrunk considerably. There's only 4% black homeownership here in Seattle, you know, which again is one of the lowest in the country, and a lot of diversity here has moved further south. And so that's the bigger story.

Ed Ewing:

And people are like, well, there really are no racial covenants still in place. I'm like, no, there aren't any in practice. I'm sure there are, but Seattle was a hotbed for racial covenants and, yes, those rules, those covenants, have been abolished, they've been done away with. However, the legacy, the effect of that, is still there. I watched an interview a couple months ago with this person and it was a white man speaking to this and said you know, tell me, give me an example of one law that excludes one law against black people, against African-Americans, and the student or this other person couldn't answer Like I don't think there are any and he's like right, you know, you proved my point and I thought about that. I'm like you know, no, no, that's not a point to stand on. There may not be any laws specifically that target me or people like me. However, the legacy of the laws that were in place that target me, they are still in effect. They are still in effect not only systemically, but also in people's minds, and that's one of the hardest things to change is people's minds. So, no, there are no laws, but the legacy of that, that's what is so ingrained and we're so close to it that we just don't recognize it. Because, I mean, there's a reason like Ballard looks like Ballard. There's a reason that the ship canal, the north of the ship canal, looks like the north of the ship canal. There's a reason that South Seattle looks like South Seattle, you know, and it's based in race and just to be that upfront and honest about this. Okay, now that we know, let's do something about it.

Ed Ewing:

I've asked this question a couple times. Could we do a heat map of where our transportation dollars are spent in this town? Just a simple heat map, and I have yet to get the answer, but you can kind of figure it out. If you go up to the Green Lake area, there's so much green paint and infrastructure up there I mean it looks like Disneyland up there and then you come down here and it's like, huh, okay, got it. I feel that is not only my responsibility, but that's the organization's responsibility to explain or to share exactly why and what is our intention, why our intention is to focus on the South End. It's because the South End historically has been under-resourced and currently is under-resourced, and so it makes sense for us to align our resources where they're going to have the greatest impact.

Ed Ewing:

You know, at BikeWorks we've had a couple of relationships with schools, very great schools, you know, that are very well-resourced schools, you know, and it would cost, you know, $25,000 to $30,000 a year to send your kid to these schools. And you know, when I joined the organization I started asking questions about that. It's like, hey, so share more about why we are partnered with this school. You know, are we breaking even? And not that it's all monetary, it's like and not that we have to stop. Let's find that same relationship with a school in the South End that is predominantly Black and Brown or all Black and Brown? Are we sharing the same resources with those schools or with these schools? And if we're not, let's do that. It's not that we have to do away with those efforts, it's just like let's find the same effort in a Black and Brown community with all Black and Brown students. I mean, social justice and racial equity is our focus, right? So let's go find that. And let's serve the well-resourced school differently. Let's have a conversation with them and say hey, since you are well-resourced, let's figure out a way where we can train your teachers to deliver our curriculum. Or let's figure out a way for you to purchase bikes from us, because if you buy bikes from us, then we can use those resources in the South end where they're going to have the greatest impact.

Ed Ewing:

And every conversation we had with faculty or administration got it. They're like you know what? You're exactly right. How do we do this? And it was like we're not saying no, let's just realign our resources where it's going to have the greatest impact. And if somebody asks why, it's like well, have you been to Rainier Beach High School? Have you been to Evergreen High School in White Center? Have you been to Taiyi in SeaTac they don't even have grass. It's like let's focus on that. You know so.

Ed Ewing:

But once people get that, they're like, oh right, got it. Because at the core of this well-resourced school, equity and social justice was the core, so they got it. It's like we're not saying no, it just looks different. But let's take those resources and let's align them where they're going to have the greatest impact. And for us at BikeWorks, it's not the bike resources, it's not financial resources, it's our human resources, it's our staff, it's our staff. Our passionate, expert staff are our most valuable resource. So let's help align their passion where they're going to have the greatest impact to reach someone that looks like them, to model for some from youth in the school. You know, because more times than one, me plus our program director, rich Brown, our program director Rich Brown, plus program coordinator, plus our programmatic staff is 90% Black.

Ed Ewing:

And when we walk into Rainier Beach High School, do you know how powerful a message? Or Franklin or Cleveland, you know how powerful a message that is to see two Black men in leadership positions walking in there? And I've literally. We formed a relationship or partnership with an organization called Young Women Empowered. This organization focuses on young black and brown women.

Ed Ewing:

We formed a partnership with them two years ago this would be our third year and their program coordinator met us here at Bike Works and we're setting up like the summer summer camp, summer programming schedule with them and, um, she had been working with rich brown, our program director, but she only engaged with me via email and so I walked into the room to introduce myself and her first words I remember I was like both y'all are black, my god, and as you, just this young black woman was like, oh, my god, let's get, let's get to work, you know, and their executive director is a black woman, but it just changed, you know, it's in and for me, I was like, well, if we're going to be focused in the south end and we're focused on black and brown youth and black and brown communities and youth and adults, then our leadership should look like that, Not just to look like that, it should be that because we're going to understand that community and what's in front of that community differently, not better, not worse, but differently than white leadership.

Ed Ewing:

It's like assembling a panel of men to study reproductive rights. I don't know, I'm not a scientist, a lawmaker. It's just like would you have a group of runners design a cycling training plan. I mean there's some crossover like periodization and efforts and heart rate zones, whatnot. But you know it's still different, it's still different.

Tom Butler:

Yeah, I think that's right on and I love that perspective. And you know, when I think of diversity, to me, there's like this false nod to diversity where you let people at the table, you know, as long as they're quiet, Right, you know. But the value of diversity to me, I've always thought this is the ability of different people with different perspectives, different life experiences, to be able to change, to be able to alter me. And so, if you know, if I'm looking at the cycling world in general, it's not just seeing a mix of of races on bicycles, which is, you know, again, it's a, it's a step in the right direction to not actively exclude people as a step in the right direction.

Tom Butler:

But we don't really get what is there of value out of diversity until those different perspectives Some of them can be painful perspectives. Some of them can be sharing the things that you might not want to hear. You know, talk about the condition of Seattle. You know that might be a painful perspective, but until those voices are able to then modify what is going on, I don't think you're really getting what you want to get out of diversity.

Ed Ewing:

No, and you're exactly right, and something you've said earlier is so true. It's the. It's just the invitation to the table with the expectation that you're not going to say anything. We just want you at the table and, my God, in my career I've been a part of that. Your antenna just kind of goes off. You're like, yeah, no, this isn't. This either isn't for me or, excuse me, you didn't think that I had anything to say. Yeah, if you gave me a microphone. I had anything to say yeah, if you gave me a microphone, I'm gonna say something, you know. It's like, no, what did you think this was?

Ed Ewing:

You know, and and I actually ran into that while I was at Cascade a couple times where there was some questions about the resources that were being, that were being lended to or given to Major Taylor and specifically around the Seattle to Portland ride, I talked amongst my team and I said, hey, so here's how it's going to go down. I was like these kids are going to be on brand new bikes, so they understand what a brand new bike feels like and why shouldn't they have a brand new bike? They're going to know how the rules of the road, because we want them to ride safely and they're all going to have Major Taylor jerseys and we're going to ride STP and people. Some people are like, well, stp is not all about Major Taylor. I'm like for these kids it is. I was like this is very much a statement. You pick the most visible event of 10,000 people and we're going to have these youth ready mentally and physically. We're not showing them off as tokens. These kids are going to thrive, and they did.

Ed Ewing:

You know, then the kids would get done like, hey, can we do that in a day? Here's some people doing that day. Yeah, we can do it in a day. Like you know, 20, 30 kids doing SDP in a day, getting done and going okay, what's next? And people are like what's that? Really say I was like, no, this is very much a statement. This is very much a glorious protesting statement. Let me let me remind you of why I'm here in this organization. You know it's it's so it's not just to be at the table and be quiet, it's it's like no, it's it's to be at the table, dismantle the table, question the other people that are at this table. Maybe we shouldn't have a table, maybe it should be a circle that we're all sitting around looking at one another, because we're all equal.

Tom Butler:

Yeah, and I think something you said earlier. You know, when you get out on a bike on the road, there is a level of equality there just kind of baked into. You're all sharing the same space, You're with the same things, and so I think that's a wonderful thing. What are some of the changes that you would like to see to make an area? You know there's a lot of people listening to this that aren't in Seattle, but I think that there's in many places. There's, you know, unfortunately, the same story of there are areas that are ignored. There are areas that are ignored, so I'm wondering what are some of the things that make a difference as far as, if you want to get more access, more equality, engage people in cycling that are normally not engaged in cycling? What are some of the things that can happen from an infrastructure?

Ed Ewing:

perspective to aid that From an infrastructure perspective more safer places to ride, you know, attention and also reframing of what a cyclist is or what the bike is used for. It may look different because the people are using the bike for basic transportation, not for recreation, you know doing. You know a group ride or a cascade ride is great and there's also a huge part of the population that are using the bicycle as basic transportation. So, having safe places to ride, not creating additional or separate infrastructure, but bike lanes, greenways, protected bike lanes it takes an added significance in the South End because again, you have two of the most dangerous streets in MLK and Rainier Beach in the South End. So that's a structural change. On a personal change, level of change is to embed these efforts, or an effort like BikeWorks or like Major Taylor, to embed those efforts in a community with sustainability in mind, in a community with sustainability in mind. So to partner with the community and then stay, just be in the community. And that's something that a lesson I learned from a person on our board now who runs a organization, white Center, and this was back in 07. She said, ed, if you're going to come to White Center with this effort, be prepared to stay and be prepared for us to tell you how to spend your money. In our community. There's a lot of efforts like this from well-intended nonprofits that will dive, bomb into a community for a year or two and then pull out, but that's very damaging. That's very damaging. So to change the mindset, change the intent, change the purpose, to create systemic change, to actually move the needle is to understand the community's existing vision, mission, goals and support those. And it may look different than your nonprofit, you know, but to understand that and understand, like, how the bike can help the community achieve their goals. And once you have that connection, then the bicycle is, is, like this, accepted means of how the organism, of how the community will, can achieve its goals, you know. So those are, those are the two of the things that I've learned is be prepared to stay, invest in the communities. And the investment is not it's a long-term, permanent investment. It's not a one to two year, two to five year, it's commit. And that's one thing that whenever we have conversations like this at BikeWorks or with possible partners, we are intentionally in Columbia City and we intentionally have focused on the South end and it's been a, you know, a 28 year focus for us. So we're we're leading by example. We're not saying that we have all the answers, we're just saying this is our focus. We can't be everything to all people. We we want to partner and embed ourselves in these communities, in these schools, and then stay, then stay. I mean that's part of the resilient community. And then what happens is we start hiring community members. Those community members become our board members and so the community members are our staff, and so then it becomes a true community-based community service organization that's there to support the goals of the community.

Ed Ewing:

And we're going through a process right now we're reimagining. Reimagining that as far as, like, our mission, vision, values. You know we're starting that work again because it's time. You know we've been 30 years with that and it's okay. Does that still resonate? Could be, but to have that continuous learning and re-imagining ourselves and how we engage and how we show up for community. But to me it's the true investment of the community. And the way you move the needle, the way you create change, systemic change, is to have clear intention that we're going to stay in this community and partner with the community, understand the community's needs and then deliver on that. It's not very glamorous, you know it's, it's, you know, I I said this at our annual gala it's like it's, it's the, it's the unsexy stuff, you know, but and it's, it's everyday real life. If you're in it for the sexy stuff, this, this isn't it. You know it's, it's, you know, and there's been plenty of that and it just doesn't serve the community doesn't serve.

Tom Butler:

It doesn't move the needle, it's self-serving, it's not community serving one of the things that's in the community is the bike works full service bike shop. Yeah, talk about the importance of that service and having where it is and having that be sustainable.

Ed Ewing:

Yeah, I mean the shop. We all started in the shop. I should say bike work started in the shop and all of our youth programming like earn a bike, summer programs, riding programs, all used to be in the yellow house. We're now in two buildings. We're in the yellow house, the bike shop buildings. We're in the yellow house, the bike shop. We're also in the hudson building in clemmy city and so all of our administrative offices plus, um, our classrooms where we teach youth and adult classes, are here. The warehouse where we process the six to eight thousand bikes a year is processed here as well.

Ed Ewing:

The shop. It serves a couple purposes. One we don't turn away anyone from service. If you can pay, great. If you can't pay, no problem. Our goal is to get you up and running.

Ed Ewing:

We have sliding scale pricing. We've always had that. We just last week rolled out what we're calling community pricing. And community pricing is if the actual price of the bike is this and then if you want to pay it forward, it's this price. But the minimum price is always our everyday minimum price and we hold that line pretty hard. Our shop rates, labor and service rates are the lowest in the city and they have been the lowest in the city for years, for years. If we raise any prices, it's a it's a pretty involved, deep conversation and we're very intentional about that and we're and we don't focus on the shop as being like this huge money maker. That is a unanimous decision at the board level and at the staff level. It's like, like you know, the shop is going to do what it does and we intentionally are that way, so it stays community minded. So anyone who comes in the shop is going to go out with their bike repaired and that they're up and running. If they can pay, great. If they can't pay, you know that's fine too. And so this community pricing allows people to afford a bike. It also allows them to see what the actual cost of the bike is. And if they can afford to pay that, great. And then if they want to pay it forward, there's a level they can pay as well.

Ed Ewing:

You know Columbia City has changed. You know there's a lot of new construction, a lot of people moving in, but that core foundation of the 98118 area code or zip code, which was at one time the most diverse zip code in the nation, that core is still here. So you have this really interesting blend of people here. A lot of people have moved to Columbia City or moved to Seattle for tech. You know where they may be able to pay that higher price and it's our responsibility to explain to them, hey.

Ed Ewing:

So number one, thank you. Number two here's where that additional funding, your additional payment, is going to go. It goes to fuel our adult programs, it goes to fuel our youth programs and here's an example of those youth programs and here's why we service. So there's an opportunity to educate as well. But the old house, it's like the heartbeat of Columbia City. You know, everybody knows it, it's great. So the yellow house, you know the shop, it's more than just a bike shop. You know it's a place for education, it's a place for community, it's a place to just come in and you know, and check it out. You know it's, it's, it's, it's pretty cool, yeah.

Tom Butler:

How would somebody stay connected with bike works and I'm thinking of people all over the country, all over North America. You know it's an interesting organization that's in the position to be uncovering things that can can make a real difference, and so you know people want to stay connected to what's going on. Or even go further I encourage people to do is to provide some support for BikeWorks. How would people get connected to that?

Ed Ewing:

You know, the best way is through our website. And, I'll be honest, communications is the next step that we're really going to beef up. We realized that we're doing a lot of great stuff, interesting stuff, and we are so busy that we could do a better job of communicating that to the greater community. Communicating that to the greater community, and so we are finally searching for a development director that has a communication background. We do have a staff member, that's time is split between grants and communication, but we need more. But right now, through our website, that's best. Also through social media. I have to admit I'm not. My Instagram prowess is pretty limited. Social media I have to admit I'm not. My Instagram prowess is pretty limited. So thank goodness that staff here, my colleagues are much younger than me in some cases. They do a much better job. So it's.

Ed Ewing:

But through our socials, through the website, through our newsletter, our website, just bikeworksorg, you know, we always are posting volunteer opportunities, just ways to get involved with the organization. We have community rides that we do a great job of announcing and those community rides are free and that's a really good way for people to engage or just stop by, you know, just stop by the shop, check it out and ask questions, and you know a lot of people come through that or look for our classes, like our adult classes or youth classes, summer camps. You know that's where a lot of people get introduced. You know, to us we see a much bigger opportunity to share our story and not in a braggadocious way, you know, just like hey, here's what we're doing. We're doing some pretty interesting things, you know, within different ways of engaging people, engaging the community, and we're pretty, pretty excited and proud of what we do. We all, we all have this continuing, you know, learning mindset. You know what. You know we we never have the answer. We're always evolving.

Tom Butler:

So, to wrap up here, what are some of the things you're personally looking forward to in your own cycling journey? Do you got some adventures coming up?

Ed Ewing:

Yeah, boy, I have had more fun on my bikes. I have 11 of them. I've had more fun in them in the last six years than I've had in my 40 years of bike racing. I know it's because of you, know, like the whole gravel thing and adventure riding it's just a lot of fun exploring. And I also think that you know my perspective has changed quite a bit. You know, bike racing, especially road racing, can be very cliquish, very elitist. It's tough to break in that. It's not a very welcoming sport.

Ed Ewing:

I think stepping out of that for a period of time and stepping back in, I've got kind of a foot in each camp. So the last couple of years I've been doing a lot of the long-distance gravel stuff, the multi-day, and every year I ask myself what, what do you want to do different? What's going to make you nervous? What's going to keep it exciting and fun for you? What's going to keep that that beginner's mindset?

Ed Ewing:

So this year I got back onto the, to the track, the velodrome, and I used to do a lot of track racing in the early 2000s for about 10 years and worked my way up from Cat 4 to Cat 2 and went back out there for my first race this past Saturday and it was a rude awakening, let's put it that way. Put it that way and also realizing that, you know, I'm 58. And a friend of mine that I've raced with since the mid-90s, he and Lee afterwards he's like Ed keep in mind these people in the Category 3s now they're half our age and so I was like, all right, I'll keep that in mind, you know. So that's, you know, spending the full season on the track. That's theified for me. I just feel grateful that I can. I can do it, you know, and and um, so it's, it's all out of appreciation, but the, the velodrome, that's, that's the goal this year.

Tom Butler:

That's awesome. I love that.

Ed Ewing:

I was just talking to a friend the other day about just training and how and she's new to biking, bike racing and hearing a lot of comments from people saying, oh my gosh, I think I'm over-trained or I'm so great. And to be able to step away for from it and or to be able to reframe it to where your results and what you do are not your identity, it's really comfortable being in that space yeah, this was such a perfect discussion.

Tom Butler:

I just loved hearing, like, everything that you had to say and your personal background and what Bike Works is doing. It's just you know. Again, I wanted to do something to wrap up National Bike Month in a good way and I think this conversation was perfect, so thank you so much for taking the time to join me.

Ed Ewing:

You're welcome. You're welcome, tom. It was great to spend time with you and share and also remind myself that in a few years I'll be 60.

Tom Butler:

Well, you're more than welcome in the Cycling Over 60 community, for sure.

Ed Ewing:

Thank you for the invitation.

Tom Butler:

All right, take care now.

Ed Ewing:

Bye-bye.

Tom Butler:

Bye-bye. I love that the bike can have such an impact on the lives of people. Ed talked about the bike as an equalizer. Now I would love to experience riding with a very diverse group of people just to see the power of cycling to make connections. I'm definitely going to try to make that kind of ride happen. I also need to think more about the bike as essential transportation. My bike is a source of health and relaxation and a way to experience the outdoors, but I have plenty of other ways to get around. I need to open myself up to ways that I can help support people who need a bike to simply make it through life, that I can help support people who need a bike to simply make it through life. Like Ed, I feel very fortunate that I am healthy enough to spend a bunch of time on a bike and I have the resources to purchase cycling equipment, but I do need to expose myself more to others that don't have the resources I have. I would love to hear about other efforts to support communities through cycling. Please send me an email or an Instagram message. You can find those links in the show notes, and the best way to share is through the Cycling Over 60 Strava Club. Jump in and start a conversation about the bike as a tool for social justice or anything else you want to share.

Tom Butler:

I want to briefly mention that Road Scholar let me know of a great program they are doing. On June 22nd to June 28th. They have an experience called the Heart of the Civil Rights Movement and your Family. This event has a multi-generational focus. If you want to know more about Road Scholar, I featured them on the March 14th episode and I will put a link in the show notes to the event information on the Road Scholar website. Consider contributing to the Cycling Over 60 National Senior Health and Fitness Challenge in the Strava Club. If not the challenge, I hope you find some special ways to wrap up National Bike Month and remember age is just a gear change. Bye.

Weekly Update
Cycling as Mediation
Ed Feeding His Soul
Working With Schools to Bring Opportunities
Addressing Systemic Inequality Through Bicycles
Infrastructure and Equal Access
The Bike Works Bike Shop
Wrap Up