Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle biked through the town last Friday as part of an event promoting cycling in the local community.
This bike ride was the second of its kind — in May, a similar event included town employees and community members, as well as the Carrboro Bicycle Coalition and the Clean Machine.
Lavelle said she aims to encourage cycling as a form of transportation available to local residents.
“So many of our staff members work on our goals and objectives of the town becoming more bicycle friendly,” Lavelle said. “And there’s no better way to see how to do that than to get out yourself on a bicycle and kind of see how it is to ride around town.”
Lavelle said she most appreciates seeing people rediscover the enjoyment of cycling through the events.
“I think one of my favorite parts is when someone rides who hasn’t ridden in a really long time,” she said. “And how excited they are to remember what it was like to ride a bike as a kid.”
Board of Aldermen member Bethany Chaney said she feels like the mayor lead by example through the bike ride.
“I think that Lydia gets out there and tries to demonstrate that it’s an important value that everyone can participate in,” Chaney said.
Chaney said many people in the local community actively cycle, and that the Carrboro Bicycle Coalition is actively involved in the promotion of cycling across Carrboro.
“It's a really, really active group of residents that are active cyclists," she said. "Some of them are competitive cyclists, others are just recreational cyclists. And others use cycling as their chief mode of transportation.”
Chaney said the Carrboro Bicycle Coalition has helped them find ways to incentivize and promote cycling in the area through thoughtful development planning.
“In all of our planning exercises, in all of our planning debates and development debates, both the planning board and the transportation advisory board really play an active role in advising the board as to whether bike parking and bike access is adequate in plans,” she said.
Heidi Perov Perry, a member of the Carrboro Bicycle Coalition, said the mayor’s ride advertises cycling to people in the local community.
“The mayor’s ride is basically a ride that brings the town staff and elected officials out to promote cycling as a healthy and clean form of transportation,” she said.
Perov said bicycles serve as an important form of alternative transportation, and that they can promote a healthier lifestyle, particularly for students and seniors in the Carrboro community.
“My favorite part of the bike ride is when there’s that long line of bikes filling an entire block of our town,” she said. “And everybody is smiling and even the people in the cars are waving at us, because it just looks like fun.”
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