Well Oklahoma City, it’s been a great run, but unfortunately my time in this city is rapidly coming to an end. In just under a month I will be starting a new job in Detroit, Michigan.
For those of you out there who don’t know me, my name is Eric Dryer and I started BikeOKC over a year and a half ago. I came to Oklahoma almost four years ago from Michigan to try to make the United States National rowing team and go to grad school at the University of Oklahoma. My wife (who is also from Michigan) and I ended up getting good jobs and liking Oklahoma City so much that we decided to stay. I currently work for the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments as a transportation planner and, as a resident of Midtown, I am able to ride my bike to work every day. After a few months of bike commuting, I started BikeOKC as a way to get those who live in areas around Downtown OKC to ride their bikes as a form of transportation. My main goal with the site has been to encourage the “casual cyclist”, someone who isn’t interested in riding 30 miles in spandex, rather someone who wants to ride three miles to the shops or to grab lunch, to ride their bikes.
Since starting BikeOKC, I truly believe that more people are using their bikes as a mode of transportation. This could be due to the increase of millenials looking to leave their cars at home or from the improvements the city has made in cycling infrastructure or maybe people have been inspired by this blog. Whatever the real reason is, it makes me happy to see a bunch of bikes locked up in front of Elemental Coffee or seeing a group of people riding through Midtown on cruiser bikes enjoying a nice day. I hope that this momentum will continue with the increase in downtown housing, more people riding, and safer infrastructure.
As I said before, my wife and I are moving back to my home state because of a great job opportunity that I have accepted in Detroit. It will be hard to leave this city, especially all of my friends and the other great people I have met here. That being said, I want BikeOKC to continue on after I leave. This blog and twitter account have sort of become an unofficial bike advocacy organization for Oklahoma City. The brand recognition has already been established and it is becoming more popular every day. I want cyclists to have a voice in this town and I would hate for those who share this passion to have to start from scratch. I will be actively looking for someone, or a few people, to take over the site. If you are interested in continuing BikeOKC, please leave a comment below and I will get in touch with you.
I’ll leave you all with a mission to carry on: Encourage your friends, family, and acquaintances to go on a bike ride, even if it is just around the block. The more comfortable people feel riding, the more they will do it.