Project Details

Bike Macon is a group that will meet monthly to coordinate quarterly interventions to make four neighborhoods more livable. We will connect neighbors across East, West and Downtown Macon by using fun and creativity to help make residents more comfortable with walking and biking around town. After coordinating four events, the group will transform into Macon's bicycle coalition, representing a diversity of community members, leaders and organizations committed to making Macon more bikeable, walkable and connected through advocacy and education.

Rachel Hollar's Biography

 

Project Update

bikemacon logoFebruary 2016
The support and participation in Bike Macon continues to grow. Several members are now encouraging Bike Macon to take on bolder advocacy and bike policy leadership roles by working with local stakeholders to create a comprehensive cycling plan for Macon. Rachel and her group are now leading the organization of Macon's first Open Streets event in partnership with the City and the Macon-Bibb County Urban Development Authority.

bikemaconhalloween

October 2015
Bike Macon hosted its first official Bike Party on October 23rd. In honour of the season, the group rode an eight-mile route through 

Macon in Halloween costumes with a pit stop for music, pizza, and a costume contest at the Macon-Bibb Parks and Beautification Office. The event concluded at Oak Haven Park where participants enjoyed a family movie night featuring Beetlejuice. >> more

August 2015
Rachel hosted the kick-off meeting for Bike Macon, a new community group that will advocate for safer cycling infrastructure in Macon. Over 50 enthusiastic people attended the meeting, despite a game-time decision to cancel an inaugural bike ride due to poor weather. The group aims to connect neighbors across Macon by using fun and creativity to help make residents more comfortable with walking and biking around town. In a matter of weeks, Rachel and her team of volunteers have become the community voice for all things cycling in Macon. >> more

Media
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Click here for a complete list of media coverage for Bike Macon

 

Photo: Bike Macon

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Being Bold to Make an Impact

 

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Photo Credit: Maryann Bates

Participation in a pink-themed bike parade during Downtown Macon's annual Cherry Blossom Festival introduced me to the convenience and benefits of using alternative transportation to move around town. After that quirky and social event, I began exploring my city every day by bike. I was having fun and spending more time outdoors and I wanted my neighbors to start having fun as well.

I came to the 8 80 Studio with a simple project inspired by my recent interest in biking; I would coordinate four creative events in four different neighborhoods downtown to introduce my neighbors to biking and walking in a fun and social way to help them feel safer and more connected. I hoped that through these events, a collective voice of people would form and transform into a bike coalition group for our city.

Thanks to 8 80 Cities, I was invited to spend four days collaborating with a diversity of civic innovators passionate about transforming their cities. The 8 80 staff, speakers, workshop leaders, and other Champions equipped me with an abundance of skills and knowledge to help make my city a more livable place through my bike project. They also challenged me to be more aggressive and bold in my approach.

The encouragement of my peers and Gil Penalosa's inspiring message to have a "sense of urgency" contributed to a drastic change to the timeline of my project. I could not spend the year talking and thinking about starting a bike coalition. I had to create it now. I had to be a leader, start a group, and gain the support of Maconites to advocate for the needs of pedestrians over cars now.

The decision to be more bold in my approach is creating a movement. Bike Macon may only have a website, a logo, and a few voices, but I have already experienced an overwhelming amount of support and interest from community members, organizations, and neighboring bike coalitions in Georgia. We will soon have enough voices to start promoting the need for safer and open streets to our city officials. I am amazed by the interest to make our city happier and healthier and confident that Bike Macon will help create a more vibrant community with safer streets for everyone.

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