What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

27 August 2012

Public Speaking and Bicycles

It's been an exciting weekend in Austin for bike-related stuff. And I was right in the middle of at least some of it.

This weekend was also the Hotter'N Hell 100, a massive bike ride in Wichita Falls, TX, that draws thousands of cyclists from all over the country. When my employer asked if Chad and I would like to go (I work for BikeTexas part-time now, instead of merely volunteering), we decided that we didn't. Neither of us is that keen on long car trips or huge crowds, plus it was my final weekend before starting grad school (which starts TODAY, btw. Yikes!), and I wanted to relax and enjoy it, not be running around working. Plus, BikeTexas didn't need my help; ten people from the office went to run the booth and whatnot. So I stayed home.

Chad was my official photographer!
Here we're all waiting for our turn to
speak. L to R: Austin City Council
Member Chris Riley, me, and Austin
Bike Program Manager Annick Beaudet.
However. On Friday the local transit system opened a new bike shelter at one of the train stations, and the city had a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new set of cycletracks (separated bike lanes). These events happened at 9:15 and 10:30, respectively. As the lone person available to represent BikeTexas, I was duly selected and sent.

It was really fun. I had one minute to speak at the bike shelter opening, of which I took about 45 seconds, because I talk fast. I got up to the podium, and the microphone was pointed waaaaay up, because the person speaking before me is really tall. I didn't bother trying to adjust; I just stood on my tiptoes and talked loudly so the mic would pick me up. The CEO of the transit system had to step over and lower the microphone for me. I don't always represent BikeTexas, but when I do, I'm completely inept with the technology.

Here's the schmoozing bit. Me with
Chris Riley.
Anyway, we (Chad and I) hung around schmoozing with the local dignitaries and CapMetro officials until the southbound train came clanging down the track and pretty much everyone there had to hop aboard for our next event. Yep, it was a lot of the same people at both things. We got the train downtown, and most of the city officials and other local bicycle advocacy people took off on their bicycles to get to the ribbon cutting. But, Chad is bicycle-free, so we walked to the nearest bus and took it instead. We got there just a few minutes after the city and other advocacy people, so transit turned out to be a pretty good deal.

Riding my bike! On a
cycletrack! In a skirt!
People spoke (not me this time!), they cut the ribbon, and we all jumped on our bikes to try out the new cycletrack. It works!

So! I spoke in public for the first time in ages, nobody fell down (except Chad, getting on one of the buses), and we're only a little bit sunburnt. Great day.

What's your latest adventure?


Tim said...

You spoke well despite the microphone gaff…nice job

Susan Wilcox said...

Thanks! Afterwards, Chad said, "Only you would just stand on your tiptoes instead of fixing the microphone." Yep. :)