What a year! When I was sitting at a table on the deck at Washington Perk in September 2014 for an after-ride beer and I suggested that we do a Halloween festival, I had no idea it would turn into a job, but I’m glad it did! After experiencing everything we did this year, it’s hard to imagine doing anything else.
This year has been a real year of discovery for us at BeersNGears. What I knew coming into it is Winston-Salem desperately needed a bridge built. The gap from person in spandex to person on the couch had to be spanned for Camel City to fully embrace cycling for how truly great it is. How great is it? The bicycle has been a champion for Women’s rights, a means of opportunity to grow yourself or community around the world, still the most efficient form of moving people around, and more. What I know better after this year is how to start building that bridge.
We have been involved in many community events like the Earth Day Fair, Walk & Roll, National Bike to Work Day, the annual Ride of Silence, and SciWorks’ Fix It Fair to name a few. We’ve also hosted several of our own events including Discover Your City, Open Bike Night, Toys for Tots – Toy Drive and Ride, Merry and Bright – Holiday Lights Ride, and our 2nd annual HalloWheels Festival. And we have had our “advocacy app” running in the background the whole time.
We have been meeting with other cycling advocates and some city staff once a month to stay current on everything that’s been going on regarding legislation and cycling infrastructure here in Winston and at the state and national levels. We were there when the city needed to see support for a multi-use path proposal through downtown, and we made sure everyone who follows us knew when the NC General Assembly tried to make it harder for us to create more bike lanes.
We’ve learned, we’ve grown, we were able to further develop our branding with a hand-drawn logo by local artist, Dumptruck Junior. We made some big changes to the website and are looking forward to having a webstore up next year along with many other projects already in the works.
This year has been amazing, thanks to all the riders, businesses, municipal partners that supported us! Stay tuned, next year is going to be even better.