The truth is that the longer I step away, the harder it is to come back. Like the screw holding up the dusty shelf down in the basement that nobody’s thought to bother with for twenty-eight years, it’s going to take some elbow grease to get things turning smoothly again.

But really. October? It’s been that long?

Well. Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukkah. Happy New Year! I’d been in the middle of talking about how the stories we tell matter when life overtook me, and I have more to say about that (you notice how I didn’t promise a date this time? I’m learning!).

Right now, though, I’d like to tell you about a few things that are happening in my own fair city.

The Holland Area Cycle Coalition is the great new thing I’ve been spending most of my free time on (link is to the Facebook page; the website is to come). Per our mission statement:

Our goal is to make the greater Holland, Michigan area safer for all types of bicycling, integrating biking into the infrastructure and soul of these communities.

Basically, we just want to rider our bikes, and make it so our neighbors and kids can do it, too.

We’ve also been discussing if we want to broader our goals to include broader livability measures, like walkability and working with Safe Routes to School. We’ve elected a Founding Board, which I’m chairing, that has been tasked with getting the organization up and running. The two committees we’ve decided to start with are engineering (addressing infrastructure) and education (addressing public education and outreach). We pulled those categories from the League of American Bicyclists’ infographic on The Building Blocks of a Bicycle-Friendly Community. Both of these have chairs and are recruiting members. If you’re interested, please leave a message on the Facebook page!

There are good things happening in the city already that we’re trying to encourage in a more bicycle-friendly direction. Central Avenue is going to be rebuilt this coming year and will include some kind of bicycle accommodations in one section, either sharrows or bike lanes. Of course, we’d like to see that include all sections with real bike lanes, to make more of the city accessible to more people. We’re coming late to the process so we’ll have to see how it goes, but I’ll say this – it’s been a long time since I’ve felt so encouraged at what I see happening around me. Friends on bicycles – you are not alone!

And that’s all the time I have for today. One of the things I’m learning is the fine art of imperfection – and today, published is going to need to be better than perfect.