‘Bike Macon’ advocacy group rolls into first meeting

Bicycle enthusiasts and other street travelers are invited to hit the road Tuesday evening for a meeting of a new cycling advocacy group.

A ride from Rose Park launches the group’s journey toward making the community safer, healthier and more vibrant.

Those interested in cycling to the inaugural gathering can meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the park at the corner of Columbus and Orange streets, which is between the Medical Center, Navicent Health, and Mount de Sales Academy.

After a 30-minute, easy-paced ride through downtown, the Bike N’ Beers meeting begins at Just Tap’d at 488 First St. on the corner of Poplar Street.

Those not wanting to peddle to the pub can join the riders there at 7 p.m.

Organizers want to develop plans to make the city more “walkable and bikeable,” spokeswoman Rachel Hollar said.

“We will roll out from Rose Park to bring attention to a public space some people may not notice in their cars,” Hollar stated in a release. “We plan to work with local organizations like Corner Concerts to highlight hidden public spaces at all of our meetings and events.”

The group will also listen to recorded suggestions gathered by “The Listening Post” project, which asked people to fill in this blank: “I would feel more comfortable biking in Macon if ... .”

Anyone wishing to answer the question can call 478-202-2500 and leave a message or text “Bike” to that number along with your written response.

Tuesday, speakers from College Hill Alliance and Bear Bikes also will share thoughts on their biking initiatives during the meeting.

The organization is supported by the Canadian-based 8 80 Cities Emerging City Champions Foundation, which is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

“Through community leadership and inclusive engagement, Macon can become a city that embraces walking and cycling as an essential part of its transportation network,” Ryan O’Connor, Project Manager at 8 80 Cities, said in the release.

The advocacy group wants to foster a fun forum accessible to all community stakeholders interested in making streets safer.

To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303