When our Founder went to the sending off party for then Director of MassBike David Watson at Ride Studio Cafe, he did not expect to meet David's replacement, but that is exactly what happened. There behind the Ride Studio Cafe bar handing out drinks and chatting up the revelers stood the new Director of MassBike, Richard Fries. Our Founder being the mingler he is and possessing the desire to see Brockton and the Greater Brockton Area become a cycling mecca, took that opportunity to engage the new Director. During their conversation our Founder passed Richard his business card and asked him to come ride Brockton with him so that the new Director could understand the riding conditions Brockton cyclist face daily. A few weeks passed and then finally our Founder received an email from Richard asking to take that ride. Understandably our Founder was excited and emails flew back and forth trying to determine when their schedules were in alignment to hold the ride. Finally April 22nd was decided to be the day the ride was to take place.
As April 22nd approached our Founder reached out to Brockton city officials and local cyclist to gather up people to join the ride and share their experiences riding Brockton with the new Director. The route selected was a small tour of Brockton taking the group through all the neighborhoods of the city for a good holistic understanding of riding conditions. The route included hills, highly trafficked roads, and rough riding conditions due to a lack of street maintenance. As the group rode Richard interacted with all participants, getting to know each one to understand their experience riding Brockton and what their desires were about improving cycling in the city. Our Founder and Richard discussed the issues of speeding, a lack for respect for cyclist on the road, and just the general all over attitude within the city and the Greater Brockton Area that bicycle do not belong on the roads. It was no surprise to our Founder after the ride Richard praised Brockton for being a city that could become a cycling hot spot.
At the conclusion of the ride and arrival at 70 School St, Richard spoke with the Director and Assistant Director of the Old Colony Planning Council expressing his belief Brockton has the right stuff to be a bicycle city. From there we headed to Elvera's Cafe for some lunch and coffee and to speak further about Brockton's potential. The conversation was exciting and encouraging. Richard expressed his believe in Brockton and his amazement in the city. He spoke on how he could see high quality bicycle infrastructure could be implemented within the city due to its very wide roads and its urban density. He spoke further about ways he was looking to move MassBike forward and increase it available funding to advocate for more bicycle infrastructure and bicycle friendly policy throughout the Commonwealth. We then ended our lunch meeting back at the offices of the Old Colony Planning Council where he expressed his desire to form a South Shore chapter of MassBike. Our Founder suggested strongly that the seat of this new chapter reside in Brockton, and he feels Richard agreed. From there everyone said their good byes and off we all went.
Since this initial meeting our Founder has followed up with Richard expressing his desire to move the process of making Brockton a cycling mecca forward. We can say here with confidence that our Founder is going to be pushing for this South Shore chapter of MassBike to be established and for its seat of operation to be located in Brockton. This is only the beginning folks, its going to be an awesome ride.