Who are you and where are you from?
I'm Alaric Haag, a native of Baton Rouge whose passions include music, my friends, and of course, riding!
Why do you love bicycling?
Many reasons, but, as a road cyclist, one is surely that moment when I stop along a backroad, perhaps at a country crossroad 30 miles from where I started, and I can't say for certain what parish I'm now in, but I realize I got there on a bicycle. It is also, for me, a fitness activity that keeps me healthy, and clears my head.
Why did you join the Bike Baton Rouge board?
I was given the Advocacy Chair on the board of the Baton Rouge Bike Club, which promotes road cycling, to act as a sort of liaison between the two organizations, which engage in different cycling activities, but clearly have common goals. I was honored to be placed on the Bike BR board, and hope I can provide a positive influence on its mission.
What do you see YOUR role as with Bike Baton Rouge?
My own goal is to bring a perspective to each of Bike BR and the BRBC that enhances both organizations and bridges their respective aims. For Bike BR, I look to be an independent voice, sometimes a "devil's advocate", but always a force that moves its goals forward.
What do you do and what are you good at?
The day job involves IT work which requires a lot of creative problem-solving. I tend to quickly see the many sides of a problem and am able to "cut to the chase" to find a solution. Hopefully I can apply this constructively to the issues that face Bike BR.
What would you consider the greatest challenge to bicycling in Baton Rouge?
There seems to be an "us vs them" attitude between cyclists and automobile drivers that serves no one any good. My desire is to develop a culture of communication about cycling that connects the factions among cyclists and bridges the cyclists with the larger Baton Rouge community. I want to develop resources that foster communication about cycling in Baton Rouge so that the attitudes become more of a "conversation" and less of an "argument".
What will bicycling in Baton Rouge look like in 1/5/20 years time?
I'm encouraged by the growth of cycling infrastructure in Baton Rouge, but is has come slowly. Some large-scale bike trails are currently in the works (Capital Area Pathways Project, LSU Lakes redevelopment) and bike lanes are beginning to be included in roadway development (Greenway, Nicholson Dr south). These have the potential to transform the city over the next five years, and once people get a taste, I expect momentum will grow for more of this development.
What is does your 'ideal' day of bike riding in Baton Rouge look like?
Meeting friends on a clear blue sky day, riding around the LSU Lakes, neighborhoods, doing the levee trail, maybe even heading out to Alligator Bayou and back, but all the while soaking in the wildlife, beauty, and good times with friends that you only get on two wheels!
Anything else you'd like to mention?
I'm humbled by what I see Bike BR, a purely volunteer-run organization, is doing, and feel fortunate for the opportunity to contribute however I can.
EDITOR'S NOTE :
You can find out more about the Baton Rouge Bike Club at their website and on their Facebook page.