Meet the Board - Elise Alexander

Did you know you can  bike  the Boston Marathon the night before? Elise did.

Did you know you can bike the Boston Marathon the night before? Elise did.

Where are you from?/ Where have you lived? How long have you been in Baton Rouge? I grew up in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado. I moved to Cambridge, MA for college (and for the excellent bike lanes!) After graduating this May I traveled a bit, spent some time back in Colorado, and moved down to Baton Rouge in July.

Advocacy/volunteering/non-profit background: Advocacy-wise, I've worked in disability and education advocacy in activities from lobbying on Capitol Hill to writing letters of support/opposition on behalf of an organization to organizing community events to call and write to elected officials. I've also participated in my fair share of rallies and protests.

What do you like best about biking? What's your ideal bike ride or day of bike riding? I love how connected to my surroundings I feel when biking around. This is pretty specific, but the sounds you pick up on while out biking (versus when you're enclosed in a car and drown them out with the radio) always really excite me. It's neat to get that sense of your community in an otherwise-mundane task like commuting to work or running errands. I also love the feeling of pedaling hard up a hill and the sweet payoff of gliding back down - even in a relatively flat city!

The perfect day of riding for me would involve a bunch of good friends, not too much humidity, and some sweet views along the way. There'd be a picnic break at some point in there too. I also have a dream of biking to New Orleans and back...someday!

What would you, personally, like to do as a board member of Bike Baton Rouge? I'd like to help grow Bike BR's membership as both a community of people who like to ride and an engaged bunch of advocates who together can impact the biking landscape in this city. I'd also love to help grow the events Bike BR has put on in the past and think about ways to make them even better. As someone who just moved to Baton Rouge, I think these events have a lot of value in bringing people together to have a good time riding and to demonstrate the bike community of our town.

What would you like to see Bike Baton Rouge do over the next year? I would like to see the organization engage with people in Baton Rouge who might not, for a variety of reasons, see biking as a safe and viable way to get around and get outside. Part of that means advocating for expanded bike lanes, safe driving around bikers, and other concrete changes to improve the biking experience here. The part that excites me the most, though, is the cultural change around biking becoming a mainstream form of transit. I think that happens by building community through continued group riding and social media engagement, spreading the word about the great bike infrastructure that already is in place here, and growing a grassroots group of bikers that can lead this movement of safe and accessible biking around Baton Rouge.