Have you moved to Portland recently? Wondering how to get involved in local bike advocacy but aren’t sure where to start? Then follow Perry Fellman’s lead and get ready to dive right in.
Perry moved here just about a year ago from New York State. On our country’s other coast, Perry had been a long time bicycling supporter and activist. He joined the League of American Bicyclists in 1987, and in 1996 he became a certified League Cycling Instructor. With his member status and LCI certification in hand, Perry was an active member of the New York bicycling community and helping people feel more confidant and safe riding bikes. And with decades of bike supporter experience, it’s no wonder Perry has been a huge help to the BTA. In August Perry received our New Comer’s Volunteer Award, for his help and enthusiasm at our summer commuter stations and membership drive.
When Perry isn’t helping pass out Clif Bars at Commuter Stations, you can find him out exploring Portland by bike. “I’m still exploring Portland,” he responded when asked where his favorite place to ride was. “Every place is a new place, every place is a new place to share. There is so much variety within 50-60 miles.” Perry enjoys riding around the region with friends and family, and thus far his favorite Portland riding experience has been Bridge Pedal. “I rode with my family, friends, and 5 year old nephew on the 6 bridge route.”
And what better way to share his love of bicycling than with family and friends. Perry says he loves riding his bike because of its versatility. On a bike you can “commute, race, workout, interact with the environment, see and smell things, talk to people, check out new food carts and explore,” he said. “It’s hard to do that on any one mean of transportation, but a bike works most of the time. Plus, Portland is a bicycling city.”
Before wrapping up our chat, I asked Perry what knowledge he’d like to pass on to other riders from his experience riding. After a small pause he said, “We all check the air pressure in our tires, our chains, and brakes, and we look in the mirror everyday to check ourselves. But when was the last time you checked your helmet?” As a long time bicycling advocate, Perry wants to be sure to encourage everyone to check their helmets before riding, because it is often a forgotten detail that could save your life.
Inspired by Perry’s story? You too can be a BTA super supporter by joining the Bicycle Transportation Alliance today. Members strengthen our voice to ensure law makers and city officials make key investments in active transportation infrastructure. They also help us invest in the next generation of safe bicyclists by teaching 2nd and 5th graders across the region bicycle and pedestrian safety. Or give back with your time by volunteering, just like Perry! Sign up for our volunteer listserv and join us at an upcoming volunteer event. We’d love to have you join us any way you can.