Thank you for five great years

Five years ago I came to WABA with a list of priorities that I believed the organization should pursue to make biking safer and more popular throughout the region. For the last five years, I have led the organization, systematically realizing those priorities in pursuit of our mission. Today, it is with a great sense of pride in our accomplishments and in recognition of the need for new priorities and new challenges—both for WABA, and for me—that I write to tell you that at the end of June I will be stepping down as WABA’s Executive Director. There is only so long one’s transportation, recreation, and occupation can overlap so significantly before one’s mind starts to look outside for new things to learn, new challenges to address, and new ways to contribute. I am immeasurably grateful to the WABA board, staff, and members for supporting the priorities that brought me to the organization. We have worked every day, many nights, and countless weekends to make biking available to all the region’s residents as a tool to access opportunity, not just a niche cause. And while there is a long way to go, I am proud of our work to grow and diversify the region’s biking community, while also doing the hard work to make every person safer while riding. Take away the fancy words and that’s what it’s all about: making biking safe and popular. And it’s been a privilege to make that my mission for a half-decade in the city and region that I love. I am sad to be leaving WABA. It is a wonderful organization and this is a wonderful job. But it is time for a new direction. As I consider and seek that new challenge and new way to contribute, I want to thank each of you for your support. I have had the privilege of knowing that whatever I have done here at WABA, I have had the support of tens of thousands of people behind me. For that, I am incredibly grateful. And, please, remember that even when you’re out there riding alone, you are part of the WABA community. With every turn of the pedals, you have tens of thousands of people behind you, should you need them. The best part of this job has been coming to know that with absolute certainty. In the coming weeks, the WABA board will be conducting an open search for WABA’s next Executive Director. The position description is here, and I encourage everyone reading this to take a moment to reflect on whether you are the person WABA needs next. Again, thank you. If you have questions or concerns, reply to this email. Or catch me at Bike to Work Day or Tour de Fat. It’s nearly Bike Month, after all, and I plan to truly enjoy this one. Best, Shane