For those of you out there who care about cyclists and cycling, I need
This story is about my former second life partner Riin Gill. If you're
reading this, that means that you either:
1. Are on one of the cycling/carfree groups Riin was once a member of,
2. Know me personally,
3. Know Riin personally,
4. Posted a comment to Riin's Rants (her blog), in the past or
5. Have a blog/podcast that Riin reads/listens to regularly.
Riin used to be an avid cyclist. However, since breaking up with me in
March, she's given up on cycling. On her "100 Things About Me" section
on her blog, she says, "Cycling was having some unpleasant associations
for me (aside from having people honk, yell, and swear at me several
times per trip), and I just [don]’t need it." Unfortunately, based on
what she's said on her blog, most of those "unpleasant associations"
are apparently my fault. :(
In my opinion, the cycling community can't afford to lose people like
Riin has been almost solely responsible for the preservation of the
work of cycling advocate Ken Kifer after his senseless death at the
hands of a drunk driver in 2003. Most notably, she took on the
responsibility of preserving and maintaining Ken's website. Ken's Bike
Pages have been one of the most famous online resources for cycling
advice, known worldwide. Even the club manual for Velo Cape Breton, my
local cycling club, makes reference to these pages and their useful
Riin was also involved in many cycling advocacy efforts, most notably
providing important safety data on door zone collisions to the Ann
Arbor Bicycle Coordinating Committee when they had plans to build bike
lanes that would encourage cyclists to ride too close to parked cars.
Her own bike pages, though not as extensive as Ken's, remain a
wonderful primer for the beginner.
We are losing a major force in the cycling community. Granted, she has
the right to leave cycling if she wishes but, in turn, we as cyclists
also have a right to fight for her to stay. I believe a fight to
regain such a valuable member of the cycling cause is well worth the
That's why I'm writing to you today. I believe something has to be
done to get Riin back on that saddle. I wish I could reach her myself
but, unfortunately, Riin totally ignores me since our breakup. She
won't listen to me. However, a vast majority of you reading this now
are people who Riin respects and will listen to.
Let's remind her of how much she used to love cycling. Let's remind
her of the joy it brought her. Let's not let her throw it away only
because of those few unfortunate people who yell at her when she's out
on the road, or because of my misguided attempts to "improve" her
cycling (that's one of my greatest regrets :(). Let's show Riin that
the cyclists out there still love her. Let's not let her give up.
Let's remind her that the cycling community needs her, and others like
You can reach her through her blog:
There's an E-mail link at the right, just under the link to "100 Things
People like her help us change the world... one person at a time.
John A. Ardelli