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Cyclists want to be seen and heard while commuting, racing, touring, or cruising because it decreases the chance of getting into an accident. Why wouldn’t we want to be heard in this year’s election? Earn-A-Bike Co-op and Women’s Wrench Night encouraged cyclists to join them at Lion’s Field Park (a popular voting site located on Broadway Street) to Ride2Vote. The parking lot was filled with food trucks and a DJ spun some tunes to get attendees in the mood to do the unthinkable and actually vote. *gasp*
Unfortunately, though the event was well-organized with moderate public awareness of its existence, not many voters/cyclists showed up – only about 15. The event took place during early voting operating hours of the polling site which stays open until 6 p.m. Early voting closes on Tuesday, June 9. Monday and Tuesday, polling sites open at 8 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. All the amenities except a personal pedi-cab ride to and from the polling site were arranged. San Antonio has a ways to go to improve its voter turnout rates.
I spoke with Edith Lopez Estrada, Earn-A-Bike board member and founder of the Women’s Wrench Night. She had a positive outlook on the event.
“If we just get five people who were not going to vote to (instead) vote, I think it’s a success. That makes a difference.”
Teacher and local cyclist Rachel McDevitt said it’s her duty as a citizen to vote.
“I love riding my bike,” she said. “I thought (this event) was a good way to develop awareness about voting and things I care about like using alternative forms of transportation.”
McDevitt said contrary to popular belief, voters have impact on local issues.
“I think (low voter turnout) is a disconnect about how much impact we have on issues. We do have a lot of impact on local issues, even if it’s one thing that you care about, and trying to follow a candidate based on that … I think that’s a good place to start,” she said. “I think a lot of people just don’t think about (voting) and we have to make it a habit like other things we do like going to the dentist or going for a walk.”
Or attending an event with music and food trucks at a public park like Ride2Vote.
One thing I can promise all of you that are on the fence about voting; it’s easy. Click here to find polling locations and election information.
*Featured/top image: Rachel McDevitt holds up a #RIDE2VOTE sticker. Photo by Scott Ball.