Cruising and Schmoozing with the Mayor Elect

This morning I suddenly found myself chatting up the mayor-elect of my city.

Jerry Nabours showed up for the commuter ride that kicks off our local Bike to Work Week in Flagstaff, Arizona.

I knew it was Jerry Nabours because strapped to the frame of his Huffy single-speed cruiser he had a one of his campaign signs.

Jerry Nabours

I congratulated him on his recent electoral success, and told him about a fabulous Web site for bike commuters published from the very city over which he will soon preside.

I hadn’t planned on a political schmooze this morning, so I kind of winged it. I was slightly self-conscious about my Ridekick Powered Trailer, which is starting to look like the tailgate of a Prius station wagon in Berkeley.

Ted's Ridekick Powered Bike Trailer

Nabours is a Republican who ran on a platform of a fiscal conservatism. Hopefully I wasn’t pegged as a hippie before I’d ever opened my mouth.

Crap. I wore sandals today too.

Well, during the course of the ride he had lots of opportunities to ditch me and talk to the other cyclists. I wasn’t trying to buttonhole the poor man. We pretty much talked the whole time. He seemed interested in my experience lobbying Congress — something he’ll probably be doing eventually. I told him that the message I’ve taken to meetings in Congress (twice now) is about the local economic benefits of cycling. I told him that I moved to Flagstaff only after learning that it was a bike friendly community — that the city would have at least one less voter/homeowner/taxpayer if not for the efforts the city has made — and continues to make — to encourage biking and walking.

As I was telling him that I work for a local business in the cycling industry with worldwide reach, well look, there was the entrepreneur himself with his baby daughter standing by the side of the road — taking my picture as I took his. Couldn’t have planned that better.

Josh, Ted, and Jerry

Maybe Nabours will even remember me the next time we meet.

I’ll have plenty of fiscal-conservative cycling fodder for him. I’ll be ready.

Here’s partial reading list:

He might not need this information at all. Maybe he’s on board. I just met the guy. After all, he participated in today’s bike commute.

But when I see him again, I’ll try not to be in sandals.

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