Anne-Marije Rook
Mayor Mike McGinn was presented with an official UW cycling jersey on Saturday, October 15, and welcomed as an honorary club member. CLICK ON IMAGE TO START SLIDESHOW.

Mayor becomes honorary member of the UW cycling team

Mayor Mike McGinn rode out to meet members of the University of Washington cycling club on their first team ride of the fall semester on Saturday, Oct 15.

Club president Genevieve Gebhart thanked the mayor for his efforts in making Seattle a safer city to cyclists and presented him with an official UW cycling jersey, welcoming him as an honorary club member.

McGinn, a graduate of the UW School of Law, felt honored to receive the jersey but kindly declined the offer to join the club on a ride, claiming he'd quickly be left behind.

"Unlike you guys, I ride for transportation," he said.

In his address to the club, McGinn recalled bike commuting to school during his own college days, and called on the students for help.

"All of you are experienced and brave riders but most people aren't that way," he said as he expressed the need for Neighborhood Greenways to make cycling safer and more convenient.

"We are at a time of extraordinary transition," McGinn said, explaining that with the price of filling up gas tanks, car insurance, and maintenance, many can't afford to drive a car.

Many people are riding their bikes not out of ideological reasons but rather because it's economical and ecological.

"The money they are not spending on a car, they spend on their homes, education, kids, health and a higher quality of life," he said.

McGinn said that biking is the fastest growing form of transportation but while the city is trying to accommodate that growth, people are getting angry.

"The 'war on cars'/'war on bikes' is not helping anyone get home safely," McGinn said and referenced the tragic death of Mike Wang who was bike commuting home when he was killed by a hit-and-run driver.

McGinn called for an end to the angry anti-car, anti-bike rhetoric and asked people to speak up and be conscious of and courteous to your fellow road users - the cars, bikers, and pedestrians.

Gebhart said that safe streets is an important issue for the club members, all of whom bike often and many don't own a car.

"Having him here and address these issues sets a good tone to the year," she said.

We encourage our readers to comment. No registration is required. We ask that you keep your comments free of profanity and keep them civil. They are moderated and objectionable comments will be removed.