Rahel's Yay Bikes! Journey

Yay Bikes! Journeys recount how Yay Bikes! is transforming lives and communities, from the perspective of those we’ve impacted. In this installment, we hear from Yay Bikes! Board Member Rahel Babb about how Yay Bikes! has helped Columbus feel like home.

 The one, the only: Rahel!

The one, the only: Rahel!

I started riding primarily to reduce my car emissions.
I kept riding because of all the friends I’ve made and adventures
I’ve had along the way.
— Rahel Babb

RIDING FOR THE EARTH: "It's important to me that my lifestyle choices align with my personal and professional values. I started riding my bike for cleaner air."

As someone who works in the environmental field, sustainability-related concerns are paramount to Rahel Babb. And one way to pollute less is to drive less (duh). So when she began working at the Lazarus Building in Downtown Columbus, Rahel started riding to work with her colleague, Kelly, and slowly figuring out how to ride home on her own. 

 Rahel's sometimes office.

Rahel's sometimes office.

 Rahel, second from left, with colleagues who also participated in 2012's National Bike Challenge. 

Rahel, second from left, with colleagues who also participated in 2012's National Bike Challenge. 

JOINING UP WITH FELLOW CYCLISTS: "After a while it seemed a natural progression to join the community of cyclists that was beginning to emerge in Columbus." 

Some time after Rahel and Kelly had mastered their daily commute they stumbled upon news of Yay Bikes!' new Year of Yay! ride series and decided to try it out. Rahel and her husband were still relatively new to town and to Rahel it seemed like a great way to get more deeply involved in the community. And then: SHAZAM! She loved it. Soon she was helping lead Year of Yay! rides when asked (and definitely not ever accidentally leading us the wrong way...cough cough...ahem... :), and eventually coordinating others to support the rides as well.

 Rahel, in green, on an early Year of Yay! ride. 

Rahel, in green, on an early Year of Yay! ride. 

VOLUNTEERING FOR ALL THE THINGS: "Volunteer for all Yay Bikes! programs helps me stay in touch with how much of a difference we're making in people's lives."  

Given all her excellent work supporting a Year of Yay!, Rahel was invited to join the Yay Bikes! board in March 2015; she was elected Secretary in 2016. Each year, Rahel commits to volunteering with every Yay Bikes! program, to stay in touch with what we offer the community and how it touches people's lives. She does it all—parks bikes; organizes, leads, sweeps and coordinates volunteers for rides; supports advocacy efforts; helps plan fundraising events; etc. Her involvement has given her countless opportunities to serve, lead and impact her community, and meet some amazing people along the way. 

 Rahel, center, on the night she joined the Yay Bikes! board in March 2015.

Rahel, center, on the night she joined the Yay Bikes! board in March 2015.

 Rahel, center, reviewing a map of proposed changes to Downtown Columbus' streetscape. 

Rahel, center, reviewing a map of proposed changes to Downtown Columbus' streetscape. 

 Rahel at the ready, leading April 2017's "Healthy Earth" Year of Yay! ride.

Rahel at the ready, leading April 2017's "Healthy Earth" Year of Yay! ride.

FEELING AT HOME: "I can call up any number of people in Columbus now and generate instant adventure. I love it!"

When asked what stands out to her most about the impact Yay Bikes! has had on her life, Rahel is clear it's the relationships—with solid friends and also, to a certain extent, the city she now calls home. Her bike friends are people she can call up any time for instant adventure. She's explored most of Columbus by bike—which, as we all know, makes all places seem a bit more special. She is grateful for this crazy Yay Bikes! journey of hers, and looking forward to seeing where it takes her next. 

 Rockin' a purple hat, with friends, on a recent Tweed Ride.  

Rockin' a purple hat, with friends, on a recent Tweed Ride.  

Yay Bikes! is grateful to Rahel for her kindness, her generosity and her thoughtful, steady leadership. We appreciate her role in supporting the hundreds of people who have learned to ride roads under her guidance.

Helmets off to you, friend!


To share your Yay Bikes! Journey, contact Meredith to set up a chat!