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 John Cresencia about how Yay Bikes! has helped him and his family cultivate a rich, active social life here in Columbus.
MAKING CONNECTIONS: "If I ever move again the first thing I'll do is hook up with the local bike community. It's the quickest way to learn a place and make friends."
Growing up in the Asian nation of Brunei, John loved riding his bike to local beaches and nearby neighborhoods—like many kids, he found the independence and freedom it granted him intoxicating. He continued riding through childhood and university and, upon moving to Columbus in 2009, found his way to the Tuesday Night Ride series led by Ray George. And then made his way to the Year of Yay! series for its second-ever ride in February 2012. As a newbie to the city, he found that exploring by bike and meeting new people really jumpstarted his new life—with friendships he continues to enjoy to this day. (A similar thing happened, he notes, when he faced long-term travel for work to Detroit—the Slow Roll community there got him acclimated right quick.)
SPREADING THE JOY: "I hope it's not too cheesy of me to say, but...bicycling has brought a lot of joy to my life. And I really enjoy helping others experience the same."
As the years went on, John became a Yay Bikes! regular, riding most rides and stepping up to lead some, checking folks in at a Ride of Silence, being a Bike the Cbus jack of all trades and helping park bikes with Yay Valet!. John's wife Evy isn't always able to ride, but she also joins in whenever she can—it's just that great of a community, they say, regardless of what type of rider you are, or how "hardcore". They both love spreading the joy of bicycling in whatever ways they can.
Speaking of which, John says, "The cool thing people may not realize about Yay Bikes! is how much it spawns so much more awesome within our bike community, where people gain confidence riding with the group and then split off from it to offer their own unique thing. I've even led a few rides myself. It's good to have a group out there that shows people the right way to lead a ride so that everyone feels safe and welcome."
BIKING WITH BABY: "I've learned a lot from people on Yay! rides that's helped me figure out how to ride with my son."
One of the things John values most about his time with Yay Bikes! is the exposure he's had to a wide diversity of riders (most not in spandex!) and, more specifically, the breadth of expertise they're able to offer. "Getting out and riding with people is the best way to learn how to do things—ride roads, fix your bike, figure out routes, whatever. I see things and think, 'Hey, people here in Columbus, that I know, are doing this, and I think I can do it too'. It's how I figured out how to ride with my baby and make it work for both of us." He says, "If you don't know how exactly to ride, just do your best to make it to a ride and people there will take care of you."
Yay Bikes! is grateful to John for his kindness, his easy conversation and his even easier "yes, I will!". We especially appreciate his willingness to share that darling baby with us (and all the wisdom he's gaining about riding with him).
Helmets off to you, friend!
To share your Yay Bikes! Journey, contact Meredith to set up a chat!