Jeff Miller

It’s Jeff Miller on the phone, “I can’t believe you’re calling me right now!”

“Seeing some news?” He cajoled.

Luckily I had woken up from a much needed nap just a few minutes prior — I had spent a few moments reading, as I often do as I wake up. There was big news bubbling to the top of Google Reader: the League of American Bicyclists, the Alliance for Walking and Biking and Bikes Belong had just announced a merger into a single, more potent, bike advocacy group.

As I saw the headline I guessed why Jeff was trying to reach me last week, but sometimes I’m tough to reach in real time. Now I can’t remember what my conflicts were, but let’s say it was that day when I had both a doctor and dentist appointment. A complete physical in the morning with shots for flu, pneumonia and shingles — talk about a triple whammy — then two new crowns in the afternoon. Oh yeah, I almost forgot — a 4pm HOA board meeting immediately following. Not all days are that hectic, but to forgive myself for not getting back to Jeff, let’s say he called that day.

“Does this mean there will be fewer or more people for me to interview?” I wanted Jeff to know what my bottom line was. He had all his talking points, but none quite fit this question, so he zagged, “This comes from a position of strength — these three organizations becoming one will mean a consistent message on bike advocacy issues.”

And for him personally? He’ll remain in his role through the year and the Alliance’s big event in Long Beach will be bigger than ever now.

What will be the outcome of this epic merger? Jeff’s talking points were coming fast and furious. Where’s a pen? There’s only a scrap of paper in my hotel room — it’s all happening too fast to take notes and what I did scribble doesn’t do justice to the magnitude of this new development. So now, just a little later, I think of my time with Tim Blumenthal in Boulder — Tim will be the CEO of this new organization — I remember a line from his interview, “Everything’s better on a bicycle.”

And now, with this triple-strength advocacy powerhouse behind the message, maybe more will listen.



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