A few years ago, I helped set up a cycling-based non-profit (501(c)(3)) organization called Tour de Nez Outreach. Many locals will know that Tour de Nez Outreach grew out of the long-standing local bike race, the Tour de Nez, which grew out of the eclectic Reno coffee house, Deux Gros Nez. The mission of Tour de Nez Outreach is to promote cycling as the ultimate environmentally sound, healthy, family oriented, fun for all ages, accessible, community minded activity.
When we ride we not only save fuel, we connect with the world through which we pedal. When we connect with the world around us, we recognize its beauty. We see things, people, a community we wouldn’t otherwise notice. When we take notice of these things, they become familiar. When they become familiar, we value them more. In short, when we pedal, we become part of the landscape.
When we ride, we strengthen our bodies. When our bodies are strong, we are happy. When we are happy, we make other people around us happy. When we ride, we tap into the universal childhood memory of finding happiness on a bike. When we ride, we re-acquaint ourselves with this memory. We remind ourselves that there is a simple, joyful, alternative to burning fossil fuels for transportation. When we ride, we remind ourselves of the simplicity and beauty of human power.
Put another way, the mission of Tour de Nez Outreach is to empower us once again, to remind us that we can take back our world, our community, and our health, with one simple, beautiful act: ride a bike.
In order to accomplish this mission, Tour de Nez Outreach endeavors to work in partnership with local city, county and state governments, other non-profit and non-governmental entities, local businesses, and the citizenry at large to effect real and lasting change. Indeed, to re-build our community.
As part of these efforts, Tour de Nez Outreach is working in partnership with other local entities to create safe riding conditions throughout the city and outlying areas, promote driver awareness, create new and more visible bike lanes, signage, and encourage road sharing through a bike share program dubbed, LINK. Tour de Nez Outreach is also involved in ongoing advocacy regarding the promotion of cycling as an alternative means of transportation which solves multiple problems which directly impact every member of the community: health, pollution, dependence upon fossil fuels, and the increasing disconnect between people in the modern age.
As another essential aspect of the mission, Tour de Nez Outreach strives to make cycling all-inclusive, by sponsoring events which bring together local bike organizations, bike repair shops, and groups such as the U.S. Handcycling Federation, which work to bring cycling access to the physically challenged. Finally, Tour de Nez Outreach sees a future in which its vision — of re-creating community around the bicycle — is spread beyond its own neighborhood to other groups in other communities looking to effect similar change, whether in Tahoe or Tunisia.
To find out more about Tour de Nez Outreach, including how you can get involved, visit www.tourdenez.org
See also: LINK Bike Share