We traveled by phone from Ireland to the offices of long-time Sacramento Bike Coordinator, Ed Cox, a former architect who played a big part in shaping the way people move about in the state capital city. In the words ahead you will hear the impact he had not only on Sacramento but the region and the entire state of California..
“So is Ed riding (the amazing American River Parkway, ed) this year?” Marty asked. “I haven’t seen him since I used all those broken spokes from my wheel last year to get his his back tire to stay on.”
“He’ll be at the Capitol tomorrow,” I began, “he’s still running the wheel off a kid bike like I had suggested. He never ever got the bad one fixed, says he’s too busy.”
We were talking about Ed Cox, a stocky guy who, even though his bike was not of the same quality as some of the other HiWheels that annually came out for the river ride, he still rode strong. Like Marty, Jacques, Peter Wagner, who would also be joining us on his homebuilt Penny Farthing, and myself, Ed had lots of cycles. A bike guy through and through, he was also the bike coordinator for the city of Sacramento.
And his passion is contagious. Much of the bicycle renaissance that Sacramento is enjoying in its downtown can be tracked to a lot of the ground work Ed has laid. When I stayed in the cool little guest cottage he had built in his backyard when I Eagled to Salt Lake in 2009, I learned a lot about this quiet, humble man.
Ed was a founding member of the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates (SABA), the local bike activist organization. Under the authority of SABA to call for more bicycle awareness, some of its leadership then went on to bring about Sacramento’s very own Bike Kitchen. An incubation cell for bicyclists wanting to enjoy more bike centric and not car centric lives, it is this bike co-op that is giving birth to the swarms of cyclists now filling the downtown on every kind of pedal machine.
Ed was also one the main organizers of the annual Bike to Work Day in his Capital City. Probably the largest Bike to Work festival in the USA, it attracts cyclists and exhibitors from throughout the region. As if that were not enough, Ed was also active on the state level. Toward that end, he helped start the California Bike Coalition (CBC). A nonprofit, the CBC keeps an eye on all legislation affecting California cyclists.
On the American River Parkway