Board Candidate: Joe Platzner
Like many people, I owe Cascade Bicycle Club. They helped re-kindle my passion for cycling, and they work to make cycling safer and more enjoyable for everyone.
Growing up, bikes were a significant part of my life. Bike shops provided my first jobs and lifelong friends. Bikes got me to and from school and work. I raced on the track and road, and I toured across the country and around the world. My team shop was my home away from home.
However, one winter evening about 10 years ago, I took inventory and realized I had drifted away; I had not been on the bike for many years. So, like thousands before me, I signed up for STP. I had a great time and never looked back. I've since gone on to do most of the big Cascade rides as well as RAMROD and Death Ride which launched me into the gravitational pull of the Seattle International Randonneurs. I enjoy the challenge of long rides such as the Cascade 1200 and Paris-Brest-Paris. I do at least one 200k ride a month. I also build frames as a hobby in my garage, which, I admit, holds a few more bikes than I need.
But my cycling is not the main reason I'm interested in Cascade. I have a young daughter who likes to ride but we have not created an infrastructure that makes cycling compelling and safe for her. I want her to be able to ride to school or the grocery store. So, a couple of years ago, I joined the board of The Bicycle Alliance of Washingtonand as a member of the Executive Committee, I have become energized by the education and advocacy work they do. I see how their efforts increase the number of cyclists on the road.
I want cycling to be a mainstream activity for many. I want to see it funded as an essential mode of transportation. I'd like to see Washington State as a model for a bicycle-friendly place to live. Cascade is an influential organization, and I'd like to help leverage this influence.
I believe I can contribute to the club. I was an aerospace executive for many years but I'm currently a stay-at-home dad. I have some relevant skills, and I have the time to commit to put in the effort required to make a difference. I can bring my leadership experience in strategic planning, network planning, marketing, and program management to the table. I have a master's degree from Cornell University in transportation planning, and I worked in planning at the New York State Department of Transportation.
I hope you will find my background appropriate for Cascade. I'd like to give back a little since I owe them for getting me back on the bike.