Ride Illinois would like to welcome our newest Board member Cynthia Hoyle! Cynthia is a veteran transportation planner and a long time bicycle safety advocate. She lives in Urbana, IL and will help represent the statewide bicycle advocacy organization in the Champaign-Urbana and central Illinois region.
What do you do?
I am a transportation planner with over 30 year in the field. I specialize in active transportation modes, walking, bicycling, and transit. I have a passion for creating communities that give people equal access to mobility regardless of how they travel. I feel strongly that it is wrong that our children, elderly and others who cannot own and operate a car are often stranded. We can create places where people can walk, bicycle and take transit safely and conveniently. To accomplish my goals I became a League Cycling Instructor, helped create and run our Safe Routes to School Program and became a Complete Streets Instructor. I work as a consultant with Alta Planning + Design and the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District.
Describe your first bike.
I had a beautiful Radiant Blue Schwinn Fiesta I got for my birthday in third grade. I had baskets on the back and rode it to grade school during 4th through 6th grades.
Where did you go on your last ride?
I ride around Urbana a lot. This morning I bicycled to the U of I campus for an early meeting. I like to take a 7 mile ride in the mornings before 7 a.m., when I am in town, that loops out into the country. There are beautiful views and I enjoy seeing the changes in the landscape as the year progresses with the crops and the wildlife.
Why do you like to bike?
For the same reasons most people do – it is fun and it is freedom. Riding a bicycle often feels close to flying and I can go places and see things that I cannot go walking or in a vehicle. Walking or running long distances is not an option for me now as I have grouchy knees so bicycling sets me free to go and do things I love.
What is your vision for Ride Illinois?
I would like to see our organization continue its important work in advocating for safe and equitable bicycling in Illinois. I would also like to see our organization become the recognized leader in the state in offering education and encouragement for bicycling. My dream is to see bicycle education being taught in all our K-12 schools just as we teach football, baseball, basketball, etc. Most of us will not be able to play football or basketball for the rest of our lives, but almost everyone can continue to ride a bicycle into the future. I would also like to see us be leaders in advocating for bicycling for people who have special physical needs. The fun and freedom of bicycling should be accessible to everyone!
Tell us a fun fact about you.
I have lived long enough to become a historical figure! My first job out of graduate school was as a community organizer for the Equal Rights Campaign in Oklahoma. Several of us working in the campaign formed a guerrilla theater group and our story was recorded as part of an oral history project named “Red Dirt Women & Power”.