Andrew C. Dyson.


Executive director of Neighborhood Bike Works (NBW), a nonprofit group that improves opportunities for youth through bicycling.



What I do:

I started here in 1999 as a volunteer teaching bike repair to kids on weekends. Now I manage a staff of 11 (including former NBW students) teaching West Philadelphia youth to fix and ride their bikes. Kids renovate a donated bike that they will eventually get to keep.

Biking makes children better citizens because:

It keeps a person in touch with the city. When you walk or bike, you're right there in the neighborhoods you're passing through. In a car or bus, you're isolated from the surroundings. Riding is exercise; bicyclists are not burning up our planet's resources.

I ride:

A 1980s-vintage Panasonic 12-speed with mostly replaced parts - kind of like grandfather's ax. It's a comfortable and practical ride. No reason it shouldn't last another 25 years.

A biking trend I'm noticing around Philadelphia is:

The huge increase in new cyclists. To make this count, we need a corresponding increase in facilities for cyclists and in lawful behavior


cyclists, neither of which is a current trend.

Another thing the city could do to make itself more bike-friendly would be:

Public service announcements and a media campaign directed at motorists and cyclists about how to use the roads more safely.

Recent book:

Racial Paranoia

, by John Jackson of Penn. The dude is a genius.

Favorite movie(s) involving bicycles:

Project A

, a Jackie Chan movie.

The Flying Scotsman

was awesome - the only film I know that has a montage of bicycle-frame building.

I'll know I'm doing a good job if, in five years:

Instead of saying to me, "That's a great sounding program!" when they hear of Neighborhood Bike Works, people say, "Oh yeah, I've heard of that, there's one of those in my neighborhood/city."