By MEGHAN PIERCE
Sunday News Correspondent
New Hampshire Union Leader
October 01. 2017 12:37AM
KEENE - The city appointed its first bicycle mayor Saturday, and she happens to be the first such mayor in the United States.
Keene Bicycle Mayor Tiffany Mannion is the region's only certified cycling instructor, said Jen Risley who appointed Mannion as a member of the Monadnock Alliance of Sustainable Transportation Steering Committee.
"By becoming the Bicycle Mayor of Keene, Tiffany will join a worldwide network of bicycle mayors, called the Bicycle Mayor and Leader Network," Risley said. "We're making history today; this bicycle mayor position is the first one in the U.S. We look forward to Tiffany and future bicycle mayors' work in the Monadnock Region."
The ceremony took place in the gazebo in Central Square during the Monadnock Fall Festival Saturday afternoon.
"In her two-year term she will represent cyclists from throughout the region and focus on three areas - education, connection and creation," Risley said. "Tiffany is a regular bicycle commuter and explorer and hopes to ride towards her goal of 3,000 miles this year."
When Mannion spoke, she thanked Keene for thinking big.
"This small city has enormous dreams," Mannion said. "So thank you to anyone who helped bring this project home."
She also thanked Amsterdam-based startup CycleSpace, which created the Bicycle Mayor and Leader Network program and is dedicated and focused on getting the next one billion people on bicycles.
She also thanked her father. "He bought me my first bike when I was four and taught me how to ride. And it never ceases to amaze me that sense of freedom, power and independence on the first 15 feet on two wheels."
Risley said that as bicycle mayor Mannion will educate colleges, universities and businesses with the health and economic benefits of adopting bicycle friendly programs as well work regionally to help create confident riders and supported infrastructure.
"And she will create an online hub connecting our region of riders with opportunities to know your neighbor with events and initiatives such as bike kitchens, bike shares and community rides," Risley said.