American University Perspectives July 2018 Unpacked: Cycling caps and world maps Taylor Jones, SIS/MA '09, cyclist and executive director, Bikes for the World Unwanted bikes in the US can change someone’s life in a developing country, whether by helping a kid get to school or enabling a woman to work. I’m always an ambassador for our work. I drink coffee from a reusable mug. I live near the Anacostia River and don’t want to contribute to all the garbage that washes up. I spent part of my childhood in Tunisia. It’s hard to find good Tunisian food here, but you can find dates. I bike 14 miles each way from Hyattsville to our Rockville office and never want to be stranded on the roadside. I’ve been a bike mechanic for 20 years and love working with my hands. I like to show volunteer or school groups where our bikes end up. We’ve donated almost 136,000 bikes to organizations in 29 countries. Some people say duct tape is the most useful thing ever—I think it’s a pedal toe strap. You can use it to strap just about anything to your bike or bag. When I work from home, Maddy, my 12-year-old Australian cattle dog, would much rather play outside. I’ve gotten dozens of cycling caps from races and friends. I keep one in my bag to fend off cold, sun, or rain. I got my first mountain bike in seventh grade—that led to working at bike shops and racing. My deepest personal relationships have been forged through cycling. Taking notes by hand helps me stay focused and engaged. The Rhodia tablet is great because it has grid paper, which I prefer. I have keys for the office, warehouse, storage trailers in Arlington, and the trucks we use to pick up bikes. Our staff of five is rarely in the same place, so we’ve adopted a virtual office setting. I can pull up a spreadsheet with Google Drive or get in touch with people overseas using WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. I’m fluent in French, but communicating with our partners in Central America is challenging. I’ve learned the bike terminology and am working on expanding my vocabulary.