Meet Team Alabamboo: Nicole Lavelle

What motivated you to participate?

It was hard to say no to an opportunity like this. Harvesting the materials to build a vehicle that I will then power across the United States, in support of a positive initiative working to create a transformative future that empowers a community? It’s a perfect exercise in craftsmanship, exploration, collaboration, and positive action, which are very important to me. This ride is a way to embody values, act on what I believe in, to DO instead of just sit around and think about stuff.

Why do you care about something that is happening in Alabama, a state that is more often the punchline to a joke about poverty?
I spent a week in Alabama last summer while traveling through the South, and was surrounded by people passionate about making positive change in their communities. Their enthusiasm was infectious. Though I’d never been to Alabama before that trip, I was wholly inspired by the people I met in Greensboro, Northport and Gordo, and the initiatives and projects they were dedicating themselves to.

How do you think the ride will reflect on Alabama?

Ideally this ride will shift perception and assumptions and show Alabama to be a state that’s pushing forward new ideas and projects that will have a positive impact on our shared future.

Catfish is one thing to be known for. Trailblazing is another.

What do you know about Alabama that you can tell people that you meet during the Bike Tour?

I don’t know much. I know the people are nice, the air is thick in the summer, the landscape is beautiful, and life moves at a comfortable pace that feels welcoming. I know that the people who live in Alabama are proud to call it home.
What would you like others about YOU?
I’m an artist and graphic designer living and working in Portland, Oregon. I love this place; it’s my home and I feel very shaped by the landscape and the creative community here. I’m originally from San Francisco, but have lived in Oregon for ten years. Adventure and traveling are very important to me. I’m STOKED to spend time getting to know the landscape and the people of this country, and pedaling through a number of places I’ve never seen before.

My sister Rose is part of the ride, and I couldn’t be more pleased to have her company on this adventure.

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