Since gaining nonprofit status in January, Yay Bikes! has shifted into high gear in its mission to create more connected communities through pedal power. The local advocacy group has been awarded a grant to start a safety-for-cyclists initiative at Ohio State.

Since gaining nonprofit status in January, Yay Bikes! has shifted into high gear in its mission to create more connected communities through pedal power. The local advocacy group has been awarded a grant to start a safety-for-cyclists initiative at Ohio State.

In honor of National Bike Month, director Meredith Joy shared how she came to love life on two wheels.

I grew up in Pataskala, and then I went to Pittsburgh for school. I was living with my parents in Pataskala after college, and I was like, "This s--t has got to stop." I went on a road trip. I was going to go out West to live - and then I moved as far west as Columbus.

Now I would have a really hard time leaving. It takes me too long to become part of a place. It's hard for me to imagine now, at this point in my career, getting up and moving to a place where I'd have to start over and lose two to three years.

Three things I can't live without are the internet, my bike and good conversation.

A few years ago, I read " The Geography of Nowhere" by James Howard Kunstler. He's into neighborhood design and how we've engineered ourselves into car-based society and all the ramifications thereof. I started biking at that point. Ultimately, I gave up my car.

I'm susceptible to gurus. I kind of try not to read too many books, because I get too wound up. It's a real bitch sometimes just not to have a car.

I' m the kind of person who is willing to make things really hard on herself to live according to her ideals. I just get really committed to things, and I want to live in integrity with my commitments.

I ride my bike because what I want to create in the world is peace and connections among people who are different from one another. I tend not to say anything about environmentalism or peak oil or money savings or health, even though those things are true. You can have a bulleted list of reasons to ride a bike - but I don't think that moves anyone.

I think the name Yay Bikes! is kind of fun. You just have to pronounce it right, with the arm extension like you're a cheerleader.

The best I'd advice I've ever received is have fun. Soon you'll be dead.