The League is excited to announce a new member of our staff: Ken McLeod. A lawyer and a cyclist, Ken is our new Legal Specialist, working with the Advocacy Advance team.
So what’s Ken’s story? Where’s he from and how did he end up at the League? Here’s a quick Q&A on Ken’s biking background…
What’s your first memory of riding a bike?
My first memory of riding a bike is learning to ride at Fort Worden on the Puget Sound, a defense fort built during World War II to protect Seattle. I would often camp there with my family and the camp site loop is the first place I rode around. Back home, the first trail that I rode on was the Burke-Gilman Trail, from my dad’s house in Lake Forest Park to Gas Works Park on Lake Union across from downtown Seattle.
What got you interested in law and where did you go to school?
I became interested in law while I was an undergraduate at Pomona College. At Pomona I studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics as a interdisciplinary major. In each subject I saw law as one of the ultimate expressions of the subject and thought it would be a great field to be involved in because of the way it reflects society’s judgments about those subjects. I went to William & Mary for law school because of its relaxed setting and proximity to the D.C. area.
What interested you about working for the League?
I became interested in working for the League as I went through law school and became a more consistent bicyclist. On my way to law school, driving from Seattle to Williamsburg, my car broke down twice, once in Chicago and once just north of Richmond. It barely passed the Virginia car inspection after a year of occasional amateur and professional repair. I had already been riding for recreation on many weekends while living in Seattle and my car troubles helped ease me into biking more for errands and commuting. For better or worse, law school makes you think of the legal implications of everything and since I was biking all the time it was hard not to think about biking and the law. One of my professors suggested to me that one of the best ways to react to the difficult job market is to pursue things that you would like to be involved in, even if it is not a traditional legal career. Soon after that suggestion I looked into national organizations for bicyclists and found the League.
What will you be working on here at the League?
Most general, I’ll be working to improve the legal resources provided by the League. Different laws are important to different types of bicyclists and bicycling advocates and I hope to provide legal resources tailored to the many different constituents of the League. At some point our legal resources will include an advocacy element based on best practices drawn from state laws. I will also be working on a project to track federal spending on bicycling. The tracking system is currently at a very early stage, but the goal is to understand how federal money is spent and how bicycling advocates can ensure that money is spent on bicycling projects.
What bike do you ride today and what inspires you about cycling?
I ride a Novara Buzz V. Cycling inspires me because it turns transportation into interaction. When I bike I feel a connection to the area that I’m biking through and often discover new places that I likely would not have notice in a car. As a former college athlete it also feels great to get out and ride. It’s great exercise and a great change of pace from running for fitness. Also, a morning bike commute wakes me up as well or better than a cup of coffee — although I usually still drink some coffee.
Welcome to the League, Ken!
Carolyn SzczepanskiCarolyn joined the League in March 2012, after two years at the Alliance for Biking & Walking. In addition to managing the League's blog, magazine and other communications, Carolyn organized the first National Women's Bicycling Summit and launched the League's newest program: Women Bike. Before she crossed over to advocacy, she was a professional journalist for nearly 10 years.