Photo: Adam Heath Image
Remember when the training wheels were taken off your pink Huffy with the blue rims and you pedaled away into the sunset as the whole neighborhood cheered you on? Part of the Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective’s mission is to create memories like that for every child. Jonathan Morrison, the Collective’s Executive Director, is dedicated to this cause and sees his role as a dot connector in the process. Though the Collective’s pedal pushing programs and volunteer-based bike shop have become integral to the local community, Morrison attributes the community’s influence as the driving force behind its creation and development. “The Collective is a channel for focusing the community’s energy into something that everyone believes in for different reasons—that more people should ride bikes more often,” he says. “Bike rides are good for your health, the environment, your family, your neighborhood, your wallet, city budgets, traffic congestion, parking problems and the list goes on. Thanks to that diversity, the local community is the Collective and it wouldn’t work any other way.”
SLUG: Tell us about your first experience with SLUG Magazine.
Morrison: Originally coming from New York, a computer programming job brought me to a strange but beautiful, foreign land called Utah in 2000. In an effort to avoid being a tourist, I turned to the local “rags.” One in particular was gritty and blunt in ways I related to—it said SLUG at the top. I used it as my SLC starter kit.
SLUG: How have you seen the magazine change since then?
Morrison: Is that supposed to be rhetorical? I have never read a SLUG with the same theme. Even the branding logos rotate! I never know what to expect when I pick up a SLUG, which is why I pick it up.
SLUG: What is one of the most memorable SLUG articles that you have read?
Morrison: For many reasons the November 2007 article, “Coming Home: Marty Kestler’s Recovery” by Meghann Griggs will always stick in my mind—many thanks to SLUG for supporting a fellow cyclist during that difficult time.
SLUG: What is your favorite SLUG cover?
Morrison: One of the first SLUG Magazines I read was in late 2000, it had a picture of Rocky Anderson framed in a big gear. As an SLC newbie, I immediately thought this was my city.
SLUG: Tell us about the most memorable SLUG event that you’ve attended.
Morrison: My wife and I love riding our tandem alongside the SLUG float in the Gay Pride parade. The tandem frame is on the small side, but among all the beautiful people, cheering and color, I hardly notice a little knee discomfort. I wouldn’t miss it.
SLUG: How has SLUG affected your life?
Morrison: Salt Lake has changed me for the better in the decade I have been here. The reason is simple: I have many do-gooders to look up to, volunteers and professionals who are raising the bar in the local radio stations, local government, local non-profits, local small businesses, local universities and local media—think SLUG. I am very lucky to have friends who push me.
SLUG: Why do you think SLUG has continued to be relevant in Utah for the last 22 years?
Morrison: SLUG, like the Collective, is community, and a growing one at that. Many thanks for helping the Collective support bicycle community events like the Bicycle Film Festival. As long as SLUG continues its history of making a difference, it will continue to be relevant. So cheers to your first 22 years and for the years to follow.