Hello from Western Massachusetts, Worcester county:
I'm not new to Bike Forums, just have never really gotten into serious discussion or proper introduction. I'm a 200+ lbs. daily commuter, car light, using a modified 700c older '80s Puch, and in bad weather and recreational mtn riding with a modified department store BSO. I'm serious about alternative transportation, and the bicycle advocate for my neighborhood.
Welcome aboard! Like you I commute by bike, about 3/4 times a week,
I run on the day I don't ride and go for a long ride 1 day during the
weekends. I commend you for being an advocate for alternative
transportation. I'm not a member or donate money to of any of the local
advocacy organizations(Tranportation Alternatives, Recycle a Bicycle,
Times Up, Bike NY, etc.), but I volunteer at their events sometimes and
try to familiarize myself w/ their programs so I can advice new/other
riders. Where to get free helmets, flat repair kits, repair training, bike
commute training, etc.
As a father of young children, I hardly have enough money for myself- Nevermind charitable events. There is a local group nearby that I help out when I can. Worcester Earn-A-Bike, I try to find and salvage a few rigs when I can, and donate them to this group. Gray (the guy who runs the shop) has a program in which he has you pick a rig and setup, then through several hours in 3 days, teaches anyone the fundamentals of basic repair and upkeep, and you walk away with a commuter that you put together with the help of his crew. It's defiantly a cause I can get behind.