For years, Kansas City paid lip service to area cyclists. Officials at City Hall would trot out plans for new bike paths and cycling lanes and then promptly forget those promises. But now things are starting to change. What made Kansas City finally get serious? Deb Ridgeway. As the city's first bicycle and pedestrian coordinator (hired in 2007), Ridgeway isn't just another car-bound bureaucrat with some vague, theoretical appreciation for how bike trails add to the quality-of-life index. She was a bus rider and bike commuter way before she started collecting a paycheck for talking up the virtues of alternative transit. She apparently knows her way around politics, too: Since she has been at City Hall, the City Council passed an expansive new trails plan and started working in earnest on the Bike KC plan. When the city was putting together a bid for federal stimulus funds, Ridgeway was behind the scenes, pushing for millions for cyclists and pedestrians. We're still waiting for the actual trails, but now, when the city makes promises, cyclists are less inclined to laugh.