For me, California has always felt a small bit like home. we lived in Sacramento for scarcely 5 years as a child — where we rode around a area on my purple and gray Huffy. Since then, I’ve pedaled from a Northern California redwoods to a Golden Gate Bridge on Climate Ride in 2011 and had a payoff of rising a Women Bike commencement among a singly different organisation of internal womanlike leaders in Long Beach in 2012.

It seems that each time we conduct to a Golden State, we leave with new appetite and inspiration. And I’m still buzzing from all a extraordinary connectors and conversations we had final weekend during a California by Bike Summit.

What were some of a highlights?

Daring Goals, Diverse Leaders

Well, initial of all, a California Bicycle Coalition has some impossibly confidant goals. And their targets aren’t usually quantitative, like doubling bicycling by 2017 and tripling ridership by 2020. They’re also qualitative: “Mainstream bicycling in California’s different culture.” Certainly audacious, though also receptive given a incredible, different leaders in a state — including a immeasurable series of women.

Left: CalBike house boss Alexis Lantz (Photo by Allan Crawford)

It was unfit not to notice that a immeasurable infancy of leaders on theatre for a plenaries were women. The many manifest presenters, giving updates, pity stories and creation vital announcements, enclosed CalBike house boss Alexis Lantz (a pivotal matter for a arrangement of Women Bike), Jenna Burton (founder of Red, Bike Green), Renee Rivera (Executive Director of a East Bay Bicycle Coalition), Cindy Parra (Bike Bakersfield), and Melissa Balmer (more on a Women on Bikes CA launch on Monday!).

Innovative Collaboration, Participatory Cities

In a unequivocally initial event we attended, we was perplexed by a collaborative plan combined by a University of Southern California, TRUST South LA and others. Francois Barr, a University of Southern California researcher, called a indication “situated engagement” — rather than seeking village members to come to a meeting, “take a seminar to a area and emanate some practice that concede people to demonstrate a approach their area works and doesn’t work.” Using mobile record that could be used on any phone, residents were means to join a fun, amicable float and request their internal resources and deficits. 

As Tafarai Bayne of TRUST South LA stressed, it radically “put formulation workshops in a streets” — streets where planners mostly don’t go. And, Bayne added, it indicated to a village that, yes, they merit to be regulating cool, new record to make their communities better. What resulted was some-more than a (incredibly cool) map though a whole new approach of formulating Participatory Cities — which is because a work was respected by a Guggenheim for a video above.

Development vs. Displacement 

A associated review tackled how bikes play a purpose in revitalization and displacement. The fear (and mostly fact) that gentrification comes fast on a heels of improved bike comforts is apropos an vicious emanate in many cities. As Jenna Burton forked out, it’s not indispensably a pursuit of a bike transformation to take on all a subordinate issues of housing and misery and ancestral marginalization — but we do need to know and honour a dynamics that exist. “If bike advocacy is truly committed to equity in bicycling,” Burton says, “then we have to be some-more responsive of what that brings with it. Not to fake we have all a solutions though find effective ways to support estimable growth efforts and deposit in internal care that are already operative on these issues.”

Jenna Burton, by Lisa Beth Anderson

One tenure I’d never listened before though unequivocally resonated was “lived displacement” — a judgment put brazen by John Garrard Stehlin, a grad tyro during UC-Berkley. Even when residents are means to stay in their homes, what happens when a area impression changes underneath their feet with shifts in sell and travel life? That’s displacement, too. And we’re usually during a commencement of this vicious discussion.

Redefining Mainstream

In a event called “Who is mainstream?” Miguel Ramos and Laura Torres from Multicultural Communities for Mobility in LA also stressed a significance of investing and partnering with village organizations that already exist. Ramos combined a good visible display how those already embedded groups are, in fact, a spokes that bond a village members to advocacy engagement.

Miguel Ramos and Laura Torres of MCM

That offset indication was evidenced in MCM’s work (then embedded in LACBC) with day laborers directly to emanate a Spanish denunciation PSA — watch a good behind-the-scenes video of a routine here. They not usually connected with participants by a internal day labor core though also done connectors for those folks to other village resources, like an area bike co-op. Ramos and Torres stressed that, by giving approval to those in a village who are already roving and providing preparation by existent networks, that partnership genius has done MCM’s bike reserve overdo successful, as well. MCM tailors a classes to a audience, as well, not usually training a manners of a highway though highlighting a internal laws and rights of cyclists — vicious for undocumented riders who might be some-more expected to be stopped by police. And a training isn’t a one-way street; it’s suggested common misperceptions that day laborers are quite riders of necessity. “Many of them are undocumented people from small towns in Central America,” Ramos explained. “And [biking] is not usually a cause of economics, though cause of culture —being eco-friendly is embedded in a culture.”

Planning + Play

And how cold is this?

James Rojas, an civic planner, artist and owner of a Latino Urban Forum, showed us his enchanting plan to assistance area residents and even city planners play with little toys to prognosticate a improved community. While experiencing a city is feeling and spatial, too mostly bland adults are away from a formulation routine and even travel officials work on a quite schematic, two-dimensional level. With his Place It workshops, Rojas gives folks a event to solve problems or move to life their prophesy of a ideal city regulating art and interactive models. Liberated from a constraints of linear planning, participants are means to rise an bargain of how a use of space influences their knowledge of their village — and come adult with ways to make it better.

Elevating Women

(From left) Renee Rivera, Tilly Chang, Rita Borelli, Julie Harris

Continuing that wider review about equity, Rivera led a row on “Closing a gender opening in cycling leadership,” including good presentations from Tilly Chang (executive executive of a San Francisco County Transportation Authority), Rita Borelli (Product Line Manager from Specialized) and Julie Harris from REI. we was quite meddlesome (and I’ll be following adult with you, Julie!) on how REI has altered a employing focus routine so that a reduction unintentionally weighted toward inherently masculine strengths — and has a settled idea of formulating a workforce in their stores that is deputy of a wider community. It was also enlivening to hear Chang prominence 3 characteristics that make women good leaders: we tend to be accord builders; thorough and village oriented; and have a personal joining to a work. 

Wendi Kallins of Marin County Bicycle Coalition and Nona Varnado, who started LA Bike Trains and a bicycle art gallery (among other endeavors) also carried brazen a review about removing some-more women concerned with their Building a Female Centric Bike Culture workshop. we was unapproachable to see a Women on a Roll news in movement during Kallins’ display (Read all about a 5 Cs here!) and was reminded by Varnado that, rather than feeling like we’re competing for viewed singular resources, women and women’s initiatives need to be focused on mentorship and collaboration. And she had this good gem, too:

That’s not all… Stay tuned Monday for a full blog on a launch of Women on Bike California!