Active Living Plugged In Overview

A fascinating and diverse bike culture is blooming in California in response to three of our state’s very pressing challenges: 1) The sedentary disease pandemic 2) Growing street congestion and 3) The growing expense of car ownership combined with growing college expense meaning Millennials are deciding not to drive in record numbers.

It may seem obvious that the bike is a marvelous tool for optimism in the face of these challenges and yet, until now the voice of bicycling in California has not had:

  • A strategic plan to actively engage the media to help measurably grow bicycling in this state
  • A way to cultivate and elevate the voice of women in all forms of bicycling
  • A campaign to train the next generation of multi-cultural spokespeople and leaders for bicycling

The answer to this? Active Living Plugged In – an innovative campaign to train 500 diverse new ambassadors and spokespeople as a dynamic new voice for bicycling over the next three years.

Created by the Women on Bikes California (WoBCal) initiative of the California Bicycle Coalition (CalBike) Active Living Plugged In’s goal is to help Calbike triple bicycling in California by 2020 with a focus on mainstreaming the bike through the power of storytelling.

With CalBike’s 17 membership coalitions across the state, and excellent rapport with the bike and other active living industries, Active Living Plugged In has combined outreach of over 100,000 in our network from which to recruit trainees and promote the campaign.

The next "Active Living Plugged In" will be hosted in downtown Long Beach in early 2015.

With “Active Living Plugged In” WoBCal will give trainees measurably improved skills in:

  • Delivering engaging live presentations using the TED model.
  • Artfully employing new media skills and social media outreach tools in smart ways to expand and motivate audiences.
  • Successfully creating relationships and credibility with a broad array of media professionals to become a valued source.
  • Understanding how to use all of these tools to create your own place in the active living political movement.

Further WoBCal will create, track and report on the following with our trainees and CalBike for:

  • Hosting an ongoing series of “Civil Street Conversations for California” across multiple platforms.
  • A strategic media plan to measurably increase positive coverage of bicycling.
  • Increased live presentation requests, social media connectivity, and select key word mentions.

About Our Training Coordinators and Key Trainers

Melissa Balmer – Director/Founder Women on Bikes California + Media Director for the California Bicycle Coalition

A writer, speaker, and media relations specialist Melissa's mission is to bring the connecting power of storytelling to showcase the bike as a tool for optimism. Her active living projects include being a creative team member for Bike Long Beach’s “Share Our Streets” multi-media information campaign, 2012 Host Facilitator and Media Coordinator for the 2012 Pro Walk/Pro Bike: Pro Place Conference, 2013 Summit Coordinator for the California by Bike Summit. Melissa serves on the national Women Bike “Marketing & Media” committee.

Charlie Gandy – Vice Chair Executive Board/California Bicycle Coalition

A nationally recognized expert in bicycle and pedestrian advocacy, Charlie is a popular consultant and speaker known for sparking innovation. Charlie founded Bike Texas, created the Thunderhead Alliance retreat for biking and walking advocates, and the Bike Friendly Business Districts program in collaboration with Bike Long Beach.

As a program facilitator he has organized trainings in all fifty states and played a role in launching more than 30 biking and walking advocacy organizations around the U.S. Charlie has recently been featured on the cover of the OC Weekly, on KPCC’s Air Talk and in the Los Angeles Times  for his leadership in bike advocacy.

Allan Crawford - Executive Director Bikeable Communities

Allan's background is in geology and he holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin. The former Bicycle Coordinator for the City of Long Beach, he is an active volunteer for the bicycle advocacy organization Bikeable Communities. Allan is an accomplished videographer and professional photographer. His images have appeared on the cover of American Bicyclist, Momentum Magazine, Road Magazine, and in Bicycling Magazine, The Press Telegram, The Long Beach Register and more.  His images and videos are also used frequently by statewide and national advocacy organizations.

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