We believe everyone has as compelling story to share.
Melissa Balmer - Founder/Creator
Melissa an artist, media relations specialist and storytelling coach. Her passion is for elevating the voices and impact of those working to create a healthier, safer, more equitable and sustainable world through storytelling.
For the past ten years she’s focused on active, mindful mobility (biking, walking, and public transit). With her move to the Pacific North West in 2019 she’s also branching out into broader sustainability. Melissa has taught dozens of live classes and webinars on masterful storytelling, engaging presentations and successful media relations for both individuals and groups including the Association of Pedestrian and Biking Professionals, Bike Texas, the California Bicycle Coalition, Walk Bike Places and more.
During her time as the Media Director for the California Bicycle Coalition and beyond Melissa placed bike positive stories in local, regional, statewide and national news outlets such as the Associated Press, Bicycling Magazine, Bloomberg News, Cosmopolitan Magazine, KABC News Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio affiliates KCRW, KPCC, KQED, and the Texas Standard, Reuters, the San Francisco Chronicle, Sierra Club Magazine, and more.
In October of 2017 Melissa collaborated with journalist Jay Walljasper to publish the free digital report “The Surprising Promise of Bicycling in America”. The report is being expanded into a book for publication in 2019. Email her: Melissa (at)PedalLove.org.
Charlie Gandy - Storyteller/Advocacy Coach
Charlie is one of the architects of the modern biking and walking movements. He consults with cities and businesses interested in promoting active living, and is a popular speaker and trainer known for sparking innovation. Charlie founded Bike Texas, and created national trainings for biking and walking advocates across the country, including the groundbreaking Thunderhead Retreat while working for the Bicycle Federation of America. He played a key role in raising funding for and running the original "Bikes Belong" national political campaign to continue and increase funding for bicycling in the 1998 federal transportation bill "Transportation Equity Act of the 21st Century (TEA-21).
Charlie continues to innovate, originating and developing the Bike Friendly Business Districts program in collaboration with Bike Long Beach for the City of Long Beach. He has served on the board of both Bike Texas and the California Bicycle Coalition.
Charlie is currently writing a book on his experience section hiking the California Coastline. Reach him via email here. Read his blogs Walking California's Edge and "Travels with Charlie" here. Image by Allan Crawford.
Terri Ryder advises us on Youth Development and Experiential Learning. She has over 25 years experience in teaching, school administration, social services. She has a Master’s in Social Work (MSW) from Boston University focusing in community organizing, management and planning, as well as a Master’s in Education (EdM) from Harvard University, specializing in risk and prevention for children and youth. She has worked as a teacher, counselor and administrator serving children preschool through high school and their families. Read her Transit Love blog here. Email her here.
Kellie Morris did her first multi-day, fund-raising bike ride in 2002 after a co-worker dared her to take up the challenge - the seven-day ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. In 2010 Kellie was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease: Mixed Connective Tissue disease that left her so weak she could barely dress herself. Through medication, dietary changes and exercise she was able to recover much of her strength. Kellie does most of her local trips on her trike including shopping, running errands, attending fitness classes, visiting friends and even riding to church. In May 2013 Kellie became a certified bicycling instructor via The League of American Bicyclists. She now teaches both group and private bike riding classes. Contact her for class information. Read her "We All Ride Bikes" blog here. Image by Allan Crawford.
Allan Crawford's background is in geology and he holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin. Allan's work experience includes the energy industry, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, city government and Veteran’s hospitals. He is the former Bicycle Coordinator for the City of Long Beach and current Executive Director for the bicycle advocacy organization Bikeable Communities. Allan is also an accomplished videographer and professional photographer with his images have appeared on the cover of American Bicyclist, Momentum Magazine and Road Magazine, and in Bicycling Magazine, The Press Telegram and The Long Beach Register. Find Allan's portfolio here: https://acgallery.smugmug.com/
Technology & Millennial Adviser
Machiko Yasuda is a software engineer at The Reformation, a fast-growing company redefining fashion sustainably. She teaches web development and bicycling as an LCI. She writes and edits for Pedal Love and has written for The Washington Post and 89.3 KPCC. She is currently studying alignment and biomechanics with Katy Bowman to become a Restorative Exercise Specialist™.