Our Mission & History

Pedal Love focuses on creating storytelling and communications tools, tips, trainings and coaching to elevate the voice and impact of those working to grow active, mindful mobility and a sustainable world. Our focus is on women but men are always welcome.

In late 2018 we moved from being a non profit under the California Bicycle Coalition to being a sole proprietorship of Founder/Director Melissa Balmer. This move was made to coincide with Melissa’s move to Poulsbo Washington, and to focus even more on our particular niche - storytelling services and products that don’t quite fit under the non-profit purview. We’re extremely grateful to the California Bicycle Coalition for their support of our work.

Here are some of the highlights of what we’ve accomplished recently:

  • In October of 2017 Melissa published free digital “The Surprising Promise of Bicycling for America in collaboration with writer Jay Walljasper. The report was sponsored in part by Bosch eBike Systems Americas and hosted on PedalLove.org. Jay and Melissa are now working on expanding the report into a book with the goal of publishing it in spring/summer 2019.

  • In March of 2017 we hosted the first all female storytelling plenary at the National Bike Summit with six members of the Pedal Love Council speaking.

  • In 2016 we moved from being a California focus organization to branching out across the U.S. launched the Pedal Love Council storytelling and leaderships development lab.

  • Collaborating with the California Bicycle Coalition affiliate members on pitching positive bicycling stories in both the California and national media.

  • Hosting the monthly "Pedal Love" podcast on KPFK's Bike Talk

  • Hosting our "Media + Marketing Love" four-part webinar series in collaboration with the California Bicycle Coalition.

What We Accomplished in Our First Two Years - Moving from Women on Bikes SoCal to Women on Bikes California

  • Launching of the new www.Pedallove.org website.

  • Hosting of the Pedal Love podcast on KPFK's weekly Bike Talk show once a month to a downloading audience of 14,000+.

  • Expanding our Pedal Love volunteer creative team members across the state.

  • Creating the California by Bike summer report for the California Bicycle Coalition following the November 2012 summit.

  • Hosting the inaugural "Active Living Plugged In" new media, communications and leadership lab in Los Angeles in collaboration with the LACBC in March of 2014.

  • Placing stories in Momentum Magazine: Cover July/August 2014 on Shelby Sanchez with photos by Lisa Beth Anderson and a feature on Pedal Love spokeswoman Charis Hill with a photo by Allan Crawford. Placing Janet Lafleur on the inside backcover style, The Bicycle Stand two page spread by Lisa Beth Anderson, and feature on the story of Brownesville Texas in June/July issue 2015.

  • Collaborating with journalists on pitching CalBike affiliate members for story placement - including a in August 2014 on Jen Klausner, Executive Editor of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in Los Angeles Magazine by Sarah Bennett.

  • Collaborating with Janet Lafleur and the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition on media strategy and placement for Bike to Shop Day 2014 which resulted in placements in the San Francisco Chronicle and Bicycling Retailer.

  • Hosting the "Why I Need a New Bike" storytelling contest in spring 2015.

Our Beginnings 

Melissa Balmer launched the Women on Bikes SoCal project and website in September 2011 as both an advocacy project and communications platform to "Celebrate the Joy, Benefits & Beauty of Bicycling for Women" under the Long Beach based bicycle advocacy organization Bikeable Communities.

In it’s first two years Women on Bikes SoCal gathered together a talented and diverse team of passionate female bloggers to write on various aspects of living a bike-friendly life, garnered the #1 Google for the key word search “Women on Bikes,” and successfully raised funds to host first ever “female only” League Cycling Instructor program as a scholarship in order to create more female instructors in areas of Los Angeles that were underserved. Women on Bikes SoCal also hosted the "Street Savvy" short, "hands on" adult bicycle education classes, and a series of successful fundraising events including a "Mid Century Modern Architectural Tour by Bike" ans the "Cycle Chic: Past, Present & Future" fall fashion show at the national WomenBike event at Pro Walk/Pro Bike: Pro Place in September 2012.