John + Katie's Video Valentine

Screen shot of director Jonathan Levine and actors Seth Rogan and Joseph Gordon-Levitt of the film "50/50" in the March issue of Vanity Fair.

Ideas that ignite and spread like wildfire are those with emotional engagement at their core. They are ideas that people can ponder for a moment and then give a hearty "yes" to affirming, "I believe that too!"

One of the most exciting things about putting together "Women On Bikes SoCal" is the fascinating and dynamic group of people it's attracting as supporters. Katie Taylor and John Case met a week and a half ago at a local event. I introduced them because Katie is the kind of young talent we so need in bicycle advocacy, and John, as the founder of Bikestation, has so much wit and wisdom to share.

The two hit it off and decided to meet the very next day and have a video conversation with John at the camera. The result came as a total surprise to me - a lovely video Valentine! This short sweet piece, edited by bike advocate/videographer Drew Reed, illustrates so beautifully why Long Beach is now attracting successful young professionals like Katie with its welcoming urbanism and bike-friendly stance. Katie is a charming and charismatic spokeswoman for why the LBC won her heart. Please note: We have both the full version and a 30 second intro available in high res as well as the youtube link available. If you'd like a copy for your organization or event please send an email to wobsocal@gmail.com. We hope you'll share it with your friends! We'd love the video to go global.

I'm feeling pretty optimistic these days and I have a prediction to make. Our launch for the "Let's Double the Women & Girls Riding Bikes" campaign was so successful last Wednesday I predict that 2013 will be the year of the bike. Why not this year? This is the prep year. This is the year that women and men in advocacy are really getting their game together to move past the choir into broader and more diverse audiences. We're also learning to appeal to the media in new ways to create compelling stories.

One of the women making this happen is Carolyn Szczepanski, the Communications Director for the Alliance for Biking & Walking. On March 20th, during the National Bicycle Summit, Carolyn will host the National Women Cycling Forum along with Kit Keller of the Association for Walking and Bicycling Professionals. This is the first for this event and I hope you'll consider attending. I'm very pleased to announce that both Jen Klausner, Executive Director of the LACBC and April Economides of Green Octopus Consulting (and our Bikes Mean Business columnist) will be representing Women On Bikes SoCal (I have a bit of a schedule conflict but am still hoping I might be able to attend).

Carolyn, Kit and the Women On Bikes SoCal team will also be working together on a special "Women & the Bike" panel for the upcoming Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference here in Long Beach in September.

Another reason for my optimism for the growing popularity of the bike and the perfect-storm-tipping-point moment? The bike continues its growing presence in the fashion and lifestyle media. One of the big spring and summer trends is the return of the Prep. Pastel shades, gingham and checks are turning up everywhere and along with them the perfect icon for easy, breezy, getting back to basics preppy living is yes, the bike. Napa Valley's model-vintner Michele Ouellet of Lorenza Rose winery is featured in the print version of Vogue's "Index" noting that among her favorite things are a handmade Breukelen custom mint-green (again the pastels!) bicycle from www.bowerylanebicycles.com.

The smarter we are about inviting the fashion and lifestyle press to know the most charismatic and alluring members of the bike movement, the more the fashion and lifestyle press will move from merely using the bike as props for photo shoots, and "must have" items to profiling how the bicycle is becoming a smart, healthy, stylish and yes sexy mode of transport.