Rolling Out the Welcome Mat for Fun + Advocacy!

Can I share with you how proud I am of this image making the cover of Momentum Magazine? And how thrilled I am that we have Momentum as a promotional sponsor for the Cycle Chic: Past, Present & Future urban bike fashion show on 9/13? Photographer Allan Crawford and I had such a wonderful time working with our delightful model Molly Gardner, who works at our local Arts Council Long Beach. I chose Molly to model for us for her incredibly warm and engaging personality - and of course that she's beautiful. I felt that Molly was just the sort of young women we need to recruit for the bike movement, smart, creative, game and so incredibly positive. The photo shoot was an "aha" moment when Molly realized a bicycle wasn't just to cruise to the beach on (as she loves to do) but could great to get around a city as well - wearing whatever you'd like to wear as you do so.

On that note if I was to boil down what I personally want the Women On Bikes SoCal website and advocacy to represent for both women and men my "in a nutshell" response is "welcome + enjoy + participate!" I am as equally excited for you whether you're finally deciding that you're going to clean the rust off your old cruiser in the garage and ride to the beach this summer as I am of those who regularly commute to work or regularly ride centuries.

Why? Because I know that when you get on your old bike and take off for the shore you're going to discover many things. First you're going to remember the sheer joy of riding a bike, of having the wind in your hair, of being able to admire the flowers (and smell the jasmine as my dear friend Terri reminded me), and you're going to feel very proud of yourself for getting to your destination under your very own steam.

You're also going to notice where your own city's streets are in need of repair, whether you know the best route to get where you're going, whether you'd like to improve your bike riding skills, and how motorists and bicyclists in your city interact. The more you ride the more you might think to yourself "I wish..." and then finally you might think (and I hope you will) "Gee I'd like to: take a bicycle safety class and learn more skills, get my friends together to ride, contact my city council member to ask how we can improve relations between bicyclists and motorists.

You may notice that what I haven't written is that you'll think, "Gee I need to find my local bicycle advocacy organization and join them. Why? Because we're still quite an unknown entity. You know who to contact if you want to support breast cancer, or the First Lady's "Let's Move" campaign, but chances are unless you're already a bike advocate the concept of bicycle advocacy is rather new to you. That's okay. That's exciting. That means there are more of you out there to engage and recruit to the cause. It's up to us in bicycle advocacy to find new and more appealing ways to connect with you.

There's so much more I want to share with you all - including my recent trip to Sacramento! But that will have to wait until next time. In the meanwhile I'll leave you with a quote from Mr. Cycle Chic himself Mikael Colville-Andersen (our Cycle Chic: Past, Present & Future urban bike fashion show special guest) in June's Details.com on deciding what to wear on your bicycle this summer:

"Open your closet: It's already full of cycling clothes. You shouldn't be thinking Lycra, you should be thinking tweed. In the old days in Europe, a bespoke suit would come with two pairs of trousers—one for everyday use, one for cycling."