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As the world slowly begins to realize that cycling holds solutions and answers to many of the problems presented by modern living, e-bikes are also continuing to find excellent use in commercial establishments. While they’d always been used for health and fitness, recently they’ve been reported to generate 650,000 jobs in Europe alone – a number that’s set to increase as more people become aware of the benefits of riding e-bikes.

Additionally, e-bikes have many benefits to people who struggle with the climate in Nevada. These effective bikes can allow people with disabilities, the elderly, overweight or even people who just struggle with the intense temperatures in Nevada to navigate the state easier and in a more cost-effective manner.

Las Vegas is a busy metropolitan city known for nothing if not for lavish, extravagant lifestyles, one casino has continued to break boundaries by beginning to offer electronic bike tours to their patrons. Because of the continued expansion of online gambling, many casinos in the world over have begun turning to alternative experiences to draw customers in. While online casino operator Gala Casino is able to release new games every week, adding to their 400-game roster, casinos in Vegas are limited to the slot machines announced and released in gaming conventions a couple of times a year. This is why casinos have been forced to look for alternative ways to draw people in, and seeing the desert wilderness of Nevada in their backyard, and one casino has already sought to utilize this.

The Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas has been known for its amazing outdoor adventure packages, sending patrons on hikes across the desert and into mountains to discover hidden hot springs, riding on horseback from the morning til the late afternoon, and even river rafting below Hoover Dam to Black Canyon. Over the years, their outdoor adventure packages have created a whole new perspective shift for those vacationing in Las Vegas – it’s not all about gambling and partying; it can be about exploring nature as well.

As if inspired by the success seen by Red Rock Casino, Red Electric Bike Tours was established, stunning guests with a 13-mile guided tour that lasts 3 hours, taking guests across the Red Rock National Conservation Area on electric Energie bicycles. The tours are a stellar success, scoring a whopping 99% rating from 114 reviews on TripAdvisor. It’s currently ranked 8th out of more than 600 activities to do in Vegas, and glowing reviews for the activity range from people calling it the highlight of their whole vacation to it being fun for the whole family. The tour is managed and held by John and Allison – two charming people who are “laser-focused” on providing a great trip to their customers, with John even offering refunds for those who are not completely satisfied with the tour.

Red Electric Bike Tours makes use of Energie bicycles, a Las Vegas brand of e-bikes that come quite cheap for their specs previously featured on Electric Bike Report. It’s great to see that these bikes have seen tremendous success in Las Vegas over the span of two years, and soon, we may see various other establishments around Sin City begin to offer electric bike tours to their patrons.

editor: this is a contributed post.

DoLA.com is an amazing resource for the most awesome concerts happening in Los Angeles (and cool outposts, like Pappy & Harriet’s). We’re super excited they’re helping promote the music line up AND running a fun contest to win a FREE Dahon folding bike.

Come out for the chance to win a new bike, and stick around for some of the best emerging local music talent.

doLA

Bicycle Culture Institute has announced their second LA Bicycle Festival, an urban festival to entertain, connect and inspire bicycling in Los Angeles.

A Bicycle Theme Park
Discover a world of bicycles, art, music and food.

Family friendly workshops, demos, beer garden, interactive art installations, wandering musicians, local ride groups among the most innovative bike + gear brands. Local musicians play live throughout the park, interactive art installations and a photo booth! LA’s Best food trucks, beer garden.

Music Line-up!

1 pm – Mali
https://aniamali.bandcamp.com/

2 pm – The Nashville BrothersRobert Quijano and Money Jeramiah Gibbons

3 pm – Mateo Katsu // Circus of Books
https://mateokatsu.bandcamp.com/track/salvation-mountain

4 pm – Kick a Ten Year Old in the Head // KaTYOitH

http://bit.ly/1RQBbim https://soundcloud.com/taylor-and-pepper/half-time-hat5 pm – Lonesome Leash
https://lonesomeleash.bandcamp.com/

6 pm – verBS
Http://verbs.bandcamp.com/ Http://twitter.com/verbsisthehomie

Along with these amazing artists, we will have dj’s doing their set sprinkled throughout the day starting at 11 am! Special guests Niantic and others TBA

VIP after party for VIP ticket holders only. Party is at a secret DTLA location nearby with classic cocktails.

KICKSTARTER (tickets, t-shirts, bottles & temporary tattoos!)

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/487310213/los-angeles-bicycle-festival

Just tickets, no fee: https://bci.yapsody.com/event/index/26034/los-angeles-bicycle-festival

4 Recommendations

103% Funded with 7 days to go – public support for diverse bicycle culture grows in LA.

A Risk Pays Off for Bikes in LA

Without major corporate sponsors, organizers of the Los Angeles Bicycle Festival were forced to turn to crowdfunding to pull off their vision of a ‘Bicycle Theme Park’ where anyone could explore different kinds of bikes, learn about popular topics while enjoying food, beer, music and interactive art installations.

“We wanted a big, centrally located venue so everyone in LA can attend and easily get there. Not just a small event for one neighborhood. Grand Park is ideal for that, but the cost is intense.”

Crowdfunding was a way to measure how much the bike community in LA and general public wanted something like this to happen. Reaching 103% funded with 7 days to go is a huge indication that Los Angeles wants a fun festival… and become a bike friendly place that cares about people.

“The most popular reward has been buying tickets for people who can’t afford the $15 family ticket. That’s been my favorite surprise to come out of this.”

As the level of funding increases, organizers will be able to do more fun stuff and make more free tickets available, through other nonprofit partners, such as the East Side Riders in Watts and the Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition. Inquiries from other nonprofits are welcome.

Tickets are on sale now for an arts festival celebrating bicycles of all kinds at Grand Park LA directly across from LA City Hall. Happening Sunday, May 8, 2016 it’s a big party to the enjoy amazing bikes, art, music, and culture that has developed in Los Angeles.

  • Interactive art and lawn games
  • LA’s Best Food Trucks
  • Beer Garden w/ New Belgium & Angel City
  • Alternative music line up featuring Lonesome Leash, verBS and KaTYOinH
  • Large playground and kid’s area
  • Over 35 bike companies, groups and orgs

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All the best things (art. music. food. beer. bikes.) come together this Mother’s Day. Enthusiasts will be thrilled to check out vendors and gear, but the music, art food and beer make this one of the best small festivals happening in 2016. Like speed dating, festival wander through the festival grounds and discover the kind of bikes, rides, groups and organizations that match their style.

 

We need your help to send a message that Los Angeles isn’t just a car city. Organizers have created a 103% funded kickstarter where anyone can get tickets, tees or water bottles.

SPREAD THE WORD
From social media, in-store promotion or traditional media – we want you to join us and share an amazing day together.

Keep up with #LABikeFest on facebook / event page
Twitter @BicycleCulture

CONTACT: Nona Varnado, Bicycle Culture Institute
hello @ bicycle culture .org

What?! Yes, and it’s gonna be awesome.

But without any corporate sponsors, an event like this lives, blossoms or dies on public support. To make dreams come true, we need your help. Yes, you. Please kick in a few bucks, get a ticket, a tshirt or cute festival gear to help make the dream of bicycles in the car city a party we can all enjoy.

Then let all your friends know about it! Because if other people know you contributed, they’re a lot more likely to follow your good example!

 

 

Wait a minute – is this a blog or a podcast? Where are all the bikes?!

Welcome to the all new Bird Wheel. Listen to an introduction of what’s ahead and why I’m moving away from blogging about bikes to talking about a range of topics (including bikes!) within the frame of FUTURISM. Plus, becoming a podcast allows for talking to some really interesting people – from fancy experts to beautiful weirdos.

Keep up on SOUNDCLOUD (iTunes coming) or join the LA Futurist Society to hear about lots of topics, events and random stuff.

The Bird Wheel is evolving.

It’s becoming a podcast (with multimedia content, pictures, extended notes, event invites) published here. And the general focus, that has already been meandering for quite a while is getting a make over. There’s lots of ladies/urban/gear blogs out there these days and I’m excited about doing something new(ish).

I’ve partnered with some local creatives: LA FUTURIST SOCIETY.12316309_10153857357301812_1959054377329576489_n-1

Together we’re hosting a monthly salon (located in an actual hair salon/art gallery) on futurist issues, showing a futurist themed movie and arguing over drinks about esoteric issues that might be as important as civil rights, universal health care, transportation and what we’ll do for fun IN THE FUTURE. The new BIRD WHEEL podcast will also have an emphasis on exploring the lives of adventurous people and providing an example of how we can encourage (or warn) people from attempting similar adventures.

JOIN US!

Tonight is the first event. We’ll be ignoring the holidays, drinking beer, watching the adorable WALL-E and previewing the first episode of the podcast.

SEE YOU IN THE FUTURE

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It’s a little on the dry side, but the BBC’s recent podcast (41 minutes) is a moving tribute to the bicycle as the answer for… well, most things.

Heat & Light solutions for Africa? Pedal power to the rescue. Women’s liberation = Bikes. Philosophy and urban development? You guessed it – all positively transformed through the bicycle. Take some time to explore how the modest human powered bicycle is positively impacting and inspiring solutions to an impressive range of problems across the globe.

 

Back in August KCRW held a ’24 hour Radio Race’ -like the 48 hour film challenge – and I recruited an audio engineer from the bike scene to do it. It was a disaster, lots of fun and everyone agreed that it felt like the start of something, if not a polished contest piece.

The assignment was something like “a transmission from the year 2050: Time Change.”

I was able to call a ‘Futurist Professor’ and get a list of 8 people making amazing art, architecture, digital tools all around the idea of time.. but nothing we’d be able to complete in 24 hours. As someone obsessed with the the apocalypse/environment I see the 2 issues that are the most cornerstone are solving ‘energy’ and creating a social structure that allows people to live and flourish as jobs disappear. Then, we headed out to our favorite couch on a porch overlooking the Silverlake neighborhood in LA.

We nailed it on the first take. But the microphone wasn’t on or didn’t work. We had 16 hours left.

What came together was a patchwork of bicycling around having free flowing conversations with people we knew liked to ask big questions and sometimes ramble on. Then, around midnight I took a nap and Ben got to work splicing and cleaning. At 3am we walked over to California Donuts. At no point did we ever get into a car.

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I realized that with what we’d put together we needed a lead in and a wrap up. By then I was so tired my mouth couldn’t say words. So many little things could have been another way – but it happened in 24hours and laid down a pretty good foundation. Since then we’ve started the LA Futurist Society, and have new podcasts planned as soon as I can learn some sound editing or trick an editor into getting involved. (Holler!!)

For the race, we didn’t win the big prize – but we did win the “Social Butterfly” prize thanks to my shit talking on the facebook contest page and WTF instagram posts. We did win t-shirts! Because even on the radio, you really shouldn’t be naked.

https://soundcloud.com/enjaminouis/kcrw-radiorace-team-name-tie-me-to-the-mast-title-personal-time-social-change

computertime

Guns and Roses said it best: Nothing Lasts Forever.

When I started out, in 2003, it was the blogger era. Some were amazing in content or design or.. consistency. The bike industry was on the verge of realizing the power and creativity of people/street culture vs. a brand controlled paradigm. Those who could figure out any kind of advertising were the leaders (because money/product helps you not have to work other jobs). In many ways it was like watching an emerging DrudgeReport: news in real time only filtered through an informed individual.

Bloggers who stand out in the field (and continue to do so)

Bike Portland
Prolly is not Probably -> The Radivist
Bike Blog NYC

But like the once epic MidnightRidazz website, the traffic migrated over to social media, namely facebook. For event organizing/promotion and ‘linking’ to articles or posts, instead of maintaining feeds. All the activity is now on their facebook page.

For a minute (2009-2012) Twitter seemed like a powerful organizing tool, particularly around the emerging hashtags #bike +INSERT CITY. #bikeNYC was a great thing to be part of at that time. Notably organizers held monthly meet ups so that participating hashtag users could socialize in real life. And it was exciting to jump into #bikeLA.  It seemed like the passionate could have an equal or greater voice than the de facto nonprofit or transit agency. Large corporations responded to twitter complaints, but in no other way. A superhighway to being heard?

While twitter fades into the mainstream sunset – Instagram continues to grow, replacing soundbites with images, but retaining #hashtags and these are seemingly useful universally. In a recent @BicycleCulture board meeting we reviewed starting a women’s equality in publishing project – only to have it downgraded to “hashtag activism.” A no cost, cross platform approach that is “as easy to implement as it is to ignore.”

As projects come up or get left behind there’s this trail of digital bodies: websites, blogs, facebook pages, twitter and instagram accounts. A tumblr or two. Someone contacted me through flickr the other day and I felt senile. Who, what, how? My desire now is to make sense of it all and instead of reinventing new identities, to bring them together. But just as in web development or other technical work, it’s always easier to start fresh instead of stitching together all the frankenstein parts. My greatest professional mentor, Steve Rubich, taught me that it’s all about having patience to see how all these complex, janky systems can be interwoven to create the largest most power systems – otherwise everything is too simple, too new. Complexity isn’t the problem, but how it’s handled. Thanks, Steve.

 

The New Frontier:

In Spirit:
I’m not trying to get sponsored (but, you know, it never hurts) and I’m not trying to be a professional anything.  By trying to fit a “profile” or role earlier, I felt the need to jump into whatever came next, often abandoning whatever came before, instead of finding my voice as an individual and generalist. I have many interests and they evolve, with me.  I think most people can relate to that sense of curiosity and change.

In format:
Podcasts! who doesn’t love them?

Why not video? I have a best friend who does weekly youtube videos (Holler, Kym Nonstop!) that are amazing – but production is too high a barrier, the visual experience too dominant. I want people to be able to go into their own heads, fill in details with their imaginations. The ‘radio’ format is an intimate way of telling stories and getting to know other people. Obviously, more on that soon :-)

And it will be organic: so expect periods of silence and times when several episodes become available almost at once. Probably expect the quality to be questionable at first, and better with time!

Gratitude.

It’s pretty amazing that after all these years of sometimes publishing, changing topics, formats, projects… that I still have people who read and follow along. Thank you.

Come visit me in LA and go on an adventure. We’ll record a story. If you wanna support these endeavors (microphones and computers don’t buy themselves!) won’t you hit the donate button?

 

It’s easy to be the little bird chirping about good news and fun times. It’s hard to understand how to communicate when things don’t go as planned. Even more difficult is trying to navigate how to speak about relationships or events that were painful. It’s been a difficult (and at times quite amazing) year. Throughout that time I’ve been advised to remain silent on several events. Abstractly, there’s two problems with that approach: silence isolates you and takes you out of the larger conversation – takes away your momentum along with any perspective, but it also removes the possibility of a larger dialogue that could mean advancing how a community handles difficult situations. After all, if no one speaks up, there’s nothing to fix. Personally it is also very socially isolating to go from being an outspoken advocate to getting very quiet. That doesn’t feel good.

When you’re a child, people tell you to speak up because others will come to your aid; but as an adult you’re subject to the social norms that can backfire if you’re not in the dominant group. Generally the financial decision makers and those that play a good political game. That’s where emotional vs rational decisions get made.

I believe in radical acceptance. Which as an activist is maybe something of a spiritual conflict. The line for me is that we should work to improve the lives of all people, animals and the environment – but when something bad happens – well, just keep going. Our goal is ultimately to be happy while doing no harm and being the best at what we care about.

And that’s why I’ve been so down. I don’t feel that I can keep doing what I care about. It’s hard to look at the projects that I’ve loved so much and realize that it’s just not working.  Or that it could turn around, but that I need help and being quiet about things isn’t the best way to do that.

How do you ask for help?

Even in non-profit bicycle advocacy there’s the stress to appear as if everything is super professional. To go after grant money, you should have an office, staff, audit records. The old horse before the cart irony.

There’s a reason why we need cheerleaders: momentum, people and excitement are the non-rational drivers behind everything. I’m a ditch digger and while I can talk on stage, I don’t have the personality of a pied-piper. But I need those people – sometimes just to look past my OCD of making sure that everything’s going mostly as planned.

If I could make 3 wishes:

  • I’d want to be invited to more dinner parties, backcountry bike/hike trips, slumber parties and pool/beach time. Because being happy and chilling out with people is the most important thing we can do.
  • That instead of thinking of new ideas, people would act on ways to make things happen. Most of the time that’s fundraising. Or spreadsheets.
  • Share without fear. Collaborate radically.

Perhaps no one reads these. I look at the web traffic and see that TBW still gets good results from Helmet Reviews and other practical articles. But it’s been a little while since that was the focus and using the blog as a press/event announcement platform seems kinda… boring?

I struggle with what to do with this blog. For years it’s been a fun outlet for talking about things that few were addressing. Now a new urbanism blog, womens development team, transportation non-profit spring up everyday to advance transportation bicycling in American cities or getting more women riding. Maybe I’m not needed there. And my intellectual focus has shifted. I’m pondering the non-profit sector and it’s challenges. But unlike being a rogue individual who cares about bikes, it’s a lot more political to cry about non-profit issues. And as I get older issues of equality around women’s rights and socio-economic inequality. BORING. Or is it? In an age where everyone just wants to see a picture, I’m thinking in essays. Oh dear.

And that takes more time to create as well as read. But are blogs relevant in the facebook age anyway? Isn’t it better to rely on keyword searches to gear reviews and hot events? Meh, I’ll leave that to someone else.