“Half The Road” trailer from kevin tokstad on Vimeo.

The Bicycle Film Festival Womens Program at the 2014 Los Angeles stop of their tour had only two films: a short by local racer and former BFF producer, Jen Whalen, and the documentary ‘Half the Road.’  There seems to be a lack of women focused or directed films about biking out there, so perhaps it isn’t a surprise that the major take away is: gender bias in cycling is freakishly bad and geared towards silent acceptance. With 10+ years of riding, racing, organizing and advocating for bikes behind me, I was thrilled to see so many legendary female racers open up about their personal stories, lives and how the shameful lack of respect for women in professional cycling is unnecessary.

When the the film reviews for ‘Half the Road’ started getting published online, I agreed and felt defensive. Was it too long? Yes. Did it take an aggressive name calling stance towards the evil UCI officials/henchmen keeping women from opportunities or respect?  Yup. The cinematography and production values could have been better too, but seriously? In telling the movie going audience that a movie is too long and negative, you’ve just killed off the audience that will be the most impressed by this movie: the ones who are not already super familiar with these issues and are more likely to have that “ah-ha” moment watching it.

For those of us tired of hearing how things are broken, it was actually really awesome to watch director Kathyrn Bertine point fingers at specific UCI officials, name names, cite specific discriminatory rules and respond to dismissals with epic stories of a forgotten women’s TdF, massive endurance events and the incredibly moving first hand story of Kristin Armstrong’s latest olympic gold medal. Bertine points out exactly how things can change. Is it biased? Absolutely. Now, it’s up to the audience to act on it and thankfully ‘Half the Road’ provides that roadmap.

Go see ‘Half the Road.’ Bring a snack and get a coffee afterward. Then start a revolution where you are.

FRI APR 25 in SAN FRANCISCO, CA at Bicycle Film Festival
SUN APR 27 in NEWPORT BEACH, CA at the Newport Beach Film Festival 11:30am
MON APR 28 in NEW HAVEN, CT at Rave North Haven 12 at 7:30p
WED APR 30 in NEWPORT BEACH, CA at the Newport Beach Film Festival 8:15pm
WED APR 30 in GRAND JUNCTION, CO at Carmike Seven at 7:30pm
SAT MAY 3 in SILVER CITY, NM at the TOUR OF THE GILA / Besse-Forward campus auditorium, 7pm
TUE MAY 6 in BALTIMORE, MD at the Landmark Harbor East at 7:30pm
WED MAY 7 in BOISE, ID at Northgate Reel Theater at 7pm
WED MAY 7 in SEATTLE, WA at Landmark Harvard Exit Theatre at 7:30pm
THUR MAY 8 in MEQUON, WI at Marcus North Shore Cinema at 7:30pm
TUE MAY 13 in BOULDER, CO at Century Boulder 16 at 7:30pm
CANADIAN PREMIERE! TUE MAY 13 in SASKATOON, SASK. at Broadway Theater
THUR MAY 15 in NANTUCKET, MA at Nantucket Dreamland
FRI MAY 16 in DENVER, CO at the SIE Film Center
MON MAY 19 in BOCA RATON, FL at Cinemark Palace 20 7:30pm
AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE! MON MAY 19 PERTH, AUSTRALIA Windsor Theater, 6:30pm
THUR MAY 22 in CHATTANOOGA, TN at Carmkike Majestik 12 6:30pm
SUN MAY 25 in PORTLAND, OR at Hollywood Theater 7pm
SUN-TUE JUNE 1-3 in ALBUQUERQUE, NM at the Guild Theater
TUE JUNE 3rd in CHICAGO, IL at AMC River East 7:30pm
SCOTLAND PREMIERE! MON JUNE 12 in EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND at Edinburgh Festival of Bicycles 
TUE JULY 15 in SALT LAKE CITY, UT at the Utah Film Center
THUR JULY 24-27 in ST. LUCIA, CARIBBEAN info Here
SUN OCT 5 in BLOOMINGTON, IN at Buskirk-Chumley Theater

The Red Hook Crit in Brooklyn is an amazing race that just gets bigger and more epic every year. This year the women’s race (and the rainy conditions) stole the show. It’s a gorgeous, amazing event that’s incredible to watch, but often it’s easy to look at this kind of race and disconnect from how inspiring these athletes are. If you’ve ever been a little ‘meh’ on the subject of women’s bicycle racing, 2014 should be the year that turns into a giant FUCK YEAH!

Consider that of the women’s filed most of the racers were unsponsored, unattached individuals racing purely for the challenge of it. Want to see what that looks like from their perspective? Veronica Volok took ‘Go Pro’ footage of the race giving anyone the chance to see it from the rider’s point of view.


Check out the RHC women’s race results.  It’s pretty rad to see the lap times and just how many women were making it happen. Ladies: interested in racing: study these videos cause this is what it’s all about!

It was super exciting to see LA’s hometown criterium champion & Wolfpack Hustle rider: Jo Celso win the overall women’s first in an awesome final sprint.

RHC14sprint

photo: Ben Rosser

So happy to see Carolyn Szczepanski’s profile of the last 10 (!) years of bicycle + culture projects get published in Momentum Magazine today. My favorite thing about press is that it’s like knowing you’ll get a present, but you never really know what it is until a bunch of your friends send you links or have a giant smile on their face while waving a magazine in the air.

profile

(PSST:  Also, it was super fun to shoot that image in downtown LA with the awesome Hal Bergman.  I’m already thinking about what a gallery installation of his apocalyptic #bikeLA photos and stop motion pieces would look like…)

Wolfpack Hustle's L.A. Marathon Crash Race is a really big deal in its' 5th year.

Wolfpack Hustle’s L.A. Marathon Crash Race is a really big deal in its’ 5th year.

Action alert:

  • Call Eric Garcetti/ LA Mayor’s office and let him know that without Wolfpack Hustle thousands will still crash the L.A. Marathon; without control, safety checks or insurance. Save#marathoncrash 213.978.0600 mayor.garcetti@lacity.org

While at the National Bike Summit in Washington DC, I learned from Don “Roadblock” Ward that the Wolfpack Marathon Crash Race, due to take place in only a few days – had receive a letter from the City of L.A.

(Wolfpack Marathon Crash Race) “is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment in county jail for a period not to exceed one year. You may incur liability for any costs related to City services deployed for an event held in violations of Section 41.20.”

Standing next to my co-workers from the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and other LA bike advocates, we couldn’t help be a little shocked and wonder who was responsible for pulling the plug on an event that had been happening with the support of the LAPD and the wide acknowledgement of the City – while also being a transformative “cicLAvia” like experience awakening people to the wonders of being able to ride 26.2 miles through Los Angeles, car-free. So wonderful is the experience – for first time racers and first time recreational participants – that the event has encouraged a whole new generation of racers and urban bike racing.

Streetsblog LA (as usual) broke the news with an excellent story,

Wolfpack Hustled: City Pulls Support for Marathon Crash, Threatens Legal Action

when the LA Times picked it up with their article, Popular pre-L.A. Marathon bike ride canceled after city permit snag

StreetsBlogLA then had some salient points on the LA Times article here.

LA Weekly followed that up with:

Bicyclists Plan to Crash L.A. Marathon Course — Despite City Shutdown

Indeed so much hype, lack of clarity and contention between the city’s questionable ‘tactics’ resulted in the LA Times going live with an open discussion on what might actually be happening:

L.A. Now Live: Discuss fallout of cancelled pre-L.A. Marathon bike race.

While in DC – advocates from LA and nationally participated in a photo campaign to urge L.A. City to “Save Marathon Crash Race.”

What You Can Do (NOW!)

Call Eric Garcetti/ LA Mayor’s office and let him know that without Wolfpack Hustle thousands will still crash the L.A. Marathon; without control, safety checks or insurance. Save#marathoncrash 213.978.0600 mayor.garcetti@lacity.org

LABCFS-facebookBIG News.

What was only an idea at the L.A. Bike Trains December meeting is now a full blown festival that’s (gulp!) less than a month away. The festival is underwritten and hosted by AIDS/Lifecycle and sponsored by Los Angeles Bicycle Attorney, Josh Cohen. We’ve put together an awesome group of local culture, advocacy groups, bike shops and brands. Healthy snacks provided by Good Eggs LA!
Schedule:
12:00-12:45 Press Conference – festival areas open
1:00-1:45 Opening Panel
2:00-2:45 Workshops round 1
2:45-3:30 Break – invite to roam, eat “snack time!”
3:30-4:30 Workshops round 2
5:00-6:00 Closing Remarks/ Raffle Winner(s) announced
6:00-7:00 Party & Open festival
I need you to invite EVERYONE YOU’VE EVER MET. Coworkers, neighbors, friends, family. Anyone who isn’t yet riding (because this is for them) and everyone who is riding (because it’s so awesome!) We want to see this become an annual event and we need to throw a big party to make that happen.
LABCFSimage

Changing the Cycle – ESRBC from Giovanni Moreno

The East Side Riders (and their neighboring crew the Los Riders) are doing amazing things in Los Angeles. I was stoked to see this fun, inspiring video showing some of the great things happening in Watts. Check it out! Giovanni Moreno:

“During the 1992 L.A Riots negative images resulting from the chaos were propagated through news channels and viewed around the globe. Thereafter, the perception of the southern region of L.A, where South Central, Compton and Watts coexist, became tainted. Positive news rarely followed afterward, and when I witnessed positive events in my neighborhood, they went unmentioned in the news. The positive side of this region of L.A, I realized, hardly gets the attention it deserves.

Being a filmmaker born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, while studying Film & Television at UCLA, I made a promise to myself; my first film was going to show the good energies spreading in L.A. When I seen the positive impact East Side Riders Bike Club was making in their community since 2008 (Fighting diabetes, heart disease, feeding the homeless, and getting a diverse community involved by riding a bicycle), I knew this was it. For 4 months I biked with the team around L.A, meeting with different bicyclists from different areas, age groups, and ethnic backgrounds coming together united as one to ride a bike. It amazed me how we were all riding together to one rhythm under the sun. Every pedal we pushed seemed to take us further away from 1992… I just had to capture the movement.

Transforming these towns one by one, little by little, they are Changing the Cycle. They have also been a strong advocate in adding Bike Lanes in L.A and are succeeding at the goal. Now I don’t want to spoil the film for you.. I hope you enjoy the short…Spread the good word.”

I was super happy when Edward, the owner of Peddler’s Creamery in downtown LA, approached me at the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s holiday open house to hang art in their gorgeous space. It’s so pretty… that they just won “Best of 2013″ by Interior Design Magazine! Taking it for the ‘budget’ category amongst international competition – congrats! Plus the ice cream is super delicious and pedal churned!

Stop by and enjoy some ice cream and art. Up through January 2014.

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From Krista Carlson’s

Cultivating Conversations at BikeBike 2013: A Recap in Urban Velo

bikebike

Excerpt:

In between workshops attendees went on rides, ate local food, and danced to local live music together, all the while continuing to share stories and ideas.

“I wanted to find my peers who were struggling with the same things at the same point,” said Nona Varnado, “ and I also wanted to be able to share my knowledge so that people can get to where I am faster, and we create more of a peer group of people who are trying to, from the bottom up, create this sort of social change.”

While it was her first time attending BikeBike, Varnado, a key organizer of ArtCrank, L.A. Bike Trains and the Red5Yellow7 bike-art gallery in L.A., is no stranger to community bike projects, and facilitated seven workshops throughout the weekend. “It’s BikeBike—If you don’t do it, it might not happen,” she said.

Long involved with integrating bikes are art to elevate one another, Varnado presented on guerilla bike art to a packed house, sharing ideas and examples of ways to use art to advance goals within the community. This workshop was one of seven that she hosted or co-facilitated throughout the weekend.

 – Urban Velo liked this quote so much they re-printed it in their next issue #40 with a photo series from Bike!Bike! 2013 -

“It’s hard to learn all of these things, because you’ve got to learn about bikes themselves, you’ve got to learn about the bike industry, you’ve got to learn about nonprofits and advocacy and how cities work. There’s just so much stuff to learn that if you’re just kind of trying to do good stuff it could take you forever—so this is kind of like a fast track–instead of trying to work really hard and bumble your way through the next 10 years, just go to BikeBike and figure it all out.”

p32-33 p36-37

By comparing models and sharing ideas, the trial-by-fire experiences of one organization becomes a learning tool for other groups. Coming out of BikeBike a few years ago, an online think tank of more than 600 contributors provides a forum for information sharing and discourse between annual events.

“A lot of progress comes in the time between two BikeBikes. It all starts off from an idea being shared and getting folks really excited,” said Loconte. “One of the most surprising things is always how that problem your organization is experiencing and battling over and having a lot of issues with and not finding a way to resolve – most other shops will have very straightforward solutions that you never thought of.”

BikeBike 2014 will be in Columbus, Ohio. For more information and resources visit bikebike.org.

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