Category Archives: Events

Hero of the Deep: Rich Brown

Last month, Program Director Rich Brown was honored as a Hero of the Deep at a Seattle Kraken home game by the Kraken Unity Fund. The Fund honors inspiring individuals who are doing outstanding work to transform lives, enable resiliency, and uplift and unite communities across the Pacific Northwest. As part of this honor, the Seattle Kraken and OneRoof Foundation donated $32,000 to support Bike Works programs.

At Bike Works

At Bike Works, Rich has designed and led biking, mechanic, and advocacy programs to engage youth in the community with a focus on racial equity. These programs are held at public schools in South Seattle like Rainier Beach and South Shore K-8, onsite at Bike Works in Columbia City, and across the county and state for longer distance rides. They also provide unique and creative opportunities for young people to build skills, connect with adult mentors who look like them, get to know their neighborhoods, practice environmental stewardship, and organize around issues that are important to them.

Port Community Action Committee (PCAT)

Rich is also a founding member of the Port Community Action Committee (PCAT), a community group that partners with the Port of Seattle to address local concerns, health issues, and disparities in neighborhoods that are affected by pollution of the Duwamish River such as South Park and Georgetown. Their goals are to work towards a healthy environment, economic prosperity & place (for example, creating jobs and resources so that BIPOC folks are not priced out of their communities due to gentrification), and community resiliency and capacity building.

the beginnings

Initially, Rich first started his career in the private sector, earning a business degree and working in tech. He ultimately found this career unfulfilling, and ended up teaching tech and media at the University of Washington School of Social Work, pairing his vocational expertise with his passion for community. After that, he moved from the university to the nonprofit sector, teaching tech to youth in South Seattle (some of these students also went through Bike Works programs!) He took time off to travel and focus on music (Rich is an accomplished trumpet player and DJ) and through a series of connections, took a job in the biking department at REI.

“Biking offers so many intersections like accessibility, mobility, and equitable access to infrastructure (we have a huge lack of that in South Seattle).”

growing up with bikes

As a kid, Rich had loved cycling and racing BMX, but had stopped due to a lack of diversity, representation, and overt racism he experienced in the scene. It was enough to make him decide to quit biking at the time. The job at REI resparked his passion for biking, and he was able to find a more organic and supportive community of cyclists. Rich reflects on what drew him to cycling, “Biking offers so many intersections like accessibility, mobility, and equitable access to infrastructure (we have a huge lack of that in South Seattle).” This circuitous path led Rich to center the bicycle in his youth development, advocacy, and community-building efforts, which he has now been engaged in for nearly a decade.

Rich had been a team leader in what was then Seattle’s “Bike to Work Day” challenge for several years. During that time, he met Ed Ewing, who is today Bike Works’ Executive Director. Ed was leading the Major Taylor Project at Cascade Bicycle Club, a school-based cycling program designed to engage Black and Brown students in bike desert neighborhoods in South Seattle. Ed and Rich exchanged numbers.

bicycle safety and taking action

Shortly after that, a young person in Rich’s community was hit by a car biking on Airport Way. He survived, but the incident sparked community conversations about safety, and Rich’s neighbors turned to him for leadership as an outspoken cyclist. Rich reached out to Ed for advice and decided to take action by bringing the community together and raising awareness in a positive way.

“If I see an opportunity, or I can help somebody or I have access to something, I plug people in!”

Rich and his community hosted a helmet giveaway and bike safety rodeo to focus on safety skills. Rich reflects on the event, “If I see an opportunity, or I can help somebody or I have access to something, I plug people in!”

the major taylor project

This event was a huge success, and Rich thanked Ed for his council. Sometime later, Ed reached out to Rich to ask if he would be interested in joining the Major Taylor Project as a ride leader. He eventually joined full-time and ended up managing the program for a couple of years. Now, years later, Rich and Ed are still working together to promote cycling in South Seattle, engage community members, and address racial and other types of disparities.

Over the last decade, Rich’s work has addressed intersections of race, transit, recreation, safety, and environmentalism through an organic network of relationships. If you see Rich around, please give him a huge congratulations as a prominent community leader paving the way for future generations to come!

Seattle to Portland 2023 Reflections

2023 is the second year that we partnered with Cascade Bicycle Club to invite youth and Riders of Color to participate in the annual Seattle to Portland bike ride. This partnership is a reflection of both organizations’ commitment to anti-racism and diversity in cycling. This year, we had over 40 youth and adult riders! Amidst the high heat and scorching sun, each rider was able to have an experience of their own – riding this for themselves, their family and/or their community. For this blog, we wanted people to share their story in whatever medium felt the most authentic. Thank you to those that contributed!

Frances Tung (she/her)

a Q & A…

Why did you decide to participate in STP this year?

My best friend from childhood, Ellen, mentioned to me that she had signed up for STP and asked me if I was also interested in joining. I thought, “Oh it’s that ride I heard about a long time ago!” I joined a 40 mile Bike Works STP training just to see how it would go, and I was so impressed at how welcoming and supportive the group was. It was my first group ride and I was feeling quite nervous, but I knew I was in a friendly space when I walked in the door. Jim greeted me and asked me if I had any questions or needed help with any quick fixes on my bike before the ride. 

The training ride was challenging, but I made it all in one piece and I really loved the camaraderie of group riding and meeting so many other riders who I easily meshed with. I later decided I was going to sign up for STP and see this thing through!

What does participating in STP as a rider of color mean to you?

For me, being a minority typically means being noticeably different from others in a group setting. Sometimes it doesn’t bother me, sometimes it is uncomfortable, and sometimes it feels intimidating or like I don’t belong in a space. By participating in STP as a rider of color in a large group of other riders of color, I felt like I was in a safe and supportive space. I also hope to have shown other riders of color that we have a strong community, and they are welcome here.

“By participating in STP as a rider of color in a large group of other riders of color, I felt like I was in a safe and supportive space.”

Please share a high, low and hilarious from the weekend.

High: Making a stop at the kids splash park on the first day after suffering through 90+ degree temperatures with no shade. I took off my shoes, went straight for the waterfall, and it felt absolutely amazing.

Low: Getting only 3 hours of sleep at the Centralia campground due to uncomfortable camping setup, bright lights, weird noises, etc. And then having to wake up at 4 am to hit the road.

Hilarious: Seeing the STP support riders wearing unicorn outfits with fluffy tutus on their bikes! Also, some really creative helmet decorations, custom printed jerseys, and other fun bike attire.

How did participating in STP impact you?

Confidence: I feel more confident in my physical ability and ability to train for an endurance sport. Training for STP was the first time I’ve ever seriously trained for a sports event and now I know that I am capable of so much more than I previously thought I was.

Community: I knew I needed to train for this ride, so I joined nearly every scheduled weekend training ride and set up a few impromptu rides. Over time, I gradually got to know my fellow riders better and felt like a member of this community. My goal now is to give back to this community that has provided me with such a wonderful experience and friendships!

“Over time, I gradually got to know my fellow riders better and felt like a member of this community. My goal now is to give back to this community that has provided me with such a wonderful experience and friendships!”

Mobility: Now that I am much more confident in riding my bike, I use it frequently as a mode of transportation! I have used my bike to commute to work, run errands, meet up with friends, and just for fun. There is something that feels so special and neighborly about biking down the road to a friend’s house to hang out.

Achievement: I have a tendency to minimize my accomplishments, but with STP under my belt, I’ve found that I’ve surprised and impressed a lot of my friends who have been cycling for way longer than me and who I had looked up to as “very experienced hardcore bike people.” Now, I consider myself an experienced bike person too!

Please share an experience from STP that stood out to you! It can be your own experience or something that you witnessed.

Riding with the Party B pace group was the highlight of the entire experience. I made it through the whole ride with the leadership of the volunteer ride leaders and collaborative team spirit. The whole group stuck together through mechanical issues, medical issues, the searing heat, crazy cars zooming past, and more. Riding for 8+ hours a day is a lot of time, and I enjoyed the moments where we got to ride side-by-side and crack jokes, sing songs together, and just have some good chats about life.



Shannon (she/her)

a personal essay…

This past summer, I completed the Seattle to Portland ride with the support of Bike Works and Ampersand Bikes Club. This experience showed me not only what I was physically able to accomplish, but also what I could accomplish with the support of others.

In March, I moved from Ballard to Beacon Hill, in part to be closer to Bike Works in Columbia City in preparation for the training rides for STP that I missed out on in the prior year, due to knee pain. I knew that the early start times of the training rides would be more bearable with a 15 minute commute to the start as opposed to a 1+ hour commute. That month, I started anticipating all of the various biking activities that I would accomplish over the summer in order to make up for missing out in the previous year. With my STP, RSVP, RefugeFest, and various bikepacking trip registrations all in place, I started my training.

Training turned out to be a slog. I previously looked forward to social rides I had done with ABC as primarily fun bonding experiences, secondary to becoming a stronger rider. The training rides represented the complete opposite. Memories of riding in the rain, trying to stay warm and dry in the narrow sections of shoulders on fast highways still haunt me today. Those moments made me question whether my goals for the summer actually encompassed what I wanted to do or whether they just acted as filler for the FOMO I frequently felt. Another training ride focused on hills had me cursing Jim’s name (sorry Jim) and massaging my sore legs.

“Memories of riding in the rain, trying to stay warm and dry in the narrow sections of shoulders on fast highways still haunt me today.”

The final training ride, a practice century, had me questioning everything about the upcoming rides for the summer. I later learned that I hadn’t been properly rehydrating myself with electrolytes in addition to water during that ride, causing me to feel quite depleted. A minor seat adjustment turned out extremely consequential the next morning when I woke up with knee pain and had to limp throughout the day. After consulting others on the ride and doing some deep soul searching, I decided to back out of doing the full 200+ miles of STP. I worried that pushing myself for the ride would cause more permanent injury to my knees that would put me out of commission for the other activities I had planned in August. After talking to Jim, my new plan included only 50 miles of riding on the first day and volunteering on the second day. Despite reluctantly putting my body first instead of riding through the pain, as I had done in 2022, I was met with full support from my peers.

Come the day of the race, I joked that I would make it from UW to Beacon Hill and then call for a support ride from Bike Works. However, I made it to the lunch halfway point high on the camaraderie of the ride and the energy of those in my pace group. (Go Party B). I decided to keep going and see. Miles 50-70 proved taxing as the sun beat down full force as we rode on exposed highway. Our pace leaders kindly pulled us through these long stretches. At mile 70, Bike Works had suggested a smaller rest stop from the main one. This turned out to be a core memory of that first day. As we pulled up to a small playground with a spray park, I quickly anticipated how the cool water would feel on my sweaty skin. I later learned it was 90 degrees while we splashed around. From there, we had a much needed respite from cars and rode on the Yelm – Tenino trail, singing along to songs and having a merry time. I still didn’t feel any knee pain and continued on. At mile 90, friends provided some much needed electrolytes, and I decided to push through the last 10 miles. STP photographers captured my crying face as we rode into the first day finish. I had gone from thinking I would ride only 50 miles to completing the first day.

“As we pulled up to a small playground with a spray park, I quickly anticipated how the cool water would feel on my sweaty skin.”

The celebration at the camp revived me almost as much as my $5 shower. We ate and shared stories of how we arrived at this point through our physical selves and also our connections with each other. After setting up my tent, I asked Jim if it would be okay for me to ride the second day and not volunteer. He said it was not a problem and I could ride as much or as little as I wanted. He added that he wasn’t surprised I ended up riding more. I still remain grateful for the flexibility and peace of mind he gave me, allowing me to participate in the capacity that I felt comfortable with and allowing me to adjust as I gathered more information.

The next day, I learned why people wake up early to ride. The cool air and quiet roads provided a gentle warm up for the day ahead. We encountered some rolling hills that a few of us started gaining speed and energy on. A fellow group member pulled up beside us and reminded us that we were exceeding the agreed upon pace. I had thoughts of splitting up into two separate groups to accommodate the now differing paces, but quickly pushed those down and sat with the small disappointment that we had to slow down. Later, a group member stopped suddenly after getting stung by a bee. Everyone circled to help and ensure nothing severe happened. After everything resolved and we resumed riding, I realized, this is why we stick together. To take care of each other.

“I realized, this is why we stick together. To take care of each other.”

Throughout the ride, this kept happening. People kept supporting each other, looking out for each other, and being there for one another. This came in the form of giving each other snacks, sunscreen, and water. And also making sure that we stuck together. As a typically independent person, it felt foreign to me to allow myself to be taken care of by others. As I leaned into it, all I felt was love. Love in the leaders pulling me, love in the constant offer of electrolytes, love in the support vehicles always nearby, love in the way we communicated as we rode shouting out, “Bike passing!”

“As a typically independent person, it felt foreign to me to allow myself to be taken care of by others. As I leaned into it, all I felt was love. Love in the leaders pulling me, love in the constant offer of electrolytes, love in the support vehicles always nearby, love in the way we communicated as we rode shouting out, “Bike passing!”

I saw those around us completing the ride physically, riding silently among strangers. And I saw them start to emulate our ways as we modeled a different way of riding, one where we looked out for each other.

As we continued to ride on the second day, I started to feel twinges in my knees. I had hopes of now completing all 200 miles and recognized the familiar disappointment that that might not happen. At mile 175, we pulled into a rest stop with Bike Works folks and I started icing my knees. After learning that the remainder of the ride before University of Portland would be much of the same exposed riding on highway, I posed the idea of getting a ride to University of Portland. A smile immediately spread across my face and I knew that that was the right decision. Everyone supported me, and nobody pushed me, saying it was only 30 more miles. I received the support ride to University of Portland and met up with everyone else from all the pace groups.

Some had been waiting for over 2 hours, having ridden a much spicier pace, and others had yet to reach this point. As a group, we aimed to ride together into the finish line. The end of the ride remains surreal in my head as I had already cried 3-4 times during the weekend from the emotionality of it all, along with the extreme physical exertion and lack of sleep.

In the end, I rode 185 miles, and I say I completed STP. My perfectionist tendencies struggle with this, however I remind myself, that in essence, I rode this in the capacity I could, and nobody can take this experience away from me. I call this weekend a momentous weekend in my life, showing me everything that community can do for you.

“I rode this in the capacity I could, and nobody can take this experience away from me. I call this weekend a momentous weekend in my life, showing me everything that community can do for you.”

I have spent the past year plus searching for community and people I belong with. Finding ABC and Bike Works changed my life and I feel so buoyed by all those surrounding me.

Finally, some specific notes I want to include about the training rides and the things Jim tried to emphasize in the training rides that I didn’t fully get until the actual ride:

Riding on the highway sucks. I hated this during the training rides, however, having the experience helped immensely with this during STP. Riding in the extreme heat and among fast cars overwhelmed me during STP. But I know that it would have overwhelmed me even more emotionally had we not trained for this.

Keeping breaks short felt a bit contrived during the training rides. Getting into the habit of doing this helped during STP, especially during mornings when trying to maximize cooler temperatures and also to keep momentum going.

South End Traffic Incidents Spur Efforts to Prioritize Pedestrian Safety

2021 was the deadliest year on Seattle’s streets since 2006 with 31 lives lost. Vision Zero is the city’s adopted goal that no one should be seriously injured or killed while traveling on our streets. In response, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has just released their highly anticipated “top to bottom” Vision Zero review.

While it contains much needed recommendations to reform SDOT’s internal culture and practices, it fails to propose an action plan to create safe streets for all. Seattle Neighborhood Greenways released their plan containing equitable and proven solutions to get Vision Zero back on track last November.

On Tuesday, March 7th, SDOT’s report was review by the City Council’s Transportation & Seattle Public Utilities Committee. Head to South Seattle Emerald’s page to read more about the issues facing South Seattle.

Ed Ewing, executive director of Bike Works in Columbia City, a “social justice minded organization that centers on racial equity,” said bicycle safety and pedestrian safety are deeply intertwined, and traffic fatalities and injuries for pedestrians and cyclists are greatest in areas that have the least biking infrastructure.

“(In) South Seattle you have the most fatalities, you have the most injuries, you have the most car accidents and then you have the least amount of bicycle infrastructure,” Ewing said. “There’s a direct correlation, and again that lines up with our intention of focusing on the South End because we know that there is a huge need for safety improvements.”

Local groups like Bike Works, Smash the Box, and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways have been reaching out to and meeting with SDOT officials to advocate for safe streets in South Seattle in light of historic racism and discrimination in governmental decision-making, Ewing said.

“There’s history. There is a tremendous history of divestment, of underinvestment in the South End and pretty much any city that has a Community of Color,” Ewing said. “Our goal is to really amplify and increase the awareness of those folks who are making those decisions. Here’s the cumulative effect of divestment in this area, here are the opportunities, and now that we know, let’s do something about it … But if there is reluctance and a desire to stay in the same place, then we have a problem. We have a problem.”

Please watch this video on how we can get Vision Zero back on track at Seattle Neighborhood Greenways.

Volunteer Opportunity: Tour de Fleurs Community Ride

Bike Works needs volunteers to help us run our alleycat race in celebration of spring, the second annual Tour de Fleurs coming up on Sunday, March 26th.

Sign up to volunteer here

Volunteer roles

Opening & setup (1-2 ppl)

  • Shift time: 12-2pm
  • Meet at the Bike Works Shop at the start of your shift (3709 S Ferdinand St)

Checkpoint hosts (10 ppl)

  • Shift time: 1-4 pm
    • Meet at the Bike Works Shop (3709 S Ferdinand St) at 1pm to get supplies and head to checkpoints
    • Remain at checkpoints from 2-4pm. Checkpoint locations will be shared on the day of the ride. 
  • Facilitate checkpoint activities and sign rider manifests + assist riders as needed. Most checkpoints will involve arts and crafts, but the details will remain a surprise until the day of!

Closing (2 ppl)

  • Shift time: 3:30-6pm
  • Meet at the Bike Works Shop at the start of your shift (3709 S Ferdinand St)
  • Role: help tally scores at the end of the ride and support as needed with clean up 

What to expect

Volunteers can expect to carry some light supplies and to bike up to 3 miles to reach their checkpoints (locations will be shared on the day of the ride). Please bring a backpack or a way to carry things on you/your bike. 

Volunteers will be at outdoor checkpoints for 2hrs+, and should dress appropriately for the weather.

  • Restrooms: at Bike Works at the beginning and end of the ride. You are welcome to stop into nearby businesses or use public restrooms as needed
  • Food: provided at Bike Works at the end of the ride ~4pm. Please bring your own snacks if you need them
  • Breaks: you are welcome to sit or rest while waiting for riders at your checkpoint station. Feel free to bring blankets, chairs, water, snacks, etc. anything you need to feel comfortable for your volunteer shift
  • Optional Dress Code: Floral Spring Awakening

For additional access needs, or questions about volunteering, contact Lena Kabeshita at lena@bikeworks.org

Learn more about the event at the registration page

What is an alleycat?

An alleycat is a bike race modeled after a day in the life of a bike messenger; the checkpoints will be kept secret until the day of, and the ride will take place on city streets amongst traffic. There is no set route, and it is up to the rider to navigate their own path from checkpoint to checkpoint.

We recognize that all sorts of people of varying abilities ride bicycles. The one thing we all have in common is that we find cycling fun. So we’ve planned the ride to celebrate and encourage fun with a wide array of jovial checkpoints and challenges based on non-bike related talent and luck. Prizes given for mini-game challenges, best dressed, fastest, slowest, etc. Food and drink will be provided.

Strategic Plan 2-Year Community Report-Out

On February 21, 2023, we hosted an online community report-out about the progress we have made towards our Strategic Plan goals over the last two years and a discussion about next steps.  

Our Strategic Plan focuses on four areas for development through a racial equity lens: internal culture, community engagement, job access, and the use of our physical space. In the first year of implementation, we focused mainly on our internal culture work to promote retention, expand organizational capacity, and ensure that our values are reflected within the structure of Bike Works. This work was conducted concurrently with our programs, in service of greater community impact.

During the last two years, we also progressed our goals to deepen community engagement, promote job access, and enhance our physical space as a community resource. Those focus areas were also covered in the report-out.

During the last two years, we also progressed our goals to deepen community engagement, promote job access, and enhance our physical space as a community resource. Those focus areas were also covered in the report-out.

You can watch a recording of that event below.

View the event slides

 

We explored two discussion questions during this event: what else would you like to see from Bike Works, and what can we learn from you? We wanted to hear about the racial equity and social justice initiatives that our community members have experienced or spearheaded in their own workplaces or community organizations.

Check out the notes from that discussion here

A recurring theme throughout the night was how do we navigate decision-making while also striving to be more equitable and non-hierarchical? This is an ongoing discussion at Bike Works. One of the ways we have begun to address this is by creating a “Criteria-Based Approach to Equitable Decision-Making” tool as a reference guide. This is a “living” document that is subject to change, but we wanted to share it with our community.

Check out Bike works’ equitable decision-making tool

Finally, we discussed the need for bicycle education materials in languages other than English to increase accessibility. We do have this Spanish-language resource and terminology guide. If you have additional resources, especially in any other languages, please send them our way!

Click to access our spanish resource & terminology guide 

You can view the complete Strategic Plan document here, and watch a recording of the initial roll-out of the Plan in March 2021 below.

Youth Cyclocross Recap

In late November, our courageous Bike Works youth showed up and participated in two Cyclocross races. This was a first for most of them and definitely a first for Bike Works. 

Our crew received quite the warm welcome from the Cross community. They all did an AMAZING job on the course and we even have a few students in the top ten of their category! Most of the youth that participated expressed the desire to do it again which is a win for us. For those that decided it wasn’t for them, we commended them for trying something new for the first time.

Big shout out to Monika, Tom, Tommy, for all their leadership and planning. Also props to R&R, Cascade Bicycle Club and volunteers for their help with getting the bikes ready for each race.

Our team is looking forward to next year’s Cross season and bringing more POC to the Cyclocross races in the future!

-Rich Brown, Program Manager

End of Summer South Seattle Community Ride!

We had a blast hosting an all-ages South Seattle community ride on Sunday, August 28th! We had families with tandems, trailers, and cargo bikes. Dozens of Bike Works volunteers, current and former staff, and supporters rolled through. We even had the good fortune to cross-over with Northstar Cycling at Chuck’s Hop Shop Seward Park for an end of ride celebration.

Chuck’s generously donated $1 per pint ($50 total) and matched all additional donations to support our program partners, Young Women Empowered (Y-We) and STEM Paths Innovation Networks (SPIN Girls). REI also sponsored the event by covering delicious food from Muriel’s. This was a true community event and we’re so grateful for the good vibes.

Check out some of the photos below – full album on Facebook. Photos by May Cheng, Elise Hirschi, and Nick Strother.

Check out the full album on facebook

A group of cyclists getting ready for a ride A group of cyclists getting ready for a ride A group of cyclists getting ready for a ride A group of cyclists getting ready for a ride

An adult and a youth riding bikes on a trail 3 people at a table

Three women in sunglasses smiling at a table with drinks Two people at a table with beers

 

Tour de Fleurs: Our First Alleycat!

On Sunday, April 3rd, Bike Works hosted our first-ever alleycat-style bike ride, the “Tour de Fleurs” in celebration of spring!
All photos by Kae-Lin Wang

VIEW ALL THE PHOTOS ON FACEBOOK

A woman kneels by her bike which has a bouquet of white flowers tied to the top tube Three cyclists with helmets and flowered garlands around their necks

An alleycat is a bike race modeled after a day in the life of a bike messenger; the route is kept secret until the day of, and take place on city streets amongst traffic. There is no set route, and it is up to the rider to navigate their own path from checkpoint to checkpoint. In addition to the urban asphalt, the “Tour de Fleurs” featured numerous dirt/gravel options to increase stoke and help riders connect to the great provider of flowers and life, Mother Earth.

Video edit by Sean Flood

Two people using a mic to speak enthusiastically, presumably to a crowd gathered outside Two cyclists in orange and one in black smile for the camera

We recognize that all sorts of people of varying abilities ride bicycles. The one thing we all have in common is that we find cycling fun. So we planned the ride to celebrate and encourage fun with a wide array of jovial checkpoints and challenges based on non-bike related talent and luck. About 100 riders participated and together we raised over $1,300 to support Nurturing Roots, a Black woman owned farming community program in Beacon Hill. Nurturing Roots came through with their vegan mac ‘n cheese and bike-powered smoothies! Food was also provided from our supporters at Ezell’s Famous Chicken and Pagliacci Pizza and REI brought a DIY sunglasses station!

A woman sitting at a table full of brochures and stickers Two people smile at the camera enjoying fried chicken from Ezell's

Inside every [person]
Lives the seed of a flower
If [they] look within [they] find beauty and power
Ring all the bells, sing and tell the people everywhere that the flower has come
Light up the sky with your prayers of gladness and rejoice for the darkness is gone
Throw off your fears let your heart beat freely at the sign that a new time is born

-Minnie Ripperton, Les Fleurs

A group of cyclists A group of cyclists with their hands in a circle

Two cyclists with pipe cleaners sticking out of their helmets A young person on a bike gets their nails painted for an alleycat challenge

Someone holds up a Bike Works jersey A small dog in a bike basket

Two people smile for the camera A cyclist smiles with one hand in a paper box and the other holding up a piece of paper

Promoting Race & Gender Equity in Cycling

On Thursday, March 24th, 2022, Bike Works Executive Director Ed Ewing facilitated a panel of activists and cyclists to discuss different approaches to promoting race & gender equity in cycling and beyond. Panelists Edwin Lindo (Northstar Cycling Club & Estelita’s Library), Roxanne Robles (Friends on Bikes, Feels on Wheels, The Bikery, and Outdoors for All), Lee Lambert (Cascade Bicycle Club), and Ella Dorband (Breakfast Racing Team) shared their experiences as organizers and advocates, and how they work to make different types of cycling more inclusive including racing, touring, bikepacking, adventure riding, and community riding. Check out the recording of the event below.

Meet the Speakers

Ed Ewing: Ed has 31+ years of marketing, project development, strategic planning, and nonprofit leadership experience. He co-founded the Major Taylor Project, a youth cycling initiative focused on creating opportunities for Black and Brown youth in diverse and underserved communities. Ed has cycled competitively since 1983, and still actively races today. He is also a founding member of the Rainier Riders, a cycling club led by Black and Brown riders.

Roxanne Robles: Roxy is a cyclist, urban planner, sewist, and Filipinx food enthusiast living on the ancestral lands of the Duwamish (Seattle, Washington). She started bike touring in 2017 after realizing that bike touring was not that different than hauling 30 pounds of groceries up and down Seattle hills. She organizes with Friends on Bikes, and volunteers with The Bikery & Outdoors for All. Roxy is passionate about supporting new cyclists and spreading her love of bikes and bike touring, and she uses her Capricorn powers for good by planning summer bike trips months in advance. She thinks tarot cards are an essential item on any packing list, and loves to talk about feelings. Her book, An Introduction to Bike Touring will help you get started on your cycling journey!

Ella Dorband – Ella Dorband is, along with founder Mackenna Lees, co-captain of Breakfast RacingA headshot of Ella Dorband, wearing a pink and red racing jersey with the words "Breakfast" on the front Team, a multi-discipline team of 49 WTFNB racers in the Seattle-ish area. She currently races cyclocross, cross country mountain bike, and track. Previously, she was a Lead and then Board Member at The Bikery. In 2023 she and her partner hope to direct their first race, but basically everything about this is TBD. Outside of the bike world, she is a technical project manager and art enthusiast.

Edwin Lindo: Edwin has embarked on the journey to ask and explore the hard questions of Race & Racism within the institutions of Medicine and Law. As faculty at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Edwin has developed curriculum and teaches on Critical Race Theory and Medicine; and is also the Assistant Dean for Social and Health Justice within the Office of Healthcare. His research and scholarship has focused on the history of racialized medicine, race & racism within medicine, social justice and social movements, and decolonized pedagogies for critical education.

Estell (his partner and wife) and Edwin founded and curated Estelita’s Library, a Social Justice Community Library & Bookstore dedicated to the goal of bringing truth and justice to communities through decentralized knowledge and decolonized spaces. Their books cover topics of justice, liberation, identity, race & racism, economic and political theory, and anything else that guides us in understanding our world through a critical lens. You can find them at EstelitasLibrary.com. Estelita’s Library is named after their 4 year old, Estella.

Edwin is also the co-founder of North Star Cycling, the largest BIPOC cycling club on the West Coast — our goal is to bring melanated people and a conscious of justice to cycling. We have built community through Sunday Service rides and Wednesday night rides. Our model is special in that we are hear to provide unconditional embrace of minoritized folks, no matter where they are: never riding a bike to racing in Cat 1 crits. For those that are new, we have a fleet of bikes that folks can borrow for the rides and a clubhouse to encourage community building. In just over 2 years, we have engaged with over 300 folks in rides, community events, and friendships. We’re excited for what the future holds.

Lee Lambert: Lee Lambert is seven months into service as the Executive Director of the Cascade Bicycle Club/Washington Bikes. He joined Cascade after working 15 years in the nonprofit sector advocating for equity in Washington state’s education system. Born and raised in Tacoma, throughout his life, he used a bike for basic transportation, recreation and fitness. Lee sees his role at Cascade as a perfect partnership between his avocation and vocation. He is passionate about making biking accessible for all and a viable alternative to driving a car by ensuring that we have a simple, safe and connected system of bike infrastructure in Washington State. Lee and his wife have two children and enjoy many outdoor activities in their free time.  He is also a proud alumni of WSU and Seattle University.

Paracyling & Perseverance with Edie Perkins

Edie Perkins was struck by a car and paralyzed from the chest down in 2017. Today, she is still an avid bike racer, member of a national women’s paracycling team, and Executive Director of the Kelly Brush Foundation, who provide support & opportunities to athletes and folks with spinal cord injuries and other disabilities. In an evening of storytelling, Edie shared her vulnerability and positivity as she described her experiences with adaptive cycling and disability. Also featured is Ed Brondson, Executive Director of Outdoors for All, a Seattle-based organization providing recreation opportunities for people with disabilities including one of the largest adaptive cycling fleets in the country.

Do you, or someone you know, have a unique cycling story to share? Please get in touch with Elise to discuss presenting at a Bike Works “Bicycle Stories” event.