Jonathan Maus. Photo from flickr user scottrolfson.
For those of you at all tuned into bike advocacy in the United States, Jonathan Maus needs no introduction. Founder, editor, publisher and primary content creator at BikePortland, Jonathan’s been covering all things Portland, Oregon bike community for nearly 10 years. Depending on who you ask, he is the gold standard of bike advocacy reporting or a firebrand in the movement. The truth is, of course, a whole lot more nuanced. In this interview, Jonathan discusses his struggle to find that balance between advocate and journalist, the origins of BikePortland, the growth of bicycling in his city, and much more.
Barry Wicks at the 2012 TSE. Photo via TSEpic.com
A lot of people love cycling. For one reason or another, it’s a sport that lends itself to obsession. Mike Kuhn has been showing his love and obsession with over two decades of riding, racing, race promotion, and advocacy. He’s perhaps best known for putting on the Transylvania Epic, a seven day mountain bike stage race in the heart of Pennsylvania. He’s also the man behind IronCross, an endurance cyclocross race, along with many more road, cross, and mountain bike races through the years. And though two decades of race promoting is inarguably an example of giving back to the bike community, Mike is also heavily involved in trail advocacy. He and Transylvania Epic co-founder Ray Adams launched a nonprofit The Outdoor Experience Organization in 2009 to raise funds for mountain bike trail building, maintenance, documentation and outreach in Pennsylvania. I had the chance to speak with Mike about his history in bike racing, the rapid growth of the Transylvania Epic and endurance racing, his vision to revive a small PA mining town with a high-quality trail network, and more.
Posted in Advocacy, Cyclocross, Interviews, Mountain Biking, Racing
Tagged bikenomics, endurance mountain biking, endurance racing, gravel grinding, iron cross, mike kuhn, ray adams, state college mountain biking, transylvania epic, tse, wilderness 101
Photo via undergraduatestudies.ss.uci.edu
If you were asked right now to imagine a bike commuter, who would you picture? For most of you, it’s probably of a white man (who’s probably in bike shorts and a neon jacket) enroute to his middle or upper-middle class office job. It’s a reasonable image to have. A 2009 report found that 79 percent of trips by bike in the US were taken by white people and 73 percent of all those trips were done by men. But those same studies show that people of color accounted for about 21 percent of trips and 31 percent of trips were taken by people in the lowest quartile income bracket.
The sometimes-overlooked fact that biking is not just for well-to-do white guys is central to the work Adonia Lugo does as a bike advocate, activist, and anthropologist. She co-founded Los Angeles’ CicLAvia and Ciudad de Luces, an outreach project with day laborer bicyclists. After moving moved to Seattle in 2011 to complete her dissertation, she started the Seattle Bike Justice Project, an ethnographic project focused on bicycling and Seattle’s communities of color. We recently sat down to discuss her Bike Justice Project, equity in bicycling, the sometimes-narrow focus of American bike advocates, her own activism, and much more.
Elizabeth moderating the National Women’s Cycling Forum Photo from the League of American Bicyclists flickr page.
A little over a decade ago, a coworker convinced Elizabeth Kiker that her 10 mile commute was doable by bike. And in doing so, an advocate was born. Her informal advocacy eventually led her to work for the national bike advocacy organization the League of American Bicyclists, based in Washington, DC. She is now the League’s Executive Vice President, in charge of operations and fundraising. She also runs Every Bicyclist Counts, a side-project that memorializes and compiles data about cyclist deaths in the U.S. I spoke to Elizabeth about her inroads to advocacy, the League’s work, growing bicycling sustainably in the U.S., underdog biking cities, and more.
Yolanda Davis-Overstreet is the Director of the upcoming documentary RIDE: In Living Color. The film looks at African American cyclists through history from Major Taylor’s amazing achievements in sport to people using bikes to change their lives in present day. Most of the filming is complete and the RIDE team is currently raising money through an IndieGoGo campaign to help fund post-production work. I spoke to Yolanda about the film and its production, her background in cycling, media coverage of African American cyclists, barriers to entry in cycling for people of color, and more.
Posted in Advocacy, Cycling Media, History, Interviews, Racing
Tagged african american cyclists, barriers to entry, giddeon massie, major taylor, nelson vails, race and cycling, ride: in living color, yolanda davis-overstreet