At Pedal Love We Believe
In the power of personal stories to connect, influence and to even save lives. We believe a picture really is worth a thousand words. And we believe the bike is the perfect tool for optimism in the face of some of California's most pressing challenges.
Our intent with this Women on Bikes California's Pedal Love Project is to inspire more people, and in particular women and girls, to ride bikes as a part of their daily lives. This creative launch is the first $10,000 in our overall campaign goal of raising $40,000 by the end of the first quarter of 2014. We have already launched our new website at www.PedalLove.org.
Part of our mission is to help the California Bicycle Coalition tripling bicycling in California by 2020. Can you help?
A fascinating, dynamic bike culture is blooming in California. Every day ordinary people are making extraordinary changes to their lives by bike. Your financial support and sharing of this story will help us:
1. Capture, craft and share these stories with California, our country and the world.
2. Expand to have a creative team that can illustrate the full array of California's diverse and growing bike culture.
3. Share positive stories and captivating images with local, regional and statewide media in a strategic way.
4. Train 100 pedal passionate people across California to be compelling and charismatic storytellers excelling in new media.
We've put together a broad series of perks starting at just $1. You are a part of this rich story. Can you help us share the love and spread the word? Are you a California creative who loves to pedal? One of the stories we tell could be yours!
Shown above: Our "License to Ride" blog columnist Maria Sipin in San Francisco taking a spin on a Public Bike. Maria is a rising young start in the bicycle conversation both on a state and national level. She lives in the East San Gabriel Valley. She collaborates with Children's Hospital Los Angeles developing and presenting life skills workshops focused on youth interests, and is a specialist at social media and webinars. Last September she was one of the ten women we were able to grant scholarships to to become a certified bicycle education instructor with the League of American Bicyclists. Image by Michael Herrera.
For the past two years our dedicated team has donated their time to capture these stories in interviews, blogs and captivating original images as the original Women on Bikes SoCal project. Now we need to raise the first $10,000 creative seed funding to give us the time and tools to perfect our new media storytelling techniques and to share those skills with 100 Californian across the state passionate about their own pedal love.
Shown below: Allan Crawford's image of professional triathlete Jennifer Tetrick of Brentwood who is also our "Athletic by Bike" blogger. Bike courtesy of Electra Bicycle Company. Jennifer is passionate about sharing the many ways a bike can fit into someone's daily life.
Can You Help?
With your help we can also expand our capacity as well as share these stories with millions of people throughout the state and even across the country. These stories can make a difference as proved by our growing following of almost 2,000 people.
Meet Kellie Morris - the Focus of Our First Pedal Love Video
In 2010 Kellie was diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder "Connective Tissue Disease" which left her so weak she could barely get out of bed and dress herself. Through changes to her diet and a focused active living, including almost daily bike rides for appointments, errands and exercise, she has regained much of her health.
Kellie and her family live in Long Beach. In late summer of 2012 Kellie became a creative team member for Women on Bikes SoCal and began writing the "We All Ride Bikes" blog column. This spring we were able to grant her a scholarship to become a certified bicycling education instructor and this summer and fall she taught extensively throughout Long Beach and Los Angeles. Image by Lisa Beth Anderson.
Why the Need for Pedal Love?
The estimated economic cost to California in 2006 for overweight, obesity and physical inactivity was $41.2 billion dollars.
Bicycling and walking levels in the U.S. fell 66% between 1960 and 2009, while obesity levels increased 156%.
Women and girls are the great hope - 2003 to 2012, the number of women and girls in bicycling rose 20%, and young women now make up 60% of the new bike purchasing market!
Three of our own creative team members suffer from chronic and painful disorders that are greatly helped by staying active by bike. We want to inspire others to feel better!
*Please see the end of this overview for our sources.
Renee Rivera is the Executive Director of the East Bay Bicycle Coalition and a dynamic leader for bike advocacy. We'll have an interview and photo essay with her in December. Image by Lisa Beth Anderson. You could sponsor her interview!
As a new initiative of the California Bicycle Coalition, Women on Bikes California wants our Pedal Love Project to help triple the number of people bicycling by 2020.
In this age of social media and web-based interaction, information-sharing is vital to share perspectives on the world around us. Our stories and storytellers can reach across the our state, our nation, and even the globe, with your help.
Our Talented Team So Far...
Melissa Balmer - Editor/Initiative Director, Allan Crawford - Photographer/Videographer, Lisa Beth Anderson - Photographer/Videographer, Charis Hill - Movement is Crucial blogger, Shelby Sanchez - Visionary Cargo Bike Mom, Kellie Morris - We All Ride Bikes blogger, Jennifer Tetrick - Athletic by Bike blogger, Maria Sipin - License to Ride blogger, Machiko Yasuda - Critical Sass blogger.
We would not be here without everyone's help but most especially Allan and Lisa. And perhaps you'll join us soon!
We Have a Proven Track Record
Editor/Initiative Director Melissa Balmer began Women on Bikes California as Women on Bikes SoCal in September of 2011 under the 501(c)3 Bikeable Communities. Our initial main goals were to:
1) Raised the funds to create a scholarship for women from diverse backgrounds to become certified bicycling instructors via the League of American Bicyclists training program. Ten women were granted the scholarship. It was the first time a program had ever been taught just to women in the United States. These women (including Kellie Morris) are now teaching bicycle education throughout the greater L.A. region. This approach has inspired other organizations to take the same approach.
2) Seek, develop and support the talented voices of a diverse array of women passionate about spreading the good word on bicycling via our website and social media outreach. Use captivating original imagery to connect. Begin to reach out to the media in a proactive way to share their stories.
We accomplished both goals. We achieved the #1 Google ranking for the keyword search term "Women on Bikes." Our project and creative team were featured in American Bicyclist, Apparel News, Atlantic Cities, Bicycling Magazine, Bicycling Retailer, CNN Blogs, Gazettes News, KABC Channel 7 news, KCAL 9 news, KPFK's Bike Talk, L.A. Observed, Los Angeles Magazine, Momentum Magazine, Refinery 29, The Press Telegram and more.
We're Ready to Catalyze Our Storytelling
Now as Women on Bikes California - with www.PedalLove.org as our storytelling platform - we are a brand new initiative under the statewide California Bicycle Coalition's education fund 501(c) 3. We are officially launching this new initiative at the California by Bike summit 11/7-10, 3013. Through Calbike we have the opportunity to recruit diverse new voices, give them the best training and share our stories through a network of over 100,000 people committed to bicycling across the state.
What We Need & What You'll Receive
We need $10,000.00 for our creative seed launch so that:
- We can complete our first Pedal Love Project video starring Kellie Morris and debut it in February 2014.
- We can finish our beautiful www.PedalLove.org website and add more dynamic content
- Launch our first open call for "Pedal Love Project" story submissions in January.
- Recruit and cultivate fresh talent.
- Triple our social media outreach and connect even more with the media!
- Host our first in a series of intensive trainings for 100 people across California to become the most engaging and charismatic new media storytellers they can be via our new "Active Living Plugged In" forums in 2014 - with the first one slated for March of 2014.
- We've created fun perks at every affordability level - including those that will help get the word out about your organization!
- We are grateful for every donation and every time someone likes what we're doing enough to share it on Facebook, twitter and more.
- Please become a part of the movement to triple bicycling in California by 2020.
- Become part of the Pedal Love helping to reverse the damages of sedentary living.
- Women on Bikes SoCal blooming into Women on Bikes California came about because of relationships, creativity and trust. We aim to move forward with kindness, inclusivity and artistry in all we do.
- Thank you for taking the time to read this far! It means so much!
We Wouldn't Be Here Without...
Very special thanks go to interTrend Communications for their creative sponsoring and creation of our beautiful logo, and shebeest for their cycling sock donation. We would never have made our first initial success without the support of Martin Howard, John Case and the team at Bikeable Communities, or the talent and support of Council Member Suja Lowenthal, Andrea White-Kjoss, April Economides and Janae Noble.
We wouldn't be moving into this exciting new phase without our advisers: Jim Brown of the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates, Elayne Fowler of Phinelli.com, Pat Hines Executive Director of Safe Moves in the San Fernando Valley, Jane Nakagawa V.P. of Strategy for interTrend Communications of Long Beach, Frank Peters of Bike Newport of Corona Del Mar, Terri Ryder Director of Playful Learning of Huntington Beach and Carolynn Washington of Gold Aspen Consulting of Long Beach.
*Information taken from 1) The Economic Costs of Overweight, Obesity and Physical Inactivity among Californian Adults - 2006, 2) the Alliance for Biking & Walking's 2012 Benchmarking report, 3) Women on a Roll 2013 report by the League of American Bicyclists.