Monday, 21 May 2012
The first Saturday after Graduation is for many people, the first weekend of summer in Blacksburg. With thousands of pesky Virginia Tech students gone, it is calm and peaceful. However, on Saturday May 19th, College Avenue was anything but quiet.
On my way to the farmer's market, I witnessed a most impressive open streets event. I slowed, dismounted and tied by bike to the racks next to Henderson Lawn. Before me, hundreds of bubbling children ran wild with painted fingers and paintbrushes as they doused life onto the dull grey street. Bikes with child seats attached and covered trailers were strewn all around. Families had even biked to the event with their kids. I soon learned Color College Avenue was a project of The New River Valley to participate in MINDS WIDE OPEN, a statewide initiative to present programs focused on children and the arts, by offering art-inspired, child-friendly events throughout the community. Not only did kids create masterpieces on College Avenue. As the street was closed off to traffic for the day, an evening group mobilized to paint a Save Stadium Woods art mural at the entrance. I was told before the Save Stadium Woods piece was added, large gallon globs of paint had been poured on the street and children had danced and skated through it! The Save Stadium Woods mural revamped the colorful messes.
The street art will stay up all summer until it's paved over for College Avenue Promenade construction in August. Now that's a beautiful liveability event for Blacksburg. How about we close College Avenue down to all car traffic, always?
Three weeks since the big Blacksburg Cycle Chic event and we've seen a rippling effect of excitement around bicycling!
Just last week, George Simmons, VT Alumni Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Bike Master Plan volunteer, presented before the Old Guard (Alumni from the 50's and early 60's) on behalf of the Alumni Association. He spoke about undergraduates and their contributions to Hokie Nation. As one of our faculty models in the bike fashion show, George spoke about Blacksburg Cycle Chic, too! Here's a peek at what was presented:
"The point I made is that VT seeks a national championship, yet we already have one - in the successes of our undergraduates who take initiative, demonstrate motivation and creativity, and move to tackle big issues. I encouraged older alumni to remember that our non-athlete undergraduates are winners and national contenders in every way possible. They are often unsung and unrecognized - but appreciated by the world at large in a very big way.
The second thing I emphasized - is that if the world is going to be changed for the better, it will be up to the women - especially the young women - who for the most part are brighter, more creative, more mature, and more articulate than their counterparts. I see this on a daily basis." - George Simmons
Thank you for believing in young people and especially for recognizing the potential of women to make change for a healthier planet! I whole-heartedly agree :)
Monday, 14 May 2012
Tuesday, 8 May 2012
Thank you to all the generous volunteer photographers! We have both dress rehearsal and fashion show pictures from the night.
1. Transportation and Campus Services at Virginia Tech (thanks, Debby Freed!)
2. Tuan Trung Pham (VT Cycling Alum!) - The 1st Blacksburg Bike Fashion Show
3. Dave Lehn (Blacksburg Cycling Guru) - (link coming soon)
Kyle Gardiner, Director of Sustainability for the Student Government Association at VT, speaks about Feet Fleet at Harding Elementary; a creative Safe Routes to School program which involves VT students walking children home from school. More on Kyle's inspiration here (post coming soon)
Yvonne Yee decorated her bike for the fashion show
Rogues Racing members in full kits
Monday, 7 May 2012
Last week's Blacksburg Cycle Chic was a riot! (in a great way) From Keynotes Elly Blue and Fionnuala Quinn putting bicycling and gender into perspective against a backdrop of US carmageddon to short and sweet presentations from inspiring student sustainability leaders to the dazzling bicycle fashion show, showcasing Blacksburg's cycle chic was a complete success!
For the remainder of Bike Month May, we'll be updating the blog with highlights from our wheel stylish evening and continuing the conversation of YOU + Community & bikes. We'll have snippets of the night compiled in a video later this month, so stay tuned if you missed out!
Until then, check out the incredible Environmental Coalition campaign to Save Stadium Woods - our Virginia Tech miracle, old-growth forest behind the football stadium. Many cycle chic attendees came right over from the Tree Naming Ceremony: The Almighty Colbert Oak. Be inspired about the caliber of the video below by one of our very own cycle chic models! Thank you, Chris Risch!
Monday, 30 April 2012
-Grass-finished beef burger with toppings
-Grilled London Broil with cucumber sauce
-Local asparagus-lightly roasted
-Local Mix-Green salad in wonton cups
-Dessert: Floyd's organic raspberry bar
I bike for the adrenaline, and for the endorphins
In the summer, I bike because it creates a breeze
In the winter, I bike because the movement generates heat
I bike to commute
I bike to adventure
I bike to be free
I bike to see the world from a different perspective
I bike because I can
I bike to show others that they can
We now have 41 people officially registered for the bicycle fashion show! We just need 9 more to reach our goal, so encourage your friends and let's get 50 people + bikes on the cycle path (runway) this Tuesday! I'll be accepting last entries until 5pm! Send them NOW, post on the facebook wall or email to email@example.com
Need specifics to woo your cycling friends to apply for the fashion show? Send below message!
Cycle Chic Models,
Thank you for applying to Blacksburg’s first Bicycle Fashion Show, where we will celebrate the everyday people (YOU) who choose bicycle transportation in our community! You all have been accepted. Congratulations!
We are delighted to highlight Blacksburg’s diversity of cyclists – commuters, racers and recreational riders. Wherever you fit, we all use the same roads, sidewalks, trails and paths. We think this is significant as Blacksburg embraces a Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan and Virginia Tech makes strides towards becoming a Bicycle Friendly University. This event will address the safety of our roads for pedestrians and bicyclists in a creative way. Together we will showcase Blacksburg’s livability and promote active commuting as a way of life.
As’ models’ in our fashion show, we’d like to remind you Blacksburg Cycle CHIC is about your individual style and charisma. As you walk down the runway with your bike, have fun! Our fashion show is really a commuter celebration about CHARACTERS in our vibrant bike community.
Fashion Show Q&A:
When do I need to arrive? If you cannot make the incredible line-up of speakers, farmers market feast or Open Networking, arrive at 8:00 pm for the short, 15 minute break before the Fashion Show starts at 8:30pm. Bring your bike into the Graduate Life Center, go to the Multi-purpose room and put your bike where all the others are.
What to wear? This is completely up to you! (If you are one of the targeted racers, then wear your kit) Our event will be filmed in its entirety, so wear clothes you feel good in, something comfortable and you’d bike around town in. The idea of ‘cyclechic’ is that you can wear any everyday clothes and that biking isn’t limited to extremist, Lycra and spandex wearing cyclists. Ladies, keep in mind you will be walking on a raised runway – don’t wear short skirts!
What to expect? My boyfriend will be DJ-ing a mix of upbeat classic rock and funk. Each model will walk down the runway slowly for a total of 30-60 seconds. Be yourself! Smile, wave, bow, kiss, etc as you walk. Christine Foote and Morgan Findley, two energetic gals in SGA Transportation, will be our MC’s! They will be speaking about you and reading your ‘why you bike/why it’s important to you’. To help us, please send a short bio or email signature before Tuesday (professor's field, major, year, profession, etc). While you walk down the runway, a PowerPoint slide with your picture will be projected behind you. Our runway is also complete with colorful lights that will beam around you and your bike.
Practice? Please join us for a DRESS REHEARSAL and LUNCHEON on Tuesday, May 1st at noon!
A highly recommended run through of the fashion show will take place in the Graduate Life Center from 12-1pm on Tuesday, May 1st. Hear an overview of what to expect during the show, practice walking down the runway with your bike and enjoy a giant 50 person Substation sandwich! (courtesy of Transportation and Campus Services) Meet & greet other models!
Thank you and I look forward to seeing everyone Tuesday! Don't hesitate to contact me if you have questions. If you'd like to change your picture or quote, email me ASAP (before 5pm). And remember to invite your friends, family and colleagues to cheer you on in the fashion show while they are inspired about bicycle transportation and sustainability.
Your Blacksburg Cycle Chic Coordinator
Sunday, 29 April 2012
Blacksburg Cycle Chic is a day away! Stay tuned for model recruitment and fashion show updates. We also have a tasty surprise.
Tuesday, 24 April 2012
Friday, 20 April 2012
It's been a crazy few weeks lately, but we've finally finished posters for Blacksburg Cycle Chic - Commuter Celebration & Fashion Show! Spread the word and make sure you get off work in time for Tuesday's evening's festivities, starting at 5pm sharp! I'll introduce my vision for Blacksburg embracing bicycle transportation, then let Mayor Ron Rordam, and Director of Transportation and Campus Services at Virginia Tech, Steve Mouras, speak on our thriving bicycle cultures both in town and at VT. Here's the schedule of events and finalized speakers:
- Mike Kulikowski, Design for America, on grassroots bike advocacy at VT
- Kyle Gardiner, SGA Sustainability, on Feet Fleet (Safe Routes to School)
- Lida Aljabar, Urban Affairs and Student Planning Association on PARK(ing) Day
- Beth Lohman, Blacksburg Corridor Committee Member on Blacksburg Bicycle and
Pedestrian Master Plan
- Cole Harden, East Coasters Bike Shop, on bridging the worlds of advocacy and racing together with the upcoming World Cycling Championships in Richmond, Virginia 2015
Don't miss out on this one of a kind bike bash in Blacksburg! This is our community's premier bicycle event that will bring together cyclists of all walks - recreational riders, commuters and racers. Use this space to brainstorm with student and community cyclists on how to grow our vibrant, emerging active transportation culture!
See you in 11 days.
your Blacksburg Cycle Chic Event Coordinator
Friday, 30 March 2012
Exploring what motivates women to bicycle is a hot topic! A national lens born by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals has opened those doors. Building on the Women Cycling Project, I had the opportunity to attend the National Women Cycling Forum two weeks ago. The room was packed! An inspiring energy and communal spirit permeated the air as women (and men!) discussed an exciting feminine opportunity to lead an active transportation revolution in the U.S. - part of National Bike Summit 2012.
During last week's webinar, 'Empowering Women to Bicycle', Finnuola Quinn and Kit Keller encourage us to use the National Women Cycling Forum as a springboard for action in our own communities - and we're doing just that at Virginia Tech!
As part of Womens Mobility Week (April 22-27), be sure to attend the Virginia Tech Women Cycling Forum! Mix and mingle with other women who commute by bike at VT, share stories and swap advice on everything from biking in skirts with class projects to navigating the Prices Fork round-about. We'll discuss barriers and safety concerns VT women have about biking in Blacksburg, then brainstorm how we can empower more women to bike while creating a culture of respect for active transportation. We're currently looking for panelists! If you'd like to lead part of the discussion, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas.
At the event, we'll be recruiting models for the big Blacksburg Cycle Chic Fashion Show on May 1st!
Thursday, 15 March 2012
Cycle chic is the culture of bicycle commuting in fashionable, everyday clothes and accessories. It aims to take back bike culture by showing how the bicycle once again can be an integral, respected and feasible transportation option, free of sports clothes and gear, and how it can play a vital role in increasing the life quality in cities. Cycle Chic is associated with the utility cycling practiced in bicycle-friendly cities such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen. It is a growing trend in cities that are now investing in bicycle infrastructure, education and facilities.
Coined by filmmaker and photographer Mikael Colville-Andersen, Copenhagen Cycle Chic is a famous street style photography blog that celebrates everyday people choosing the bicycle as their main means of transportation. The blog has spurred a global movement to normalize urban cycling while promoting the idea that cycling infrastructure should fit around the needs of women in high heels. The message may seem odd to many transportation planners, but if everyday cycling cultures are to flourish, roads must be designed for a slow city that embraces safety and pedestrian-friendly features.
Blacksburg Cycle Chic is a unique town-Tech collaborative celebration that will showcase local groups striving towards regional transportation sustainability and active lifestyles while revealing bicycle heroines (and heroes!) in our Hokie community. Opening with presentations on cycle chic culture and concluding with a full fashion show where the runway is a cycle path, it will be a wheel stylish evening with the winning combination of fashionable clothing, women and bicycles. Blacksburg Cycle Chic is not only about pretty people on pretty bikes, it’s about inspiring others to rediscover their bikes for transportation. Come take part in Blacksburg Cycle Chic – a big idea for a small city where the models are everyday citizens and student cyclist commuters.
Blacksburg Cycle Chic kicks off the New River Valley’s Clean Commute Days and National Bike Month May.