We’ve spent the month of November sharing some of our favorite community bike organizations, from WE Bike NYC and World Bicycle Relief to Bike Works. While some may argue that infrastructure or education are more important, we believe that COMMUNITY is the number one way to get more people on bikes.
There are so many ways to find community in biking. You can…
- Volunteer or donate to organizations like World Bicycle Relief and Bike Works that use bikes to empower individuals.
- Participate or organize social rides like Kidical Mass, Critical Lass, Cyclofemme, or find other groups through online search or your local bike shop.
- Join or start an advocacy group that fights for better bike infrastructure or education in your area, like Cascade Bicycle Club or Seattle Greenways.
How can you find community in your city? We suggest checking out bulletin boards or asking someone at your local bike shop. You can also search online or email your city’s favorite bike blogger (ie Melissa at Bike Pretty – Bay Area, Constance at Lovely Bicycle – New England, Susi Wunsch at Velojoy – New York).
What is your community?
What better way to introduce our fall/winter intern, Nora Strang, than through our Her Bike Style series?! I met Nora through a mutual friend over the Fourth of July weekend, and couldn’t get enough of her. I was so excited when I learned she was changing course and pursuing her dream of apparel design. She rocks her tomboy style, is a dedicated bike commuter, and has been an amazing part of the team.
Title / Occupation: Apparel Design Student at Seattle Central
Location: Seattle, WA
Bike: Astra, Tour de France roadbike (made by Motobecane)
Tell me more about why you decided to switch careers and get a degree in apparel design?
Fashion has long been my creative outlet. I’d taken numerous sewing classes, but always dismissed fashion as something ‘frivolous,’ or ‘superficial,’ – not something career-worthy. It took a really long time for me to reconcile being a smart, independent woman, and being interested in something I had long held, or been led to believe, was unimportant or vain. It is unfortunate it took me so long to realize that those things are not mutually exclusive and don’t contradict one another!
After nearly 10 years of social work, and experiencing the pattern/routine of feeling emotionally burned out after about two years, which necessitated a job change w/in the field, I knew I couldn’t face that pattern for the rest of my working days. While I was a skilled/good social worker, I was unfulfilled. I decided it was worth pursuing my daydream. I had done several studio visits w/some of my favorite designers – talked to independent women in the industry, interned, and felt sufficiently informed and ready to make the shift. Making big changes never gets easier – the longer the decision is postponed, the less likely it is to come to fruition. So, w/much trepidation, I quit my job and started school…w/out a doubt, the combination of the rigor of this program, with going back to school full-time as an adult is the hardest and most fulfilling thing I’ve done to date.
Seattle is rich with bike advocacy and community building through bikes, though one group stands out in my mind. Bike Works. Founded in 1996, their programs educate and empower youth, and make bicycling accessible and affordable to the Seattle community.
I was first introduced to Bike Works through Seattle Girls School, where they were teaching 6th grade girls about bike mechanics and prepping for a three-day biking trip to Lopez Island. Four years later, I found myself chaperoning that trip. It was a powerful experience, seeing 25+ young girls feel strong, powerful and independent.
Bike Works hosts both all-girl and co-ed mechanics classes. Tina Bechler, Program Director, says she was excited to have 6 girls of 14 in their last Intermediate Class. These classes are part of their UGottaGetABike program, where youth in South Seattle on free/reduced lunch who do not have bikes can take home free helmets and “new” bicycles. These bikes are refurbished by youth in their Earn-a-Bike and Drop-In Community Service programs.
Coming up in December, Bike Works will hold its 2013 Holiday Kids Bike-o-Rama on Saturday, December 21st, 2013, from 10am – 2pm. This event comes just in time for the holidays, as they partner with youth focused organizations around the area, providing bikes and helmets to youth.
Bike Works is a powerful organization, one that Iva Jean is proud to support. We encourage you to support bike advocacy and community building by donating to Bike Works today!
Vanessa Jackman always seems to catch great bike style, I still swoon over this shot. It’s hard to ignore these stunning Martone bikes, so it’s no wonder Nadja caught her attention. Head over to her blog to recreate the look.
We’re huge fans of World Bicycle Relief (WBR) here at Iva Jean. Driven by the power of the bike and how it can change the lives of people across the globe, their mission resonates deep in our hearts. Right now, during the Mobilize Me campaign, every dollar raised will be matched. Take a minute to watch their video and get inspired to make change.
Together we can mobilize thousands of entrepreneurs, healthcare workers and students by providing life-changing transportation that will help them to feed their families, build their businesses, treat the sick, finish school, follow their dreams and change their world.
To show our support of WBR during this campaign, we will donate 10% of revenue at Iva Jean from now until December 15, 2013 to providing more people with an engine for economic and cultural empowerment!