Conference Presentation: creating memorable community bike projects

Hi bike nuts!

Earlier this week I returned from Adelaide (SA) after presenting a roundtable session at the national Australian Walking and Cycling Conference (AWCC).

I put together a kick-ass abstract to present a workshop earlier this year and in May I was accepted to present.

It was awesome!

I had a great time and made the most of my time there networking and getting the low down on what are the current issues, debates, research and trends in urban and rural cycling.

I’ll give some event highlights in the next post. There were so many sessions it would be difficult to cover them all. I was impressed by the range and scope of the cycling (and some walking) presentations.

My session was entitled: 

Bicycles Create Change: An innovative guide to creating memorable and meaningful engagement in community bike projects.

 

Basically, my presentation used some of my community bike projects as case studies to explore a number of key aspects of planning, managing and running bike events.

I undertook each of these events as a private, individual community member, which means that I did not get paid to run these events, but I also didn’t get any money from these events either – it was purely for the love.

I had  4 classifications to present the 6 case studies, which you can see more of on the PROJECT page.

The classifications they were:

  • Individual (Leki, and Art Bikes)
  •  Pair collaboration (Leki & the Ova)
  • Group (Bicycles Create Change Summer Internship)
  • Wider community (Recycled Dreams- Community Storybook and #Bikes_CISTA)

Here is my full PPT and notes of my presentation: Nina (BBC) Australian Walking and Cycling Conference 2017 presentation

Essentially, I was arguing for these key points:

  1. Create the community you want to live in
  2. Create opportunities to ‘talk to a stranger’
  3. Create community bike events where the focus is NOT on the actual ‘riding’ of bikes. This is because I think there will be better acceptance of bikes in general if the general public have more every day, positive and fun interactions with BIKES (in general) and not just see them in relation to RIDING – so create events that doesn’t rely on fitness’ access, confidence, age, or even having a bike, etc. This will mean that bikes are normalised into daily community life and are more readily accepted.
  4. Not to see cycling/biking only as a ‘sport’.
  5. Create ‘Bike events’ that cater to non-riders – create positive bike exposure
  6. If they don’t come to you – you need to go to them! Bike events need to go into the community- no more  events where the riders are (physically or otherwise) separated from the general public
  7. Debunk the ‘road-riding-is-the-only-type-of-cycling-I-see-in-my-community-and-that’s-not-me’ myth – create events where the focus is not on the type of riding, but that it is fun and anyone can use a bike for all kinds of things
  8. Seeing bikes as an object other than just for riding – better integration of bikes into our communities in ways that are not solely about riding
  9. creating events that invite participation, celebrate ‘local heroes’ and local surrounds
  10. Creating events that have a zero-waste policy. No more cycling events with plastic cups, copious amounts of advertising flyers in musettes or crappy McCrap-crap that goes along with far too many cycling events – better still, how about bike events that have a reverse-rubbish feature and turn any waste brought into the event into something more positive?
  11. ….and I’m sure you can’t think of your own ideas as well. I’d love to hear them!

I presented 3 x 10 minutes, each followed by 15-minute discussions.

To add a little interest, spark and creativity, I presented in a custom-made outfit made out of recycled bicycle tires and parts. I had the idea for this outfit as a prototype for a series, and as I was busy getting the presentation prepared, so my collaborating partner Claire Tracey made the outfit and hat based on my requirements and infused a little of her own magic. (Thx CT!) I made the accessories. This ensemble was the prefect compliment – and reflection – of precisely the points my presentation was making – Hazah!

(I’m in the process of getting some photos of the outfit and when I do I will upload them here – I was too busy presenting to get any shots at the event).

One of the best outcomes was following the presentation; I was approached by a group of young marketers who are working on a behaviour change project around getting more local people aware of (and riding) bikes. They want me to bring the Bicycles Create Change perspective to their project and consult! A wonderful end to the presentations. Whoopee!

AWCC Abstract Accepted

Great news!

Late last month, I submitted an abstract to AWCC 2017 to present a conference session entitled ‘Bicycles Create Change’!

This week I got an email from the Australian Walking and Cycling Conference organiser that started with…

AWCC Abstract Accepted

Hooray!!

It was a lovely email to receive and I am very excited about doing this conference roundtable presentation.

I’m going to draw on insights, outcomes and learnings I arrived at after designing and managing some of my community art bike projects. The session will focus on providing some important, interesting and constructive considerations that could benefit other community bike events.

BUT!! The next couple of months are going to be a very busy time!

Funding submissions for the collaborative community art project The Albatross. 70 assignments to mark now, then a series of end of course exams. Also, need to prepare my PhD confirmation paper and presentation for early August. Phew!

So – that’s my limit for taking on any extra projects! My answer from here on in is NO MORE!

(Although I did register for the 2017 Bayview Blast Ride/Race this morning! But riding is different!!!)

So aside from riding…..

I am officially at full capacity (and very happy with my lot!)

AWCC Abstract Accepted


PS – to see how the conference presentation went – see blog post for July 21st, 2017: Conference Presentation: creating memorable community bike projects. Or click below!

Conference Presentation: creating memorable community bike projects

Pause to celebrate a series of small successes

A wheelie good week for Bicycles Create Change Blog

As part of my new year goal setting strategy, I made a commitment to celebrate small success. This mechanism is not about attaining milestones and chalking up points, it is primarily a way to practice regular acts of gratitude and to be sure to take the time to enjoy positive results before rushing to move onto the next task.

With this in mind, I very happily acknowledge that this last week has been particularly favourable –  what you might call ‘a good blog week’. Having just dragged myself out of a new year funk, I feel very blessed and excited about the awesome things that happened this week.

An extra good blog week

Here are the top 5 amazing synergies from this week:

  1. This blog’s readership broke over 1,000 readers per day
  2. Through the blog network, a Casey City Council Representative asked permission to repost onto the council Facebook page my blog post about the Boys Backyard MTB Track from 26th Feb (CCC has been awarded $2.9m for a new BMX Complex and Cycling Precinct and like the idea that local riders of various skills and ages knew what they wanted from their cycling infrastructure – grassroots example of community consultation!).
  3. I was contacted through via blog comments, by an international academic regarding some of their research that has been featured on the blog (some of the most popular posts too!) and we have been emailing since.
  4. A local business asked if I could display my blog’s business cards at their counter. They loved the idea of the blog and wanted to support me and promote more locals to participate in active transportation.
  5. I was featured in Griffith University’s EPS weekly internal newsletter ‘Hot off the Press’. Each week a different personality is approached to be ‘introduced’. It required answering 7 standards questions – the result of which is displayed below. Since it has been distributed, I have had people come up and say how much they liked it and that they would check out the blog and other super supportive comments.

A wheelie good blog week

A super happy week!

Individually, each of these events is a lovely thing to happen, but collectively, it has been fantastic.

It feels good to be recognised for the work I do on the blog, it is not always easy. It is also great that people are now reaching out to contact and connect with me. It has also been great to get some feedback, share ideas and have some two-way interaction with other like minded people – seems like everyone is a bike advocate now!

This week has been very memorable as it is the culmination of lots of (enjoyable) hard work. It is wonderful to have people responding so positively to the blog. This week has been a massive confidence boost and injected me with a healthy shot of motivation. It has been a very unexpected, humbling and exciting week.

Thank you to the regular readers and welcome to the newbies!

A massive and sincere thank you to all those who have contacted, supported and encouraged me thus far.

And to those new friends who are more recent visitors to the blog – welcome to the community and enjoy!

Instagram project: #Bikes_CISTA

Two months ago the Bicycles Create Change blog started posting on Instagram. This happened as a result of a conversation I had with a friend. I went through the usual excited and overzealous initial period or exploring, locating and investing in producing and posting images and its truth be told I enjoyed the whole precess and have learnt a lot. This particular project I am currently undertaking specifically utilises and capitalises on all the best visual and sharing aspects that Instagram has to offer.

 

 Cycling Interspecies Team of Awesomeness (Bikes_CISTA) Project

The Cycling Interspecies Team of Awesomeness or Bikes_CISTA Project is a collection of photos I have taken while riding Leki (my flower bike) around my neighbourhood and features the people I spontaneously stop, introduce myself to, have a chat and request to take their photo. All this is because they fit the inclusion criteria for the Bicycles Create Change Bikes_CISTA Team.

The eligibility for a photo invite requires:
– at least one person
– at least one dog
– at least one bike
– all are happy to stop and have a chat with me
– all give their verbal permission for me to take and post their photo (which I provide a link to).

 

Bicycles Create Change.com

Bicycles Create Change.com

As of today, I have posted 27 Bikes_CISTA teams on Instagram -with two ready to go.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this project. It gets me out and about, meeting new and different people, it requires me to brave in approaching new people and has helped me perfect my approach and explanation of the project. It is an easy way to start more conversations about bikes, community, enjoying the local area and life being better with dogs.

In addition to adding experiential value to my daily routine, it also provides a space for actively encouraging more personal social connection with my local neighbourhood and the locals.

It also has been pushing me to talk more openly about the blog and my research.

Bicycles Create Change.com

By doing this project, I not only derive incredible personal satisfaction from engaging with the personalities, stories and encounters I have with those I feature, but I also like the unpredictability and immediate nature of spontaneously interacting with people in my community.

Bicycles Create Change.com

In the very least, it is a good way to test my mettle and effectiveness in discussing my common bicycle/dog interests, promoting my blog and creating the opportunity to practice explaining in easy and clear ways what my PhD research is- this alone is an excellent skill to have!

Who have you met?

Most people I approach are great, a rare few say no, others settle in for a good chat – it has been such a range of unexpected encounters! I often walk away from my last interaction flush with new information and surprised with the generosity and friendliness of strangers-now-aquaintances. I’ve even seen a few since our initial meeting, and we have now progressed onto waving and first names basis.

Bicycles Create Change.com

Celebrate the best of you locality and positive lifestyle

Approaching people with a Bikes_CISTA invitation is my way to identify and recognise people who best represent some of what I consider to be some of the essential and most productive lifestyle choices and activities one can undertake – namely participating in a local, outdoor, social, healthy, active, dog-friendly biking community.

It been so enjoyable investing time, energy and focus into the Cycling Interspecies Team of Awesomeness – Bikes_CISTA Project. The whole precess has given me much food for thought and has proven to be a powerful technique of uncovering social and personal insights. I love getting out on Leki and keeping an eye out for potential teams to approach.

I can’t wait to see where this project goes.

On Instagram – check out more Bicycles Create Change Bikes_CISTA Teams at #bikes_CISTA or the@bicycles_create_change.

Bicycles Create Change.com

Bike Futures Conference – Melbourne 2017

One of my goals for this year is to support and attend more bicycle infrastructure, policy and research events.  After all, 2017 is the ‘Year of the Bicycle‘ and my research is entering a stage where it really has social viability, so looks like I’ll have to dust off my dancing shoes for a few shindigs!

So to kick off the year right, I am heading down to Melbourne in a few weeks to attend my first event of the year –  Bicycle Network’s Bike Futures Conference 2017. Tasmania and Sydney have already held their state conferences and there appears to be no state conference set for Queensland – at least not in 2016 or 2017 that I have found. (Oh  dear Queensland! Not again!! Such a pity you are always so far behind the world and rest of Australia when it comes to supporting any kind of progressive cycling or biking – tsk, tsk – perhaps this is the year to turn it all around!!).

So it’s off to Victoria!  It is also a great excuse to revisit to my old hometown and see some family and friends after being away for what seems like an age!

Bicycle Network Bike Futures Conference 2017

This is a one-day forum aimed at bringing together researchers, policy-makers, bike advocates, businesses, government agencies and others to share the latest developments in cycling provision. The overall aim is to improve biking conditions and encourage more people to ride bikes. The program details a good range of speakers confirmed from various educational, business, political, health and social spheres.

On the day there will be plenary discussions, presentations and workshops on a range of topics (see tentative program below) such as safety, planning, behaviour change and various urban uses and infrastructure approaches.

I’m very excited to hear what cycling development Victoria has implemented over the last 2.5 years since I have been away and to hear what has – and has not worked. It will be a great opportunity to make some contacts and network as well. The program looks diverse and engaging and I am keen to attend pretty much every session!

I am going as I want to make some industry contacts and hope to hear about a range of interesting, challenging and/or informative sessions. I’m looking to get inspired – and hopefully, the event will also help stimulate and distill some new ideas. If I am really lucky, maybe it might even open up some new directions on how I can apply some key learnings from Melbourne’s experience to my own PhD research project.

 

Opportunity to scout some new BCC blog talent and features!

I’m going to make the most of this trip to Melbourne. To do so, I am also organising some introductions, meetings and site visitations while there. I’m keen to catch up with some old friends and see what has changed, and to follow up on a few leads featured previously on this blog – and to make some new contacts to feature as well!

I’m also looking forward to riding around Melbourne and rediscovering her biking treasures and secrets.

It is a great opportunity also to investigate what cycling events are going on in and around Melbourne.

So if you know of any biking research or events happening in Melbourne from Feb 7th – Feb 21st, 2017 that you think is worthy of a look-see, or want to recommend a person, group or event I should contact for this blog, please let me know via the comments box below. Thanks in advance! I would really appreciate your suggestions!

 

Morning Bicycle Network

Bicycle Network
Source: Bicycle Network

 

Welcome to Instagram!

Well team – I’m delighted to announce that Bicycles Create Change is now on Instagram!

As you know, last month Bicycles Create Change celebrated it’s 1-year blog anniversary. It has been important to me to spend this year focusing on laying down some solid ground work to establish this blog. I have been reluctant to branch out into other social media platforms. Mostly because of time constraints given my PhD research, teaching load and other commitments, but also I am conscious of not wearing myself too thin and possibility diluting my passion and quality of content.

 

Instagram Origins

With this in mind, I recently had a conversation with a new acquaintance, who is a fashion designer. We were discussing different social media and I had mentioned my blog. She told me she was on Instagram and explained that as a fashion designer she more visually driven and so Instagram was ideal for her to share her identity, experiences and ideas. I asked her to show me some of the functions and was I pleasantly surprised at its simplicity. She ended our informal tutorial by saying ‘If you were on Instagram I’d follow you’.

 

A Different Medium

So on the 1-year anniversary, Bicycles Create Change branched out into Instagram – you can find me there at @Bicycles Create Change.

It has been a very interesting addition and I appreciate the different medium and what photos have to offer as far as expressing color, movement, places and moods – something which at times can be more challenging to express through writing. I have also been amazed at the effort that some people on Instagram put into the photos they upload. The quality and intensity of some of the images are remarkable and I’ve found it to be a great way to connect a whole new range and group of people.

 

Welcome to Instagram

I admit to going down the rabbit hole for a good week, checking out some of the amazing pictures, following leads and picture ‘crumbs’, exploring who is around and what they are posting. I’ve been revisiting some of my old biking trips for pictures and am certainly taking a few more photos when I’m out and about riding.

It’s been great being able to post my own images on Instagram that have not made it onto the blog (see below). I appreciate how the blog (text) and Instagram (images) are complementary as communicative mediums. Utilising Instagram has been an interesting development and I’m looking forward to seeing what might eventuate.

Thank you to those who have found and followed Bicycles Create Change on Instagram already. If you are on Instagram – drop in and check it out!

 

Instagram

 

Instagram

 

Instagram

 

Instagram

Bicycles Create Change 1 year blog anniversary!

Horray!

Today is Bicycles Create Change 1 year blog anniversary! Amaze balls!

Wow.

It certainly does not feel like one year has passed (to the day) that I started sharing my love of all things on two wheels. It feels like we only just celebrated the 6-month anniversary. So much has happened since then.

What a year it has been, since its inception and the first maiden post. For the last year, this blog has been home to a wonderful collection  of stories, research and personalities detailing bicycles, riding and positive community change.

I am very pleased that I have stuck with it. I have learnt much along the way and have thoroughly enjoyed sourcing content to share. I definitely feel that there has been a change in my approach to blogging (for the better). Aside from being more strategic in how I invest time and energy into this blog, I have also derived much pleasure and satisfaction.  It has been surprising to see improvements in my technical skills, written confidence and some fantastic contacts and opportunities cropping up.

I am still humbled by the impact that a single bicycle can have on a person’s life. I know firsthand how integral riding my bike has been to my own mobility and mental health, and as a social cohesion tool that connects me to other people, locations and experiences.

I am constantly in awe of the amazing adventures, inventiveness and genuine passion that so many people have for their bicycles and getting out to contribute back to their communities. It has been such a delight to be involved in such a dynamic area. Although self-managing a blog can be difficult and challenging at times, I have been rewarded with inspiration and a sense of productivity that has been very affirming. This blog has helped my PhD research in many ways and I have been very happy with the complimentary way my research and this blog have developed concurrently.

I’ve included below a breakdown of the last 12-month analytics for this blog. It is very interesting to see and track such results. For example comparing the 23,000ish monthly visits from the 6-month mark, to the current result of 32,800 monthly average visits. I accessed this blog summary feature in the last six months and was both surprised and thrilled to see the results. Especially considering I have never officially ‘launched’ the blog, developed it to make money, or broadcasted or networked any promotions (which quietly, I have been happy with!).

Bicycles Create Change 1 year blog anniversary

The analysts and stats so far..

screen-shot-2016-10-28-at-9-05-02-pm

I have been very fortunate to have a very supportive partner, family and immediate group of friends. It has been lovely developing a wider support crew and readership as well. All these people have been instrumental in helping me stay productive and interested. So to all those who have contributed time, ideas, feedback, material, suggestions and support – I cannot thank you enough!

And thank you to the readers!! Your time and support is invaluable to the creation of this blog. A very genuine and heartfelt  thank you for your encouragement and interest!

Although I am still waiting to hear back from a scholarship proposal as to the results as the outcome pretty much governs my next move, I will continue posting and promoting on our amazing cycling culture.  In addition to progressing my PhD, I have big plans for this blog in the 12 months. So stay tuned!

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Invite to SSWC 2016 riders to be research participants

I am hoping to collate some ideas, reflections and experiences from SSWC 2016. Hence an invite to riders involved in the SSWC 2016 to participate in an academic research project.

At this stage, I am still formulating possible research directions as I have been very disheartened at the lack of interest and exposure that singlespeeding has had as a cycling community. Coming from a community development and academic research background, I am hoping to positively contribute to this oversight – and the SSWC event is a good place to start given the concentration of passionate enthusiasts.

If you would be interested in being involved (Australian or overseas), please send me an email so that if/when this project gets off the ground, I can contact you to invite you to participate in the project. I will email you more details as the project comes to hand and this shout out is just a preliminary Expression of Interest (EOI).

 

Contact for SSWC 2016 Research Participants

So, if you participated in the Singlespeed World Championships 2016 in Woodend and would be interested in being part of a research/community project about the event and other Singlespeed culture and lifestyle explorations, then please send me an email at: <sswc2016.bicyclescreatechange@gmail.com> with ‘Count me in‘ as the subject line.

At this stage, there is no guarantee that this project will eventuate, but I will most certainly be pushing for it to happen in some shape or form and will email you with details so you can make an informed choice moving forward. You email contact will not be given, sold or used for any other purpose – only for contact my me (NG) only for this research project. If you know of other riders who maybe interested in being involved, please pass this on to them. This invite will be active until 1st December 2016.

Thanks so much of your interest. Happy riding until then!

 

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Invitation for Guest Bloggers

Calling all would be Guest Bloggers – here is your official invitation for submission!

If you know of a bicycle project that is contributing to positive social change, or if you are involved in an initiative where bicycles, people and positivity, big ideas and happiness converge – then I want to hear from you!!

Bicycle Create Change is inviting contributions and blog posts from anywhere in the world, in the form of stories, reflections, summaries of projects, research updates and insights into bicycle inspired projects that are working towards a better future for all.

This blog is an entrepreneurial-free zone, so we won’t publish blogs by companies, free paying marketing or advertising. Just genuine, interesting experiences that reflect the diversity, people  and pleasure that comes from a life on two wheels!

If you are interested contact Nina: nina@bicyclescreatechange.com.

Happy riding and happy writing!!

presenting

9 month update

This week is the start of July 2016, heralding this blog being active for just on 9 months. Amazing!

It has been an absolute pleasure and a fantastic learning curve producing this blog. It has taught me so much about routine, researching, networking, editing, staying connected and the value of developing new skills. It has been a brilliant experience sharing and celebrating what I am are genuinely passionate about – bikes, community and positive change – and working on this blog has brought me so much joy and motivation.

9 month stats

Following the six month survey and the subsequent general feedback from that survey, I went to my host server Fat Cow and squirrelled through my account to find the first stats  (see below) I’ve seen for this blog since its inception. I was delighted (and happily surprised!) to see how many people have been visiting and enjoying this blog – and with 183, 955 hits as of July 2nd, 2016 that result is super fantastic!

I was unaware until I saw these stats exactly how many people were visiting this blog. It is very motivating. I feel super grateful that there are so many bicycle-loving, community-minded super-awesome spunks out there who active and interested in promoting a ‘cycle’ of positive change.

It has been a very interesting undertaking producing this blog and I have thoroughly enjoyed researching and networking content to share. Please let me know what you think by leaving a comment.

I am excited about what the future holds and I am happy that you are along for the ride!

 

Bicycles Create Change blog: Stats after 9 months
Bicycles Create Change blog: Stats after 9 months

 

Thank you

Just a quick thank you to those who have supported, encouraged and contributed to this blog so far – to the guest bloggers so far, friends and family, Mauricio for his IT help, the regular visitors of Bicycles Create Change, and to all those people who have given help and support in a variety of ways (you know who you are – thank you!) and to my beautiful husband for his unwavering support.

Thank you so much for your interest and support over the last nine months.