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).
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:
- Create the community you want to live in
- Create opportunities to ‘talk to a stranger’
- 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.
- Not to see cycling/biking only as a ‘sport’.
- Create ‘Bike events’ that cater to non-riders – create positive bike exposure
- 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
- 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
- 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
- creating events that invite participation, celebrate ‘local heroes’ and local surrounds
- 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?
- ….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!