Chicks in the Sticks 2017

Yesterday was a very busy biking day! Early morning saw me visiting the Chicks in the Sticks 2017 (all-female MTB event) at Mt Cotton, followed by The Big Push for Road Safety social ride in Brisbane city in the afternoon. This post is a brief run down of the Chicks in the Sticks event – Big Push post will be next!


Chicks in the Sticks 2017.

This event is Australia’s largest “Women’s Only” 3hr Mountain Bike Endurance race. It is hosted by the Rats Cycling Club and was held at Karingal Scout Camp (Mt Cotton, QLD). Last year I rode in this event and had an awesome time, this year I went as support. This event is one of my favourite in the riding calendar, and I always make an effort to go.

Why? Because it is ALWAYS a good day!

It was a beautiful morning and there was a great turn out. When I arrived at the race village, it was full of colour and bustling with the movement of families, kids and riders milling about, people catching up, preparations being made and checking bikes over.

The race village has a few extra additions this year, like a designated kids pop-up nature play area that was filled with games and activities for the families and kids that had come along for the day.

It was a great opportunity to catch up with mates, take some photos and wish the riders well.

Chicks in the Sticks 2017 - Bicycles Create Change

Chicks in the Sticks 2017 - Bicycles Create Change

It was great to see so many riders. I was particularly excited to see the range of ages. When I used to ride Enduro, one aspect that was most lacking for me what the low female participation rates in general, but particularly for women over 35. So I was thrilled to be in an environment where, for one MTB event at least, that this category was well above the norm! Hooray!

There were also lots of random giveaways and some great podium prizes. I  appreciate that this event encourages participants to dress up if they want to  – which adds an extra flair, colour and enjoyment to the ride.

Here were a couple of my favourites:

Chicks in the Sticks 2017 - Bicycles Create Change

Chicks in the Sticks 2017 - Bicycles Create Change

Chicks in the Sticks 2017 - Bicycles Create Change

Chicks in the Sticks 2017 - Bicycles Create Change

Chicks in the Sticks 2017 - Bicycles Create Change

The first event of the day was the Little Chicks in the Sticks ages 5-11 and 12-16 who had their own race before the main field took off at 9 am. As I was not riding this year, it was an opportunity to take some photos and videos, which was a new experience as I am usually in the ride, not watching from the sidelines! See my race start video at the end of this post.

Although I didn’t stay til the end, I had an awesome morning soaking up the colourful, happy vibe. I cheered on the riders, chatted to families who had ‘come to support mum’, checked out some of the new stock at the team tents and had a thoroughly lovely time.

A good day was had by all!

I was really inspired by the riders who participated ‘up the back’ of the pack – those who were being brave and gave MTB a go – some of them for the very first time. It was great to hear how many people had come after being ‘invited by a mate’ to come and try – people who would normally not have tried riding off-road being encouraged my a female rider-friend to give it a go. They were my favourite stories to hear. It takes a lot of guts!

This event is a wonderful example that it is possible to run a competitive MTB that caters for serious racers, as well as for those who are just starting out, want more off-road experience or who are there just to have fun. 

If you are keen to give it a go for next year, or know of someone you think might be interested, there are many different categories to participate in..

Chicks in the Sticks 2017

I tip my hat to the organisers who worked incredibly hard to make this day such a success.

A big congrats to all the riders who participated – you all did so well!

All the families and supporters who came as well made the day even better!

It was a brilliant event and I can’t wait to do it all again next year!

See you there!

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 current issues, debates, research and trends in urban and rural cycling.

There were so many great sessions it would be difficult to cover them all, so  I’ll give some event highlights in the next post. I was super  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 roundtable session used some of my community bike projects as case studies to explore a number of key aspects I think are important to consider when planning, managing and running community bike events.

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

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

The classifications (and case studies) 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 (Bicycles Create Change) 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 was very interested to hear what people thought of the ideas and projects I presented – and the questions and discussions that ensued gave me a lot to think about.

One of the best outcomes? Following the presentation I was approached by a group of young marketers who are working on a behaviour change project to get 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 presentation result. 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

Australian Walking and Cycling Conference 2017

So many good bike conferences in 2017….

There are a number of bike-related conferences coming this year that I would love to attend.

This year is the 200 year birthday of the modern bicycle, so I feel an extra special pull to get together with other like-minded bike enthusiasts and celebrate our common love of all things two-wheeled.

Outside of sports and pro-cycling meets, there are two main conferences this year that have caught my eye.

Asia Pacific Cycle Congress

The first is the Asia Pacific Cycle Congress to be held in Christchurch, (NZ), 17-20th October, 2017.

Mike Lloyd, a NZ academic who has published a couple of papers analysing a well-known mountain bike rage incident and then subsequently reviewed the same scenario from a mirco-sociological video analysis stand-point, reminded me about this conference.

I would love to go to this one, but have a prior date booked that overlaps, so will have to hold onto this one for next year. Plus I will be post PhD confirmation by then, which means the Uni will pay for me to go! Woppee!

Australian Walking and Cycling Conference

The second conference is the Australian Walking and Cycling Conference. This is being held on 17-18th July in Adelaide, Australia. Their website boasts that:

The simple acts of walking and cycling have the potential to transform the places we live, our economies and how we engage with our environment. The Australian Walking and Cycling Conference, to be held in Adelaide on 17-18 July 2017, explores the potential for walking and cycling to not only provide for transport and recreation but solutions to challenges of liveability, health, community building, economic development and sustainability.

The conference theme is Low tech movement in a high tech world.

After handing in my PhD Early Candidature Milestone Report last month, I am keen to take a step back from the theoretical, conceptual realm of ideas and connect back with one of the primary reasons I started my research – making positive community connections.

So I applied to this conference to do a Learnshop session based on some past Bicycles Create Change events.

I am planning a fun and interesting session – so fingers crossed!

Here is the abstract I submitted (parallelism much?!).

Australian Walking and Cycling Conference 2017

Australian Walking and Cycling Conference 2017

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

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!

bicycles-create-change-com-2

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!

 

bicycles-create-change-com-1

Singlespeed World Championships 2016

I’m gearing up (pun intended) for this weekend’s Singlespeed World Championship (SSWC) 2016 – the Carni-velo festival of the bike in Woodend, VIC. I’ve been so looking forward to this weekend – and have been getting more and more excited about it since I entered back in July (with a post of my favourite Singlespeed videos).  Last year I didn’t go to the Nationals, (but I did post about it), so it is extra special that the World Champs are in Australia this year.

 

Cancel everything…

I’ve turned down an acceptance for me to do a poster presentation at the Australian International Education Conference (in Melbourne on Sun) and I’m not going to the HDR Student Conference that I am on the organizing committee (on Friday) – as this opportunity is too good to miss! I could well go to another WSSC, but certainly not on home turf as well as being physically willing and able and having the means!

So, packing up the singlespeed tonight. I took her for a ride out in the rain this afternoon. She’s riding like a dream and I can’t wait. I’m decorating her in a similar vein to Leki (my flower bike) and you can see a prototype of when I rode my single speed at an MTB event last month. I’m going with colour and flowers so that she will be easy to see at the starting line – just in case there are any shenanigans.  I’ve also bought a beard to wear, which I am very happy with and am very excited about catching up with some old and new crew. See some of last years photos here.

There are apparently 1,000 registered of the event form all over Australia and the world. Checking the latest weather updates this morning, showed that it is going to be  raining and between 1-12C! After being in Brisbane’s balmy and sunny 26C – this could be a real challenge and reduce the actual riding cohort on the day – but certainly not the festivities!! Just more people to cheer on those who are game enough to ride!

 

SWWC Weekend Events

The events run all weekend and on offer are activities for riders (and competitors), non-riders and kids. There are heaps of entertainment and satellite events in the week leading up to the main event in Melbourne. If I was there, I would be getting down tomorrow for My Mechanic Rules.

General Run Sheet for the weekend.

Tuesday 18 Oct: My Mechanic Rules heat 1 (Melbourne)

Wednesday 19 Oct: Melbourne pub ride (Melbourne)

Thursday 20 Oct: rides, early bird drinks at Holgate Brewhouse (Woodend)

Friday 21 Oct: social 12 kms ride and Opening Extravaganza at Holgate Brewhouse (Woodend)

Saturday 22 Oct: Group ride, Carni-velo at Hanging Rock Reserve (Woodend)

Sunday 23 October: SSWC 2016 race day, hosting rights competition and after-party

 

SSWC Social observations – new directions

I find the singlespeed community so welcoming and interesting. I love how it seems to naturally evolve and is so accepting of all types of people, with minimal pretension, yet in its own way, maximum membership identification. This aspect in particular is very curious to me.  I’ve often thought that its a pity there is not much accessible, authentic, respectful and insightful work undertaken about the singelspeed lifestyle – sure popular media and advertising has gone to town – but not so much from academia.

As I ride along on my single speed, I’ve often thought about this. I’ve got a few research ideas that I am hoping I might be able to put into motion about some sociological work and/or possible collaborations using the SSWC as a basis for participant recruitment. There are a few areas within the ethnographic literature that are void of original voices and narratives – and none more so than within cycling subculture communities.

After reading work discussing alcohol in sports such as Ultimate Frisbee and Roller Derby (as opposed to Football and other sports which use it as a way of team-bonding or representations of hypermasculinities), I’m curious to see how this might factor in at SSWC. I’m not a big drinker myself, so I’m interested to see if/how that will factor into my experience of the event.

In considering such deliberations, I’ve come up with a general list of sociological perspectives I’m keen to keep massaging and working on. SSWC is a great opportunity to see it all in action, add some new ideas and reevaluate others. I’m interested in seeing what the social functions and mechanisms of the SSWC as a singular event is, as well as singlespeed culture as a whole, such as:

  • The role of alcohol as a social integrater: drinkers, abstainers, defer-drinkers and under-aged
  • How SSers self identify individually and collectively – aspects of social distinction – what are the differences between hipsters, fixies and singlespeeders??
  • Role of gender (women/girls and hypermasculinities?) within the SS community
  • Values, indicators and central themes to the singelspeed lifestyle
  • Networks, groups membership and representations of self and image (as opposed to media diffusion?)
  • Subcultural/Subsocial artefacts, behaviours, norms and signifiers

However, this weekend I am going to enjoy, relax and get amongst it all – who knows what might come up!

bicycles-create-change-com