More than 120 attend "building a better bike community" meet-up.
Newbury Park, California – More than 120 cycling enthusiasts, business leaders, product developers, tech innovators, and advocates turned out for the People for Bikes DRAFT meetup at Giant Bicycles HQ in Newbury Park on March 22, 2018.
Now in its second year, the nationwide DRAFT program aims to bring communities together to celebrate the bike culture. This was the first DRAFT event hosted by Giant Bicycles and despite rainy skies and dire predictions of the “worst storm of the year” it was a packed house. Attendees were able to check out all of the 2018 Liv, Giant, and Momentum bikes, apparel and gear in the company showroom while they enjoyed local craft beer from Bottle & Pint as well as tacos from favorite El Sancho Loco Taqueria.
The theme of the night was “Planning a Bike Friendly Community” and each of the three presenters offered insights -- both broad and specific -- on how to change not only infrastructure but also attitudes.
Derek Towers, City Bicycle Coordinator of Ventura, California, kicked off the presentations, explaining how additional infrastructure and business partnerships have been instrumental in Ventura being awarded a "Bicycle Friendly Community" designation last year by the League of American Bicyclists.
Towers shared his experience in planning and executing bike paths, bike routes, bike parking, and bike events for the city, but said the most difficult and long-term project was changing attitudes in the community about cycling and a cyclist's place on the road.
Next up was Adele Nelson, Director of Chefs Cycle for No Kid Hungry, a fundraising endurance event featuring award-winning chefs and members of the culinary community-fighting hunger outside the kitchen. Through their participation in annual 300-mile, three-day ride, these chefs have been able to raise enough donations to offer 30,000,000 meals to kids facing hunger.
Nelson also shared examples of the transformative power of cycling, how the program has changed the health and menus of the chefs involved, and how that health-conscious message has radiated out into the community.
The final speakers of the night were Dorothy Sullivan and Jordan Hurdle who spoke on how organized mountain bike leagues in the school systems inspire new riders, build confidence and develop character.
Sullivan is a Liv ambassador, community cycling activist, and coach for the Newbury Park mountain bike team. Hurdle is a high school sophomore who joined the team in the eighth grade and currently wears the Leader’s Jersey for JV Girls this season. She spoke about what mountain biking means to her and how being part of the NPHS mountain bike team filters to other aspects of her life.
At the end of the night Giant raffled off prize packages that included baskets filled with Giant and Liv and a Momentum Street. All in all, it was a well-received evening and plans are already underway for Giant to host another DRAFT event later in the year.