Hi Rachel,

I have been to both the California Walk/Bike Conf and the larger Pro Walk/Pro Bike conf. The conferences are similar and I think Mario's synopsis was a good start. The International conference is bigger and has a broader range of researchers/academics, advocates and advocates, and program types including non-proffys, feds, state and territorial folks too. Some good info on funding cycles/options and good networking with international experts and resources - which can be really valuable to get perspectives outside o' the good ol' USA. Focus on safety, b/p facilities, research, programs, etc. Schmoozing skills help - though as Mario stated - you can get by even if it's not your forte. Biking and walking excursions are always on the menu and that can be an instructive break from the workshop sessions.

Atlanta is an interesting locale - but I'd be curious to see what they come up with for local adventures. Bottom-line: If you can get sent - I'd recommend going - you'll get something out off it and help raise the profile of bike coops at the same time!


sacramento bicycle kitchen

On 12/17/07, Mario Bruzzone < mario.bruzzone@gmail.com> wrote:
Hi Rachel--

A few of us from various California community bike projects were asked to give a workshop at the Walk/Bike California 2007 Conference on bike co-ops/collectives/what-have-you. While this isn't the same conference, obviously, I think it's probably pretty similar.

The audience for our workshop was fairly big--I remember about 20-25--and enthusiastic about what we're doing. They were mostly urban planners, architects, public heath advocates, and the like--and because of this, they had a much different perspective than most of us in the community bike world. Mostly they see top-down solutions, I found, where we, as grassroots and community organizations, see bottom-up. Not bad, just different. The conference as a whole had a lot of presentations about street redesign and large-scale government advocacy, which isn't so pertinent to our particular mission, but may be to yours.

As always at conferences, a lot of the benefit is about networking, and to be honest, I didn't feel like I had a lot in common with most of the people there, so that part wasn't that much fun. It felt more like work than play, honestly, but I don't really like shmoozing, even if I can do it ok.

That said, I'm glad that we were on the agenda--more visibility is great.

Jeffery from the Sacramento Bike Kitchen was our contact for the CA conference, so you may want to get in touch with him.


Mario Bruzzone
Bike Kitchen
San Francisco

On Dec 17, 2007 8:55 AM, rachael spiewak < rachael@sopobikes.org> wrote:
Hi, everyone.

Anyone been to the Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference before?  Is it relevant to our work?  What did you get out of it?  A community member wants to send me and maybe some other folks because he thinks it would be an investment in bike advocacy in Atlanta on the whole, which sounds very nice.  Just wondering what I'm getting myself into!

Too bad the dates aren't lined up with BikeBike.  That would be too convenient.  : )


Rachael Spiewak, MSW
Executive Director
Sopo Bicycle Cooperative
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Hours of operation:
Tues/Thurs 7 pm - 10 pm
Sat/Sun 2 pm - 5 pm

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