Hi all,

This is PJ Park of the Mt Rainier, MD Bike Coop.  I had a wonderful time at the conference this past weekend.  I also had a wonderful time biking to the conference from DC on the C and O Canal and Great Allegheny Passage trails!  On the trail I met Mike Shih of the Neighborhood Bike Project in Philly.  We biked Wed. and Thursday, heading into PGH in the evening rain, guided from McKeesport to FreeRide! by Erok! 

At Free Ride! I met the Mary, Jessica, Luis, Erok, and Stewart from PGH, and then I helped Kim of Ft Collins fix up a bike.  Later, I biked over with Mike Shih to our host Rob's place near BBT.  Rob was an awesome and gracious host.  Dropped over to BBT that night and met more folks.

Friday, I attended some good workshops:  Getting Tools, Getting and Keeping a Space, and Volunteers.  I wanted to know how my coop could sell bikes even though we are in a non-commercial zoned space.  People said anyone can receive donations in return for goods and services.  I learned that different coops have different licenses: business, non-profit/501c3, sponsored fiscally by a non-profit, nothing, etc.  I liked getting a sense of the diversity of projects.

Friday night we had a good ride around Pittsburgh.   It's so beautiful!  I love the hills, vistas, and bridges.  It was so nice to enjoy Friday and Sat evenings with large group of bike coop bikers:)
Sat. I attended the AGRAPTO workshop and won a hat and a woven cloth for my attentiveness, willingness to sing, and my Spanish skills.  I donned my hat at the SpandeXXX party Sat night.  The party rocked btw!

Sunday, I collected signatures for the Environmental Defense Undo Global Warming campaign (undoit.org) asking our senators to support the Climate Stewardship Act which will set up a cap and trade system and reduce emissions 60-80% by 2050.  I've been collecting sigs on my bicycle journey to brazil ( http://www.biketobrazil.blogspot.com).  The petition has over 642,000 signatories now!

After filling my petition sheets with signatures, I attended the end of the Maya Pedal workshop.  Then sadly, I had to leave. It was a wonderful conference.

I rode home with Mike McMillan of Rockville Bikes for the World and Colin of Phoenix Bike Project of Arlington, VA.  One of the best parts of the conference was collaborating with other coops in my area.

Thank you for reading.  I invite you all to share your personal experiences of the conference!

PJ Park