#bikenyc Community History-a panel discussion at Red Lantern Bicycles

One thing the cycling community in New York City can agree on is that it has a rich history, filled with significant events that have shaped the popularity of the bike culture to what it is today. What is often debated by bike advocates and activists is which groups or individuals are responsible for these events and why? Who influenced who? Things like, how much of a role did critical mass have on building the popularity of cycling or was it more about a well funded advocacy group who was less rebellious and willing to work with the city in more traditional forms of a non profit. How much of a roll did the messenger community play by spearheading renegade events and street races? Perhaps it was ancient Druids who left cryptic messages in the ethos, thousands of years before the wheel was even invented.

Next week I will be co-hosting a panel discussion with many significant players that make up our unique bike culture and begin a dialouge about our history. Sorry, the druids are not available.
This was the brain child of my sister blogger Nona Varnado of, who recently moved to Los Angeles. She attended a similiar event out there that pieced together it’s own bike history into a timeline which lead to an open panel discussion and allowed community input of the key events to build the timeline.

Here is more about the event:

#BikeNYC Community History-a panel discussion.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
6:30pm – 9:00pm
at Red Lantern Bicycles
345 Myrtle Ave-Fort Greene, Brooklyn

RSVP: #BikeNYC Community History

The Quick Version: It’s a crowdsourced “people’s history” of cycling in NYC. After panel members have spoken audience members will be encouraged to add benchmarks under each year. We’ll be looking at 1985 – 2013.


Curated by: Nona Varnado

Moderators: Mike Green (BikeBlogNYC) & Nona Varnado (theBirdWheel)

Panelists: Charles Komanoff, Caroline Samponaro, Bill Di Paola, Kevin ‘Squid’ Bolger, Helen Ho, Steve Vaccaro, Ken Stanek, Chris Kim, Taliah Lempert and Dmitry Gudkov.

Thanks to Transportation Alternatives (celebrating their 40th!) and Times Up! (celebrating their 25th!) we have a pretty excellent timeline to start from.

this happened:
It was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had as a bike community member, organizer and cycling advocate. I’m so excited to experience a NYC version!

The format is two moderators, Mike Green (BikeBlogNYC) and myself (TheBirdWheel). In mostly chronological order we have panelists talk about how things actually happened (there will be surprises…) It’s a great way to create a narrative and timeline of local cycling history as a social movement.

The #BikeLA event was extremely successful, heartwarming and a solid way to create a crowdsourced peoples history. This was huge for academics, recognizing individual and movement volunteers, practical insights developed over the years in a way that very positively brought people from many places (individuals, academics, advocates, personalities) together in a kind of reunion. People brought kids, connected about new projects and greater cross collaboration.

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