VIDEO: Communications Panel at Cal Bike Summit 2019

Last Month, Cal Bike Summit 2019 came and went over the course of three days always proving there’s plenty of discussion to be had over cycling and active transportation.

This one was my third and a bit more near and dear since it took place here in Los Angeles.

It’s an opportunity to learn, but probably more important to connect as meeting people working towards the same goals in other environments is a good litmus test to see if you’re moving in the right direction.

For me, one pressing issue that we have not done well in the bike community as a whole is being effective communicators.

In our world, we justify our work with each other by pointing to numbers, but presenting facts in this age doesn’t carry the same weight as before.


Packed House


Winning hearts and minds has taken a shift the last few years, especially with the advent of social media.

Even though we only had an hour, I wanted to put together a panel at Cal Bike Summit 2019 to address these issues if at the very least to spark more conversation.

From the communications field, it was fortunate enough to field a strong panel of Alissa Walker (Curbed), Dana Variano (Rally, CicLAvia, LACBC), Matt Tinoco (KPCC, LAIST) and Peter Flax (Bicycling Magazine, Outside Magazine).

On top of that, I wanted to focus on a couple of key situations that have happened here in LA the last few years with the Venice Boulevard Great Streets project and the Justice for Woon movement.

There were no better people to speak to those than Sarah Auerswald (Mar Vista Community Council & Chamber of Commerce) and Edin “Chief Lunes” Barrientos.

Personally, I had a lot of anxiety trying to cram as much in as possible and making sure everyone had time to have their say.


How to Communicate to Win the Hard Fights


Seeing how the room was filled to the point that it was not only just standing room, but the number of people that had to squish in made me feel like I was accomplishing something.

While it was impossible to encompass everything in that short of a time frame, I do think it ended on a note that we have to re-evalutate our approach to outreach and how to strike a chord outside of our circles.

You may listen to the panel in three parts via mp3 here:

Cal Bike Panel Part 1.mp3

Cal Bike Panel Part 2.mp3

Cal Bike Panel Part 3.mp3