“Dinner + Bikes provided a ready-made opportunity for us to host an event that also reaches out to younger advocates and cyclists that are often difficult for advocates to connect with in a meaningful way. It’s the easiest event we have ever hosted. We got a venue donated, sold tickets, and used their existing promotional materials to get the word out. There is no easier way to host national-level bicycle speakers. Do not pass up the opportunity to bring Dinner + Bikes to your community. It will activate your membership to a fever pitch!” —Phil Sarnoff, executive director, Bike Utah
Here’s what happens at a Dinner and Bikes event:
As the audience arrives, they serve themselves from chef Joshua Ploeg’s seven-course gourmet vegan and gluten-free buffet spread. While the audience is eating, local advocates discuss their work and local issues and initiatives over the first fifteen minutes.
Then, Elly Blue and Joe Biel co-present a new interactive discussion and presentation including eight short films about Groundswell movements, incidences where people demand better neighborhood conditions and successfully implemented them. Stories include how Reading, PA came to be 13th on the East Coast for bike commuting without any advocacy or government spending, former gang members riding bikes to raise awareness about gang violence, Mexico City’s superhero of the streets, Peatonito, the story of the League of American Bicyclists’ equity council, how the City of Portland’s Sunday Parkways worked as a response to gentrification, and how cyclists are representing themselves and creating their own voices all over the world.
Throughout the evening there are plenty of opportunities for discussion, questions, and browsing the Microcosm pop-up book and t-shirt store. We wind down and pack up around 9 PM and everyone is tucked away in bed by 10 or creating an off-site after party!
Joe Biel is the co-producer/director of Groundswell, the director of the feature documentary Aftermass: Bicycling in a Post-Critical Mass Portland as well as over 100 short films. He is also the author of half a dozen books, including Good Trouble: Building a Successful Life & Business with Asperger’s. He founded Microcosm Publishing in his bedroom closet in 1996 and has since published over 350 nonfiction books, zines, and movies. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
Elly Blue is the co-producer/director of Groundswell and the author of Bikenomics: How Bicycling Can Save the Economy and Everyday Bicycling: How to Ride a Bicycle for Transportation (Whatever your Lifestyle). When she isn’t writing, she is the marketing director of Microcosm Publishing, producing books and zines about all aspects of feminism, self-empowerment, and bicycle transportation. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
Joshua Ploeg is the the traveling vegan chef. When not touring the world, he is a personal chef and delighter of secret cafe goers in Los Angeles. His eighth and newest cookbook is This Ain’t No Picnic: Your Punk Rock Vegan Cookbook. He lives in California.
Aaron Cynic is an independent journalist and activist from Chicago. He writes regularly for Chicagoist and the Diatribe Media collective. His work has also appeared on Shareable, Truthout, Z Magazine and in numerous other publications and zines. When he isn’t documenting Dinner and Bikes through blogging, audio, video, and photos, he’ll be driving the van, managing our traveling bookstore, and smiling a lot.
Ruby is a Public Access Certified medical alert dog. Her job is to be Joe’s personal assistant. Her hobbies including napping and eating. When off duty, her favorite food is peanut butter and her favorite activity is sleeping.