The tour

The fifth annual Dinner & Bikes is a month-long tour of the U.S. to bring people together to eat delicious food and get inspired about bicycle transportation.

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, for 2015, Elly Blue and Joe Biel co-present a new slide, lecture, and short film presentation about Groundswell movements, incidences where people demand better neighborhood conditions and successfully implemented them. Some of the brand new short films include the story of former gang members in Portland’s historic Black neighborhoods who organized Take Back The Streets bike rides to raise awareness around gang violence and are now organizing a refuge house, James Rohas’ workshops of new views on city planning models, a look at the formation of the equity council of the League of American Bicyclists, how the City of Portland’s Sunday Parkways program was created as a way to engage and discuss gentrification and racism for neighbors in the streets, and the city of Reading, PA’s application of Bikenomics principles for city development after having the 10th highest bicycle mode split in the Northeast despite a lack of infrastructure or even a bike shop in the city proper.

At the end there is a chance for twenty minutes of questions, discussion, 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!

The crew

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.

Joe Biel is 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 Beyond the Music. 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 will be talking on tour about her new book, Bikenomics: How Bicycling Can Save the Economy. She is also the author of Everyday Bicycling: How to Ride a Bicycle for Transportation (Whatever your Lifestyle). When she isn’t writing, she publishes books and zines about all aspects of bicycle transportation. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

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 eating and snacking. When off duty, her favorite food is peanut butter and her favorite activity is napping.