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We found hope in Amarillo

7 May

Hello!

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We’ve been out on our proper tour for more than a week now and have begun the extensive leg of our tour in Texas.

So far everything is big here, including the crowds and the enthusiasm. We had the mayor of Amarillo come out last night along with some council members and they all participated in the event and the discussions surrounding Groundswells, places where people are looking beyond traditional roles of advocacy and applying the principles of social justice to build successful bicycling meccas.

The conversations last night were a great reminder of why we put together this new touring program: To look beyond the usual guilt for not bicycling more and to challenge the thinking that got us there and look at ways to produce greater results. We have eight more shows in Texas over the next two weeks and we are excited for the conversations that they bring.

Here’s some photos from our first week on the road:

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We’ve Hit The Road!

2 Jun

mtownnj5Dinner and Bikes 2014 has officially begun! We had a great crowd last night for our opening date in Morristown, New Jersey at Marty’s Reliable Cycle, hosted by the wonderful people of the Morristown Chapter of the New Jersey Bike and Walk Coalition. Chef Joshua served up some delightful dishes, including incredibly delicious sticky rice potatoes and curried bananas.

In addition to a fascinating discussion hosted by Elly, we were joined by NJBWC Executive Director Cyndi Steiner, who had some great announcements for bicycle enthusiasts in the area. Steiner talked about some of the massive improvements to the George Washington Bridge, including bicycle lanes, as well as a new safe passing bill for cyclists and pedestrians which is moving forward in the legislature.

We’d like to thank everyone who came out, the good people of Bike and Walk Morristown and Marty’s Reliable for a fantastic start to our tour!

We’re in Brooklyn for the next two nights and tickets for each event are still available! If we don’t see you in New York, we hope to see you somewhere along the road!

Dueling Brooklyn Events

20 May

Dinner and Bikes is coming up fast. We’re all in the midst of getting ready to head out from our respective cities, packing, partying, dealing with last minute logistics, and of course putting the finishing details on all our events. Here’s the full list of them.

One of the best things about this tour is the way each city and organizer makes Dinner and Bikes their own. Sure enough, events are all starting to develop their own personalities. Our kickoff event in Morristown, NJ on June 1st is less than two weeks away—it’s a classic one, held at a bike shop. In between we’ll be at churches, art galleries, and historic buildings, in a trolley museum, a real estate office, and a range of event spaces and community centers. We’ll close things out in Miami on July 3rd at a place called Gramps Bar. Good times will be had.

In Brooklyn alone, at the very beginning of the tour, we have two back to back events that are about as different as they can be.

On June 2nd, Dinner and Bikes is a formal affair at the Old Stone House. $50 tickets gain you entry to an outdoor gala event benefiting Recycle-a-Bicycle. You’ll be entered to win a raffle for a Van Moof or Brooklyn Bicycle Co. steed. You’ll enjoy family-style dining while you take in an inspiring and controversial talk by Elly and some short films by Joe.

Then on June 3rd, we’re at the 3B bed and breakfast. Tickets are $15 and include a yoga class if you’d like to come out early. Dinner will be served buffet style and you’ll enjoy a screening of Joe’s new documentary, Aftermass (and some of Joshua’s spicy popcorn if we’re lucky).

There’s something for everyone — or come to both.

California pre-tour events!

5 May

The final pieces are falling into place for the upcoming East Coast Dinner and Bikes tour proper.

In the meantime, we’re headed to California for some different sorts of events in the next couple of weeks. Here’s the rundown:

Thursday, May 8: Aftermass movie screening in Oakland! 8:30pm, PLACE for Sustainable Living (1121 64th St). Tickets $10. Optional: Ride there together from the Bike Happy Hour (leaving at 8pm)!

Saturday, May 10: Meet and Ride with Elly Blue—Elly’s book Everyday Bicycling is the book of the month at the Oakland Public Library. Optional ride leaves from the Chavez Branch at 10:15; her talk is at noon at the 81st Ave branch.

Wednesday, May 14: Dinner and Bikes San Diego. We’re reuniting with chef Joshua for this one. Dinner is served at 7pm at La Bodega Studio and Gallery (2196 Logan Avenue) Optional guided group ride leaves at 5:30pm. Tickets (purchase here) are $15 for BikeSD members, $25 for nonmembers.

Friday, May 16: Santa Monica Dinner and Bikes (TBD)

Thursday, May 23: Aftermass screening back home in Portland. 7pm, $7! Clinton Street Theater (SE Clinton & 26th).

See you soon, coasts.

Tour booking has begun!

15 Jan

Dinner and Bikes gets a little better, a little more fun, and a lot more organized every year.

The 2014 tour has already seen some exciting innovations. We completed a successful Kickstarter project that will help us bring the tour to cities we wouldn’t otherwise be able to visit. Also as a result of this extra funding kick, we’ll be able to add organic, local vegetables to our buffet. And this year, instead of a flaming rental car, we’ll travel between our events in a waste vegetable oil tour van from Fossil Free Fuel in Braddock, Pennsylvania.

Huge thanks to all the backers who made this possible, as well as to our local hosts and the event sponsors we haven’t met yet. We’ll be seeing you soon, and we can’t wait!

We are also thrilled to announce a new team member: This year we’ll be joined by Ruby, a 17 pound Public Access Certified medical alert dog, who is joining us as Joe’s personal assistant and all around advocate for the joys of both bicycling and food.

Our schedule is starting to fill in, but there are still options to add events on all legs of the trip. Take a look, and get in touch if you’d like to talk about bringing us to your town.

Kickstarting Dinner and Bikes

28 Oct

A tour schedule for Dinner and Bikes 2014 is just starting to shape up. Elly’s new book, Bikenomics, is just about to come out. And we’re running a Kickstarter in honor of both these events. The best news is that funds raised in this Kickstarter will help take the fundraising burdens off some of our organizers/event attendees. Plus you can get some sweet rewards, including the tools to create your own Bikenomics event if you can’t make it to one of ours.

There are just a few days left to make this work. Check out the video below and back the project now:

In other awesome news, Joshua has a new cookbook coming out, too. Things don’t get much more exciting than this brightly colored, punk rock ode to lighter-toasted vegan s’mores, cooking on your car radiator (maybe we’ll try this on tour), and much much more. Check it out, grab a book, and bring it along for him to scrawl in when we come through your town.

Thinking about 2014

6 Aug

We’ll be doing another Dinner and Bikes tour in 2014. We’re hoping to cover the entire US eastern seaboard … and we’ll have a whole lot more awesome books, ideas, and recipes.

Other than that, we don’t know much yet. The tour could be in April or June or even later in the summer. It could span three weeks or six. We could be in another rental car, or finally figure out how to manage it on the train. It’s totally up in the air.

Do you live on or near the east coast? Want to help us bring an event to your town? It’s not too early to get in touch.

We hope to see you next year!

Hello From New Haven!

17 May

Hello from New Haven, Connecticut! We’re slowly making our way through the Northeast and enjoying every minute of bikes, books and delicious vegan meals. After spending a splendid few days in New York, with events in Schenectady, Syracuse, Buffalo and Ithaca, we had dinner and discussed bikes in New Haven last night at City Hall. This morning, we were delighted to spend some time tabling in front of the Devil’s Gear Bike Shop for New Haven’s bike to work day.

Our time through New York state went all too quickly, but we’re so very grateful to everyone who came out to chat, sponsored, housed and showed us around town. We’ve met so many wonderful folks along this tour genuinely interested and working card on building a better bike culture for everyone.

We’re just barely halfway through the tour however, which means we’ve got lots more dates ahead of us. Be sure to check out the full list!

Almost Bike Month, and we are headed out

22 Apr

The Dinner and Bikes tour of 2013 is coming up fast — this week has been a flurry of emails, and filling in details on our schedule. A bunch of the event have ticket sales info… and we are quickly adding facebook pages for each of them. If you live or know anyone in any of the towns on our route, please rsvp and spread the word.

We still have a few gaps! (Ahem, New York, Chicago…) Anyone want to leap in? Some of our best events have been put together on very short notice (24 hours was the shortest — in 2011 we packed the living room of a medium-sized San Francisco apartment. Two weeks was more than enough time for seriously stellar organizers to attract crowds of over a hundred in Santa Monica in 2011 and Jacksonville in 2012…).

Here are some assorted updates:

– Holland, Michigan has a mini-interview up with Elly.

– People often ask what our usual type of venue is, and we have no answer to this. Case in point: In Columbus, Ohio, our event will be at what the owner described to us as “the city’s only vegan dive bar, I think.” We believe it! Thanks, Hal and Al’s, for hosting us. If you stick around after our show, you can see a metal band perform.

– Meanwhile, our events in Syracuse and Schenectady are both hosted by the Unitarian Church. Lots of love.

– It’s probably unlucky to say things like this, but I (Elly) am going to go ahead and predict that our hugest events in terms of turnout will be… wait for it… Detroit… and… Iowa City. I’ve been wrong before plenty of times (Joshua is our resident savant at this guessing game, which is good because he does the grocery shopping), so other cities should feel empowered to go ahead and break my prediction.

– Columbus, Indiana (not to be confused with the other Columbus) designed a new poster (based on the redesigned one from Santa Monica, but with a more stern color scheme). Here’s a snapshot (meanwhile, to download one of our template posters, go here):

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See you all very soon! We can’t wait for each and every one of these events.

Big plans for Dinner and Bikes 2013

4 Jan

We are excited to announce the dates, route, and program for Dinner and Bikes 2013!

We’ll be traveling the central and northeast U.S. in May — which happens to coincide with Bike Month.

Here is our rough schedule so far. It will change a bit as dates are confirmed and switched around. Do you live in any of these spots and want to work with us to bring Dinner and bikes to your town? Get in touch, we’re booking now.

Our program will be a little different this year, showcasing our recently finished major projects. Joe’s documentary, Aftermass, is nearly done. He’ll be showing excerpts that add up to nearly the length of the full documentary. Elly will be presenting her new book, Everyday Bicycling, a friendly, basic guide to bicycle transportation that includes chapters on carrying cargo, family bicycling, and advocacy. And Joshua’s food will continue to wow everyone.

We’re also excited to welcome Aaron to our team. You’ll meet Aaron as the smiling face behind our traveling bicycle and food themed bookstore. He’ll also be acting as roadie as well as documenter of the trip, blogging and recording as we eat and talk our way around this corner of the country.

And I can’t resist a little foreshadowing — spring 2014 should see us traversing the east coast from tip to toe. If you’re on that coast and not on our route for this year, get in touch and we’ll put you on our spreadsheet. [love at dinner and bikes dot com]