With the popularity of adventure cycling it is important to have safe(r) spaces for women, trans, and non-binary cyclists that facilitate growth, encourage exploration and support new challenges. We use our bicycles to explore, heal, and change the world we live in for the better.
As adventurists on bicycles, WTFers have an intimate understanding and connection to wild places. It’s no surprise that the agenda for this year reflects the experiences we have when we get out there. We celebrate the abundant biodiversity that exists on this planet; We celebrate the same within the ecology of the people exploring their planet on bikes.
In addition to some sessions that resonated with the group last year, we asked our WTF community to propose sessions to lead at the summit this year. Looking over these submissions, we noticed a theme of Justice & Healing- in community, at work, on and off bicycles in the places we find ourselves.
We are so excited to announce these one-hour sessions to offer to our community.
Explore your gender identity in a space where we can be our authentic selves! Better understanding our relationship with our gender identity can be empowering and help us better advocate for others. Hear what our doctors say: that gender comes from the brain, and from deep within the heart! Work together to learn about privilege, oppression, and practice how to speak up for others. Learn how to recognize and build healthy relationships with your fellow lgbtqia2s+ bicycle community, break apart the binary, and be a vigilant ally to your fellow community members.
Jaxyn Roux & Rebecca Velasquez
Go bikepacking, but make it fashion. Currently, clothing is one of the most discarded items on the planet. Fast fashions don’t consider comfort, fit, and ethical manufacturing of their apparel and certainly not thinking about the needs of bike adventurers. Break the cycle of fast fashions with a lesson on what to look for mindful alternatives.
Angelica Casaverde & Ester Song
Having a well-fitting bike is an essential part of being comfortable and injury-free in the saddle. I will discuss some basic bike fit principles, saddle selection, and ways to self-assess potential issues on the bike. I will touch on the industry trend toward “women’s” vs “men’s” design in bikes and saddles, how that binary doesn’t serve every body, and tools to a better approach that puts the rider and their unique body first.
Get to know your bike, how to fix common and not-so-common trailside emergencies.
Sofia Torres & J. Higgins
A moderated panel from organizers around the country sharing their experiences leading WTF cycling groups.
Martina Brimmer, Molly Sugar, Cait Rodriguez, Kimberly Wiman, Monique Laraway & D’Frantz Smart
Learn how to make meals you’ll be looking forward to while riding.
Teo Ducot & Ester Song
Practical ways to create safe(r) spaces and theater of the oppressed workshop that participants can take back with them to their communities. By doing a hands on activity, participants can learn an accessible way to talk about difficult topics like privilege and power. After the activity, I would like to do a de-briefing and open up the space to share/talk about how we can better implement anti-oppressive practices in our bike-shops, activist groups and social circles. This topic is important, because it first focuses on helping each participant locate themselves within in space we occupy and then with that, how we can take this understanding to create spaces that are safe(r) and conducive for healing.
What is toxic masculinity? This session will hold space to share experiences and ideas on how we can and have worked to dismantle toxic masculinity from within ourselves and our communities. Together we will explore ways we can do better. Open to all with an emphasis on trans and non binary identifying folks- whether they are out or not..
Danielle Lundgren & Izzy Sederbaum
The intention of this session is three-fold. First, folks will be asked to free-write in response to a series of prompts meant to provoke connection between the experience of a bikers body and the activity of adventure cycling. Following the writing exercise, people will have space to discuss the prompts further if they like. Next, I will cover some gear basics that have worked well for my larger body, and open the space to the group to share gear/body related tips and tricks. Finally, the group will discuss how to build a size diverse community of adventure cyclists and by examining a few outdoor adventure groups that work to create space for fat people to recreate.
*Important note: This session is not just for people in larger bodies. This is about connecting people with their body, and empathizing with people in different bodies as they share a common love of adventure cycling. A big part of this work is done by people in thin bodies who create space for body size diversity.
When you’re headed out on an adventure, the last thing you want to think about is catching a case of poison ivy or bringing extra aspirin to sooth some killer cramps. Luckily, mother nature’s got you covered! This is an experiential learning session in which we will explore the woods around us, identify several plants, discuss their medicinal uses, and learn how to properly and easily process them so their magic can be harnessed on the trail when we need it.
Across the nation, many of us work ardently as Mobility Justice advocates. We do so because of how much we love our most thriving community members who are Black, Indigenous, People of Color, disabled, LGBTQIA+, undocumented, houseless, youth, elders, and etc. We do so because it is how many of us hold ourselves with dignity by speaking truth. Our love is often misconstrued as rage, when it really is our gentle, peace loving and compassionate spirits moving us. Let’s converge minds, spirits and hearts to inspire each other for uplifting transformation.
*Note, this session will include discussion of the impacts of trauma on the nervous system, including physical symptoms and emotional dysregulation. Everyone at the session, including the facilitator, is encouraged to take care with themselves and participate however they can. This session is about self-awareness, support, and celebrating biking. Nicole will share her experience of ongoing healing, from having trauma-related anxiety and asthma attacks on 10 mile bike rides to completing a bikepacking trip across Oregon. Time together will include discussion, self-reflection, and small-group activities to facilitate connecting with others and learning about:
“This space is intended for black, brown, indigenous, queer, trans, and/or intersex cyclists to meet and discuss our experiences as bike explorers. This is a POC autonomous space that centers the experience of queer and trans people. The format will be a bike ride to a picnic spot where we will share food and stories. Tez and Teo will have suggested topics prepared but will allow conversation to flow where it wants to go.
*Cis-gender hetero people of color allies are welcome to join with the intention of listening to the experience of QTIBIPOC to better their position as allies.
Teo Ducot & Tez de la Tierra
This clinic is an introduction to the benefits of route making and GPS navigation. We will talk about the how GPS navigation and ride data are tools for independence in the backcountry, some basic terminology, the pro’s and con’s of following someone else’s route vs. making your own, as well as resources to make, share, and find routes. We will give a brief overview of the process of building a route. Bring pen and paper to take notes, or just come by to listen!
Molly Sugar & Sarah Swallow
The Nitty Gritty is for those of you who have attended “The Basics” or are already very familiar with the benefits of route making and navigation. The Nitty Gritty is an interactive workshop on making routes, uploading them to your GPS device, and noting ride statistics. We’ll start with a brief introduction on how to make your own route, upload it onto your GPS device, and some settings/features we recommend. Then we’ll break out in groups where you will build a route starting with a paper map, then drawing it on the Ride with GPS website or Gaia GPS app, loading that route to a GPS device/Phone. We will be along for the ride answering questions and troubleshooting with you. Bring a map, a laptop (if you have one – we’ll be sharing!), GPS device of your choice (Iphone is ok too), pen and paper to take notes, or just come by to listen!
Molly Sugar & Sarah Swallow
Skillshare and facilitated discussion of curriculum and best practices that support gender inclusivity and queer safe space while teaching kids about bikes and safety. Cycles of Change collective members will give examples of our curriculum and host a discussion about how to engage youth effectively through educational programming on bikes.
Dartanian fierce Kaufman & Loke Davis & Eugene Kang
Food and cooking while bikepacking can be seen as a basic topic, but it is one that effects everyone because 1) we all need to eat to bike all day and 2) food is the ultimate connector and transcends all identities, cultures and backgrounds. Right now, when people talk about backcountry food, they talk about caloric density, macros, packability, weight, etc., and while these are important, I also want to address people’s physical, emotional and ancestral connection to food. I believe these elements add a value to food and eating that go beyond the clinical (or western) portrayal of food and that these elements actually feed and refuel us in ways not typically addressed, or even thought of, in a backcountry setting.
Through discussion and thought exercises I will aim to get the group to connect on a deeper level to foods and flavors that make them feel whole – identifying why these foods bring up those feelings and how they can be used to enhance your trip. From there I will go over how to bring those foods along when bikepacking and get into the nitty gritty and practicals of backcountry cooking using example recipes and cooking demos. I’ll show the group how to craft recipes, meal plan for a trip, and most importantly, demonstrate the role that food can play in your well-being on (and off) the saddle.
I recognize that food can bring up a LOT of feelings. Diaspora, colonization, eating disorders, body dysphoria, etc. can have a large impact on how people relate and feel about food. I want to create an inclusive environment for people to connect to food on whatever level they feel comfortable.
#ShredtheCistem and learn more about what you can do to make rides and community events in the outdoors more inclusive and affirming of trans and gender non-conforming (GNC) riders.
Kai Conradi, Whitney Ford Terry & Travis Clough
In Dancing on our Turtle’s Back, Nishnaabeg scholar Leanne Simpson explains the importance of narrating our stories of struggle, growth and survival: “Storytelling is at its core decolonizing, because it is a process of remembering, visioning and creating a just reality… Storytelling then becomes a lens through which we can envision our way out of cognitive imperialism, where we can create models and mirrors where none existed, and where we can experience the spaces of freedom and justice.” (Simpson, 33)
This discussion will focus on the transformative power of storytelling and the relationship between bike stories and self. Bike travel is how I came to terms with my Indigenous/Latino heritage. As I rode throughout the Navajo Nation in Arizona, the Raramuri Territory in Chihuahua and other areas of the US Southwest, I learned to appreciate the universality of my own experience. Everywhere I went, the people of the area spoke to me as if I belonged. My grandparents were neither Navajo nor Hopi nor Pueblo nor Raramuri- my people are from southern Mexico. They were Mazateco from the highlands of Jalisco. Yet, every Indigenous group embraced me as if I were one of their own. It was a welcomed embrace.
For two years, we followed the cycles of the moon from the saddle of our bicycles and in each new phase I saw my reflection. My strong Indigenous features ceased to be social limitations and instead became a reminder of the resilience of my people. I wish to share this experience to talk about how bicycle travel can connect us to our shared humanity and as a way to recognize differences, not as barriers and separations, but as rich complexity in our commonality.
In this session we will discuss strategies for zero or low waste bike trips. Where ever we bike travel, we are in relationship with land that has ecologies and cultures of balance and relationship. Our consumption and waste have impacts that can take many forms, including relationship building and respect for local resources of food, water, and economies. We’ll use a sample gravel tour route through Oregon that links two train stations as a model for a tour plan that is zero or low waste and supports local sustainable economies.
In summer 2015, Stanford researchers published a study elucidating the connection between time spent in nature and decreased likelihood of depression symptoms. Many QTBIPoC have long known of the benefits of spending time in natural settings, whether we were conscious of this awareness or not. In fact, many of us have spiritual roots in the natural world; we’ve found home there. In this session, we’ll break down the study a little bit, discuss our collective experiences with nature as a source of healing, and begin naming and addressing the barriers to access many in our communities face. The session is planned as an interactive discussion in which all participants are seen as experts with valuable contributions based in their real world experiences.
In WTF and other intentionally gendered spaces, some of us bring sun energy, or “masculinities” informed by patriarchal culture. As two spirit, non-binary, trans folks who lean into the direction of Sun and queer/trans ‘masculinities’, we seek to heal ourselves and be healthy contributors to the bike communities around us. We seek and sometimes we fail! In this session we intend to engage in a discussion with others who build bike community to examine how we can honor ourselves while acknowledging and supporting gender inclusive spaces. We will build an metaphorical but practical tool kit of practices and reflections to take home to our communities. This is a loving space for all Black Indigenous People of Color – full gender spectrum inclusive- for self-affirmation and loving accountability around sun / masculine / male energies within bikelandia.
*This session is open only to BIPOC of any gender identity and expression.
Ami Puri & Rìo Oxas
During this session, we will discuss how writing, for both personal pleasure and money, can allow us to reshape the stories we tell about ourselves. We will start with conversation about the importance of storytelling, the colonial roots behind travel and adventure writing, and the lack of WTF, POC, and queer, representation in outdoors & bicycling media. We will then split into smaller groups – Kai will lead workshop exercises related to visual art and journaling and Mary Ann will work with nonfiction writers and travel writers looking to write for public platforms. We’ll conclude with sharing resources, including contacts (with editors / publications) and personal contact info, for folks who want to stay in touch and exchange work.
Mary Ann Thomas & Kai Conradi