OMG, hella excited to be writing for Candy Cranks as an Oakland rider! I look forward to connecting with a larger bike community, it’s so inspiring to hear about what is happening all over the world. Thanks for having me! My name’s Elokin, and that’s me in the picture with my bike “Stella”.
Oakland… an amazing place to be on a bike. I’m originally from San Diego, moved up here 5 years ago and started teaching bike programs with youth. It’s been an incredible adventure. I was in SF until a year ago, and I gotta say, I super love the East Bay. Cuz I am not from here I definitely work on checking myself and my role in the process of gentrification in Oakland, it’s important for all us transplants (by choice) to look at why we are here. I came here to be closer to work- I work with Cycles of Change, a bike education org here in the East Bay. We have a collectively-run bike shop, The Bikery, centering the leadership of people of color, youth especially, as well as women and transfolk, and people grown up in Oakland.
Oakland inspires me as a biker cuz the bike scene here is fiercely political and creative. We have Bikes 4 Life, who work to address criminalization of youth and create a space where young folks learn skills to run a business. They organize a Peace Ride each year- this year’s ride focused on bringing justice to victims of police violence, especially Oscar Grant and Fred Collins who were murdered by BART police in Fruitvale. I am honored to get to work with them, and also organized that ride with RBG and P.O.K.E.R. Red Bike and Green, (RBG) is a collective of black urban cyclists, who work “to improve the physical health, individual economy and local environment of African Americans by strengthening the relevance of bike culture within the Black community”. Started by a woman, Jenna, she’s amazing. And the People Of Kolor Everyday Ridin’ (P.O.K.E.R) rides, are fun community building rides to check out for folks of color. And other great bike orgs are Richmond SPOKES, which is in Richmond, close to Oakland, doing fabulous things in the bike movement. And of course Baybe Champ, the Scraper Bike King, who has drawn international attention to the creativity of Scraper Bikes in Oakland.
K, those are the folks I want to introduce you to for now, in Oakland/East Bay. The idea is, there are so many strong and amazing bike communities here- I definitely feel part of a growing movement for social justice through being involved in bike community. I’m excited to build it with you- please write to share your events! I plan on including a lot of great events in my posts, and interviewing all the amazing women who are involved in bike organizing and run bike shops, make bike art, etc. here in Oakland. There are so many great folks to introduce to each other!
I also work on these blogs if you ever wanna check ‘em out or add anything. Thanks for being part of this with me!