Dispatch from the 2019 Bike!Bike! Conference in Tijuana
Bike! Bike! is an annual international gathering organized by and for community bicycle projects, bike advocacy groups, and people who are just passionate about bikes and mobility justice. The conference offers a space for participants from these shops and related advocacy groups to converge in a different city each year to have workshops, ride bikes, and get to know each other beyond borders.
A little background – the Bike! Bike! conference actually got its start at the Plan B Community Bike Shop right here in New Orleans a year before Hurricane Katrina. The volunteer-run Plan B played host to Bike! Bike! once again in 2013, shortly before the bike shop was forced to close its doors for good after encroaching gentrification kept the shop from being able to continue to operate at its location on Elysian Fields Avenue (Plan B’s original location was inside The Ark warehouse at 511 Marigny St., where I bought my first New Orleans bicycle for $15 shortly after Katrina).
Since it’s founding in 2004, Bike! Bike! has grown to become to be the primary mode of collaboration among hundreds of bike co-operatives and collectives around the world. This year, the city of Tijuana served as host the gathering, offering a unique lens from the perspective of a city faced with the challenges of being on the U.S-Mexico border in the present political climate. The conference was based around a new community bike shop there called Bicis Dicidentes, or “Dissident Bikes”. The shop is housed in the basement of Enclave Caracol, an autonomous community space that is also home to a cafe and a legal service provider for migrants.
Packing up my bike before heading out to ride across the border. The San Diego bike collective Bikes del Pueblo built and donated several bikes for participants to bring to Tijuana.
All packed up and headed towards the border.
A workshop on Bike Centers takes place at Cafe Sekani
Hanging out between workshops at Enclave Caracol
This was a great moment from the workshop “Multiple Intelligence Theory In Bike Education”. This group was tasked with teaching with teaching wheel maintenance by using methods appealing to nine different types of intelligence – everything from verbal-linguistic intelligence to musical, naturalistic and existential.
A big group ride took us biking across the city of Tijuana for this nice photo op.
A workshop on using bikes to create autunomous communities takes place inside Bicis Dicidentes
Flier for the post-conference group ride
Packing up the bikes for the conference post-ride to Playa La Mision
Riding south along the Mexico-U.S. border
Mexico is keeping the conference for another year – next year’s Bike! Bike! will take place even further south – in Mexico City.
This conference is a huge labor of love, so a giant thank you to all who put in so much work to make it happen!
To learn more about Bike! Bike!, visit https://en.bikebike.org/