Thursday, March 21, 2013

Another amazing Kickstarter project about women and bikes!

The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan began in 1979. For ten years, the war raged on, and was considered a "Proxy War" of the Cold War. After the Soviets pulled out, the impoverished, traumatized country was ripe for the control of the Taliban. Then 911 happened. Even before this modern history, Afganistan has been in dispute and a strategic region of Britan and Czarist Russia, then the US and Stalinist USSR. Basically, no one has "won" anything in Afghanistan, especially Afghanis, with instability and unspeakable injustices still rampant, specifically towards women.

What can a caring person do to help today? There are many ways. One way Mountain2Mountain has been creating change has been through it's programs that advocate for women in sports, specifically with mountain biking.  Through empowering women on equity issues like transportation and sports, they are giving voices to women and children in conflict zones, and creating an international community of support and advocacy. They are telling stories, and creating the world they want to live in through their work. It's possible. We as human beings created this mess, and we can love and create our way out of it.

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Mountain2Mountain was founded in November 2006 by Shannon Galpin.  Shannon took action on her deep conviction that all women and girls deserve the same rights and opportunities as her own daughter. She walked away from her career as an athletic trainer and used her own limited funds to launch M2M and "be the change" she wished to see in the world.
Now, this Kickstart project in question is about funding Afghan Cycles, which is a film about 12 brave women that dare to ride on the Women’s National Cycling Team of Afghanistan. This production is in association with other amazing women Sarah Menzies of LET Media, Whitney Conner Clapper of Side of the Road Sessions.

Still thinking "something should be done, but what can I do?" Here is Shannon Galpin to break it down for you.

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"- Leo Tosltoy

Friday, March 15, 2013

Toronto Loves The Make Den!

Fierce Bambi's baby, The Make Den, was just voted as one of the top DIY spots on BlogTo! The Make Den is in a beautiful new retail level space in Bloordale, and offers sewing lessons from begginer classes to leather crafting. Knowing how to sew is a great way to express your individuality, save money by fixing and tailoring your own garments, and mostly it is incredibly fulfiling. Making things with your hands just feels good. Speaking of feeling good, The Make Den is not just a building with classes, it's a community of creative, vibrant Toronto individuals. If you live in Toronto, and want to learn how to create or tailor your own wardrobe, then The Make Den is a must!

(Check out those seafoam walls in the photo... when you see that colour, it's a sure sign a Deadly Nightshade is afoot!)

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Deadly Nightshades featured in the Huffington Post!

We were happy to be interviewed by the amazing Amelia Brown for the Huffington Post Canada on how we Gen Y/ Millennials use cycling to express our style, independence and create the culture we value.
"The Deadly Nightshades are convinced that the bicycle is magic. When they're out as a "roving midnight bike gang," in seafoam green jackets, the seven women are a bewitching sight, mixing cycling, art and fashion."
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Just one note, for us "fashion" is more "personal style". The Deadly Nightshades came about from a firm distaste of the traditional fashion industry, and it was our punk way to be ourselves and assert our own values. So dress how you want, define your own cycle chic, don't let others tell you how to express yourself, and make your own informed decisions first and foremost.

Already the one comment on the blog is about how we aren't wearing helmets. (Rolls eyes.) Our official stance is this: we all do and we all don't, depending on various factors. Helmets, while AWESOME and have saved several of our noggins at various points, aren't a fix-all for bike safety, and are really just this trolling, polarizing issue we'd all be best to just drop as a topic of focus. The fact is, if we had been wearing helmets we'd be criticized for promoting a culture of fear and not putting the emphasis on car driver resonsiblity. Luke Brocki did an awesome write up of the issue in his article on Velo-City 2012

The Huffington post article is a great article read all around, addressing economic issues like the crippling cost of cars, awesome places like the Bike Kitchen at UBC, and events like the Bicycle Film Festival.
"Despite efforts to market bright, affordable and gadget-laden cars to the Millennials, the bicycle is an easy solution that offers Generation Y freedom to get where they need to go without worrying about insurance payments down the road."
Huzzah! Let the culture shift continue!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


The amazing Elly Blue's latest Kickstarter program needs your help! 11 Days to go!

If you don't know who Elly Blue is- how are we friends? Just kidding. You should get to know this Portland based writer, publisher, and social curator. Since 2006 she has been writing about cycling as a transportation module, and she has been published in such kick-ass feminist publications like Grist, Bitch, and Momentum Magazines. Working with the Portland Society, she co-founded PDX-By Bike, which is a bike-centric business promotion initiative.

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So back her kick-starter, and buy one of the amazing books from her online store Taking the Lane while you're at it.

Friday, March 8, 2013


On international woman's day, it's good to remember the connection the early 20th century's woman's movement had to bicycles. They got us out of the corset, provided mobility and independence, and were a symbol of freedom and modernity.
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Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom by National Geographic. I haven't read this book myself yet, but I want to, especially with the author Sue Macy giving rad answers like this:
Q: Why are bikes still important to women?
A: I think that Leah Missbach Day does a great job in the foreword to Wheels of Change of explaining how bicycles are still important to one population of women--those in developing countries who are able to increase their mobility astronomically with the bicycles they received through World Bicycle Relief. But today in the U.S., bicycles are important to everybody. They allow people to do errands without using fossil fuels, to get great cardiovascular exercise, to see their surroundings in a whole new way. My neighborhood isn’t great for cycling--too much traffic and too many hills--but I try to ride at least once a week in the spring, summer, and fall, usually stopping at a nearby farmers' market to restock on fruits and vegetables. It’s a healthy way to live.  

Here are three rad rad female and bike related videos for your eyeball and ear pleasure.

This week at the National Bike Summit, Veronica Davis, the founder of Black Women Bike, gave this inspiring talk about her background, community and passion. I took away many tid-bits of insight and wisdom on unconventional engagement and breaking down barriers, along with being inspired by her incredible work ethic and dedication.

Ladies Army 5 from Geoffrey Tomlin-Hood on Vimeo.

Next up- Ladies Army 5. This year it's in Vancouver- sorry, EastVan. If you can get your gears to Vancouver, do so. It's beautiful, laid back, and beautiful. But watch out, the beauty is going to cost you. Rent, food and alcohol are more expensive in Beautiful British Columbia. Some say BC stands for bring cash. So plan ahead ladies.

Last, but not least, the incredible Jenna Marbles on "Why Girls Hate Each Other." Don't think it belongs in with this other list of awesome I just put above?  Let's be real here girls. Jokes like this don't take over the internet for no reason. We got to address some things. In throwing off the shackles of oppression, it's good to throw out the BS that came along with it, like comparing, competing and judging each other. When we do that "...we can just be b*tches together... you know, vaginas unite!"

Think about it. If you disagree, the comment box bellow is a safe space to say so.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Check out Snow White and the lovely people of Bike Polo Toronto on CTV!

This past weekend tons of bike polo players from all over the great lakes area came together for the Great Lakes Winter Classic.

You can't embed videos from CTV- but you can check it out here!

Congrats to all who came out to play! Here are the top 3 Teams from the tourney!
1st - Mallet Of Mayhem (Alexis, Robbie OTT, Chris VAN)
2nd - Who let the Dads Out (Javier BOS, Paul NYC, Jonathan PGH)
3rd - Beardsicles (Nate, Zach NYC, Nick TO)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Celebrate the Ovarian Psycos Cycle Brigade's Success!

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We'd like to extend a huge CONGRATULATIONS to the incredible force that is the Ovarian Psycos Brigade! Last week their Kickstarter campaign raised $13,028 towards their documentary project.  Who are they you may ask?
... "are a ferocious and unapologetic group of young women of color, cycling through the barrios and boulevards of the Eastside, committed to collectively confronting racism and violence, and demanding and creating safe spaces for women."

These women are incredibly inspiring. (I am really upset I only heard about their kickstarter after it closed.) Their brand of emancipated, grass roots, independent, healing form of community based activism is what is going to change the world. For years we have been hearing about the huge social and economic problems associated with LA and various groups working on change, but never has there been such a clear, assured, and action based voice from the women of the streets of LA. Follow them on Facebook to see all the incredible events they are putting on and supporting.

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photo from LA Streets Blog

There are rumblings in Toronto about bringing Luna rides to Toronto. Stay tuned and we'll bring you updates.