2: Unintentional DEI training through MassBike's webinar with Marley Blonsky

My biking group is especially interested in DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) – though TBH we're already busy enough on the daily that this is sort of a back burner item.

Unironically, I was sort of peeved the whole month of May 2024, as May is Bay State Bike Month in Massachusetts, and I was sort of unintentionally agitated by others even before May started.

I had a time conflict with this year's Bay State Bike Month Kick Off, and everyone from my group was probably looking me strange for not going into Somerville on April 28th for an objectively amazing opportunity to engage in traditional professional networking, but actually good (unlike those for physics or electronics manufacturing). (Keep in mind that the actual kick-off wasn't even within May the calendar month proper.)

They meant well, (but not to self-gratuitously toot my own horn) but little do they realize that sometimes at certain moments, such as during this time conflict, I am literally the smallest and weakest link keeping our organization together, much like in that XKCD comic about software dependencies.

Anyways, the whole month of May passes by. Only when it's in June do I accidentally stumble upon MassBike's current YouTube channel and randomly watch MassBike's kickoff webinar (which was later uploaded onto YouTube), which actually was on May 1st of this year (as far as I can tell).

Marley Blonsky from All Bodies on Bikes lead the webinar. I actually learned a lot about how to run a bike ride in general.

I learned that in our usual stomping grounds for our rides that we usually don't see many hills, but that's not true in general for the state of MA. We can also be more precise on how we define (or, at least attempt to qualitatively describe) how fast a ride is, as well as decide how/why we should drop riders. (We do drop riders, but it's usually very self-apparent that this should happen and that there is a ride marshal who can help those who are dropped to find their way back.)

Lastly, we can always hone in our quality of having the ride marshals work in unison. I never considered having multiple ride sweeps a sane idea until Marley said this is a practice that has been used in rides she's been on. I toyed around with this idea, but in a philosophical way or as a mental exercise. Logistically, it can be tough for us to even have enough marshals to keep the rider-to-marshal ratio low enough, but even these high level descriptions or pointers on how to bike marshal were very helpful. Also, other than special rides, we usually keep way below 50 riders, including the marshals.

(Honestly, people should write about this topic more often and talk about it more often, because the audience who needs to hear about these tips and tricks aren't obtaining enough of this content.)

There were even mentions of topics that weren't even discussed, such as making cycling caps fit hairstyles not historically included in biking (such as dreads).

Anyways, I guess it's too late to order this year's T-shirt, right? (I wish this was a rhetorical question.) Anything that reminds me of the yellow of Utopia Series 1 brings me strange joy.

Here are some links of other items shown/mentioned during the MassBike webinar: