The Alex Baum Excellence in Advocacy Award is presented yearly to a group or individual whose cycling advocacy efforts have made significant impacts in Los Angeles County. Past winners of the award are Alex Baum and Tafarai Bayne. This year’s recipients are the Ovarian Psycos. We honor them for their work in blazing a path and creating brave spaces for women, queer people and people of color who bike throughout the county at the intersections of different identities and bicycling concerns. The Ovarian Psycos Cycles Brigade (OPC) was established on L.A.’s Eastside during the summer of 2010 for the purpose of healing communities physically, emotionally, and spiritually by addressing pertinent issues. OPC envisions a world where womxn are change agents who create and maintain holistic health in themselves and their respective communities for present and future generations.
OPC chose the bicycle not only to encourage people to exercise and help people relate to the earth, but because cycling is often the main form of transportation for many of its members. OPC recognizes how vulnerable women are on bicycles and works to empower women to take back the streets with an understanding that sisters have each others’ backs. OPC exists in Los Angeles because L.A. is dominated by car culture and bike culture is dominated by men. OPC strives to live in a society that cultivates community, sisterhood, brotherhood, and compañerismo.
Ever since 2012, OPC has annually hosted Clitoral Mass LA, the largest bike ride in Los Angeles to date organized by women of color for women who are cis, trans, queer, two-spirited and gender-nonconforming people. In addition riding bikes, Clitoral Mass LA’s roughly 300 riders participate in informational sessions and lively performances along the route. Clitoral Mass LA was recognized as Best Radical Bike Ride as part of LA Weekly’s Best of LA 2015, and this year’s ride was held in August. This past year, OPC was the subject of the Ovarian Psycos documentary feature film (directed by Joanna Sokolowski and Kate Trumbull-LaValle), which chronicled some of the members and their personal stories.