Photo by Serena Grace
If you've been following LACBC for a while, chances are that you might have met a familiar face that has been with this organization for years: Colin Bogart.
Colin is currently LACBC's Education Director, but his journey with LACBC involves many different responsibilities: He's been an LACBC volunteer, board member, and staffer with different titles.
In addition to being a current LACBC staffer, Colin is returning to Team LACBC for Climate Ride California this June for a second time. He shared a little bit about how he started riding a bike, why he's back for Climate Ride, and his not-so-secret radio past.
Tell us about yourself.
I'm originally from Simi Valley and attended to Loyola Marymount University where I earned a BA in Communications and Fine Arts. Aside from riding my bike, I enjoy hiking, cooking, camping, listening to the radio, and reading. I also enjoy wine tasting and drinking good wine in general. When I get a chance, I like to go kayaking and river rafting.
Tell us about your neighborhood.
I recently moved to northwest Pasadena where my girlfriend Jennie and I bought a house. I feel really lucky to live where I do. We live in a quiet residential neighborhood with lots of trees, but we're not far from Old Pasadena and the Metro Gold Line which are both an easy bike ride away. We're in the foothills of the Angeles Forest and a short train ride from Downtown L.A. I couldn't be happier with where I'm living.
Since moving to Pasadena, I've been volunteering some of my time with the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition. I've quickly become friends with a group of like-minded advocates in Pasadena where I can lend my experience and knowledge to our local projects. I'm feeling quite at home these days.
When and why did you start riding a bike?
I was too cool for cycling in high school, but I did a lot of riding after that. I didn't have a car in college so I got around on an old beach cruiser that I bought from a friend. I had given up cycling after I finally did get a car, but decided I wanted to ride again when I moved back to L.A. in 1999. That was when I basically got back into cycling. I was mainly a recreational rider for several years and didn't start commuting by bike until the summer of 2005. I'd say I'm primarily a commuter cyclist now, but I'm also happy on my road bike, my mountain bike, touring, or just cruising on the beach path.
How did you get involved with LACBC?
I first discovered LACBC in 2000 at the L.A. Bike Expo which used to take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center. I signed up for the LACBC Yahoo grouplist where I was quickly impressed with messages from co-founder Ron Milam who was responding to emails about a group of bicyclists who were illegally arrested and jailed following a ride near the Democratic National Convention at Staples Center.
I started volunteering for LACBC that year and helped organize the first L.A. River Ride in 2001 and have been at every L.A. River Ride since then, in recent years organizing the First 5 LA Kids' Rodeo and Festival. I joined the LACBC board in 2003 where I also served as LACBC's board president for a while. In 2008, I was hired as the PLACE Grant Coordinator for LACBC, where I worked closely with a team of Glendale City staff to create the Glendale Safe & Healthy Streets Plan and helped to establish Walk Bike Glendale, LACBC's local chapter. I am now LACBC's Education Director.
I believe in making change locally and LACBC has been a venue for my passion since 2000. When I was hired in 2008, it was the dream job and still is
What inspired you to join Team LACBC for Climate Ride?
I did Climate Ride two years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was among the most rewarding and beautiful rides I've done, which include the AIDS Lifecycle in 2003 and a tour of the Columbia River Gorge with Adventure Cycling in 2006. Multi-day trips can be challenging, but there's shared sense of accomplishment and camaraderie that I've only experienced on rides like this. It's truly special. When I did the AIDS Lifecycle, I couldn't ride the very last leg into L.A. because of a mechanical problem. That always bothered me. I felt like I didn't get to enjoy the "victory lap" at the end. So when I rode into Chrissy Field with the rest of the Climate Ride Team in 2015, it was a very emotional finish for me. I felt like I was finishing both rides that day.
What are you doing to prepare for Climate Ride?
To prepare for Climate Ride, I know I need to ride more often and to gradually increase the distance. I know I can do it. It's mainly a matter of making the time. I also need to ride into work more often during the week. It's become really easy to ride to the Gold Line and just take the train into work each day, but that's not going to help me reach my fitness goals. I'll know I'm ready when I can ride two long days, back to back, with no problem, and feel ready to go again on day three.
Are there any other things we should know about you?
I used to DJ at KXLU radio at LMU as DJ Colin Sick and was a board operator at KUSF in San Francisco. I've co-hosted Kill Radio on and off for the last few years which is a different format than playing music, but I enjoy radio so it's still fun for me.
Also, a significant experience in my life was living in Prague in the mid-1990s. It wasn't particularly bike friendly, as I recall, but it was very pedestrian friendly and the Soviet era transit system was quite good. Living in Prague shaped my perception of life in the US in general and Los Angeles in particular. My time living in the Czech Republic and for a short time in San Francisco, helped me to see what's missing in Los Angeles and how our day to day transportation choices can make a huge difference in so many ways. I couldn't have predicted it then, but living in Prague put me on a path that eventually led to bicycle advocacy and LACBC.
Support Colin and the rest of Team LACBC by learning more about them and donating to their fundraising campaigns.