Thanh -- June 2nd, 2010
The Harrisonburg group’s trip to Davis, CA has been covered several times here on hburgnews. Paulette Moore, a documentary filmmaker, journalist, and professor at Eastern Mennonite University came on the trip to document it. On May 22, Moore’s documentary “Spokes” was shown at Court Square as part of the Bike Month movie event. Now the film is available for viewing in 6 parts on her website.
Robb Davis, who was one of the primary trip organizers, one of the hosts, and the person who essentially took the visiting group everywhere by bicycle in Davis had this to say about the documentary (by email):
The movie helped me see how two communities built deeper bonds to accomplish important work and, how two communities created a bridge that increased their understanding of what it takes to make a town more bike friendly. I expected the latter (mutual learning) but the former–the idea that relationships within the Harrisonburg delegation and within the Davis community would be deepened–surprised me. I believe that this “bonding capital” (as some call it), is critical to accomplishing our goals concerning bikes because it builds trust and a shared vision. In addition, in interacting with others in this way, we realize that we are not alone in what we hope to accomplish. It is clear from the film that being together, hearing one another’s stories and dreams, exchanging ideas on solutions and having fun together builds these bonds. It was a beautiful thing to see.
And Paulette Moore had this to say (by e-mail) about how the trip to Davis effected her:
I’d been a big biker in Washington, DC where bike trails are well maintained and everywhere but stopped when I moved to the Shenandoah Valley because I was intimidated by traffic on country roads. The trip to Davis got me kick-started back into bike culture because the practical nature of bike life there made so much sense. When I returned I refurbished my hybrid bike, added a basket and started riding to the Farmers Market every Saturday, to yoga, to shop for groceries. I realized from being in Davis that these little steps to matter and they build. Last Saturday I rode 38 miles with a group from EMU.
The hours spend videotaping and editing Spokes allowed me to really see that biking isn’t just about fitness or your carbon footprint – biking really builds family, community and connections. That also happens through small unexpected moments. The H-burg delegation bonded with each other and our generous Davis hosts as we discovered Davis bike infrastructure on bikes, we stopped to help a fellow biker with a dropped chain near the Golden Gate bridge, it was striking to see how many people arrived by bike to the community pot luck. We hear so much talk about community building, my aha moment in being involved in this project was that these small moments are how you actually do that.
Full disclosure: The author of this story was part of the group that traveled to Davis, CA.