Episode 42: Finding Support in your Community with Erin Machan


A bike can change a life. No one knows that better than this week's guest Erin Machan, co-founder of Project Bike Love. Erin shares how bikes impact communities, how to tackle the obstacles in the way of your dreams, and how to ignore the noise of the naysayers.


Follow Erin:

@outdoor_boujee

@projectbikelove

projectbikelove.org


Follow us on Instagram: @wheeliecreative



 

episode transcript


Iris: Hi everybody. Thanks for joining us.


Lisa: Yeah, welcome to episode 5.


Iris: Today we have Erin Machan from Project Bike Love and she was actually recommended to us by Fiona Swartz, our guest last season.


Lisa: Thanks Fiona!


Iris: She was like, this is a girl that you need to talk to and I agree.


Lisa: Yeah. Erin is a mover and a shaker really making things happen and I think she works a Specialized full time, doesn't she?


Iris: She does work at Specialized. She's the MTB technical expert at Specialized but we're going to talk to her about today is Project Bike Love of which she is the co-founder.


Lisa: That's right. A revolutionary idea.


Iris: Certainly. Yeah. This is a great second episode for our Revolution series and we get to hear from a non-profit organizer, which is just something a little bit different around here.


Lisa: Yeah, we were with nonprofits a lot. But man, every one is structured differently and there's so many humans involved and so many good vibes involved and it's a different animal.


Iris: Yeah. It's a different thing to run a non-profit, I think. There's so many unique hoops to jump through as a founder of a nonprofit that business owners don't necessarily have to have to jump through so it's such a different experience. So we're excited to hear what Erin has to say about Revolution.




Lisa: Well Erin, thanks for being here first of all.


Erin: Of course, thanks for having me.


Lisa: And the first question we always ask everyone is to describe where they are and what they're looking at and, you know, where they are in the country.


Erin: So I am in Morgan Hill, California. I am sitting in our Tech classroom where we teach all of our retailers how to work on bikes and suspension. I am looking at a wall full of suspension forks and bikes and wheels. That's where I'm at right now.


Lisa: Awesome, and you so you work at Specialized as a technical expert, right?


Erin: Yes. I'm the mountain bike technical expert.


Lisa: Okay, cool. And you are the founder of Project Bike Love?


Erin: Yes.


Lisa: Wow, cool.


Erin: Technically the co-founder. So when we actually founded it and it became an organization, it was me and another woman Belen.


Lisa: Awesome. Well, tell us about Project Bike Love and why bikes and… like, most of our listeners are brand managers or journalists or they work in the creative field and outdoor industry so they can hang with whatever kind of, you know, technical vernacular you want to use but just tell us about Project Bike Love and what you’ve got going on.


Erin: Yeah, well gosh, I love this story and I can go on forever about it. You know, back in, say... it started in 2014. I was doing a seminar and one of the assignments was that we needed to create a community project. And I love bikes. I've been into bikes for a while and I wanted to do something that got people in my community riding bikes. And I was looking into doing some rides for inner city kids in LA, I was living in Orange County at the time. I was talking to local women's riding groups around there, seeing like who would want to join me. I wasn't getting a lot of momentum. I didn't know what the heck I was doing. [laughs] I've never done anything like this before.


So I just wasn't... I hadn't really done anything yet. And Christmas that year I was opening gifts and my mom had given me this little charm bracelet and it had a bike on it and the letter inside said that a bike has been donated in your honor for Christmas and it's going to provide education and transportation for a girl in India that otherwise wouldn't have access to education. And it said more, and as I was reading it, you know, I just started crying. And I was like, I gotta... man I'm getting chills thinking about it. My life changed at that moment and I was like no, no, no, this is what I want to do. Like this is what I want to do. I want to provide bikes to women that give them access to things that they wouldn't otherwise have. And so what I... so then what ended up happening is I needed to find people who could do this with me. Because I had no idea what I was doing. So I reached out to a woman that I rode bikes with and she had put on like a women's event and I was like, oh, hey Laura, like can can I tell you about this thing I want to do? And she was like “Absolutely, come on this ride.” So I'm on this ride and I'm talking to her about it. And there's this trail that we used to ride or that I used to ride when I lived in Orange County called Whiting Ranch and it's called Mustard Hill and it's really steep Fire Road climb, but I'm like super excited and I'm just like talking, talking, talking and all these girls like climbing, you know, and everyone's like breathing heavy and I just keep talking about this project. And there's this girl in the back, that was Belen Ramirez, and she was like, “Wait for me!” You know, she's like “wait. I want to hear this. I can't hear you,” you know, so I caught up with her and she tells the story much better than I did. But it was really funny and we started talking and I was telling her all about it and then afterwards we went to lunch.


And you know, at the time all it was was an idea. I just wanted to help women and I wanted to provide a bicycle to them in a way that would change their lives for the better somehow. And I wanted to do it globally. And I didn't have a clue what I was doing. My major was in philosophy and psychology. I was like a personal trainer for a while, you know, I didn't really have any background in, you know NGOs or humanitarian stuff. So Belen happened to be a doctor for Doctors Without Borders and she's from Paraguay. So we hit it off, we went to lunch and then a couple weeks later we went on this like… I don’t remember, 8 Mile ride in Southern California at this place called El Morro and we talked the whole time and we cried and we laughed and somehow on that ride this idea was born. We were going to deliver bikes to women in Paraguay and will in had some context down there that's called Techo and what they do is they build houses for women in these communities down there. And she was certain that they would know women who could use the bikes.


So we started planning this one delivery we were going to do, and throughout that delivery we met a lot of amazing people, throughout planning that delivery we met a lot of amazing people who, you know got on board with us. And basically, I mean, I could go on and on. I don't know how much detail you want. But what happened is, when we finally raised the money and we got we got down there to deliver bikes and we did it, I mean we were so freaking moved and just inspired that were like, this has got to be a thing. Like we're not just doing this one time. We opened up applications and you know, we thought... we didn't know what we were going to find and we ended up having like over a hundred women apply for bikes. And we were like, wow, we don't have enough money to get bikes for these women! We're gonna have to keep doing this, like, this is... the need was a lot greater than I could have imagined. And Paraguay is a place that doesn't get a lot of humanitarian support from other countries. You know, it's not Africa. It's not it's not, you know popular when it comes to humanitarian efforts. So it was huge for us to go down there and make a difference.


Lisa: Wow. That's such an awesome, awesome story. Wow. So how do you feel bikes really really make a difference?


Erin: You know, it's crazy. I can tell you, they make a difference in so many ways. And you know, I can talk about how they changed my life. But you know for me, it's a hobby. It's a hobby. It's something that is like a passion of mine. It's something that... I mean, to be quite frank, I spend a lot of money on, you know. Like it's something I use as an addition to my life that makes it better in so many ways, whether it's racing or socially hanging out with, you know, hanging out with friends or meeting people or just getting out there by myself. It's like my therapy, it’s all these things. But what I didn't really know about bikes when I got into it is on a global level they can make a huge difference in someone's life. A matter of like, being able to get to a hospital, being able to provide education that you wouldn't have otherwise, being able to give these people, these women hours back to their day. You know, the stories we hear from these women on how they use the bikes, to, you know, improve their lives is just amazing.


And the fact is, you can do it for what a lot of us pay for one tire for our mountain bike. You know and it's like, when I when I really got that I was like, holy crap! Like, how are we not doing more? Like we're out and, you know, I started in the mountain bike scene in Orange County, California, right? Everyone's getting 7 to 10 thousand dollar bikes or spending $60 on one tire, all this stuff. And I'm like what? Like you can change lives for this amount of money, you can literally give women the ability and children the ability to go to school with a bike. You know, so I think seeing that impact and actually living it, like watching these women's lives transformed, it's like you can't stop after you see it. You're like, bikes are huge. Like not only do they change the lives of anybody who rides them, but they can really impact someone's life, like the trajectory of where they're going and then have like a lasting impact on not only their family, not only them is an individual but on their family, on their communities. And just you know, and it's kind of one of those things that trickles on, it's not... you know, because of what they are able to give to the people around them as well now that they have more time or more money or more education.


Lisa: Yeah, that's... that is an interesting way to look at it is that you can you can change a life for, I mean, a relatively low cost, right?


Erin: Yeah.


Lisa: And that's a pretty revolutionary idea. How were your ideas met when you started launching into Project Bike Love? Was there resistance? Was it immediate change or how did that look for you?


Erin: You know what that that's honestly my favorite part of the story because it's not only like something that helped me with my personal growth, but you know, I got a lot of No’s. I got a lot of jokes, like, “oh everybody wants to start a non-profit these days” or like, “oh, no, you know, we just don't have time to support something like that” and I had to keep asking. And that's hard because it's like rejection after rejection and you're like, okay, I gotta keep doing this, right? And and then I got a yes, you know, and then and then I got Rock and Road Cyclery down in Orange County they stepped in and they're like, yeah, okay, like how can we support you? And then they let us do like an information night and Belen and I got up there and talked to like our peers people we knew in the community. I mean the first year it was like knocking on doors. Like, please listen to us. We know we have something great. Don't know how we're going to do it but help us, you know. And it's like, what I really learned from that is like you have to keep asking. Because there are people out there who want to be involved, but not everybody does. And then the thing that was so great for me was that after all of the hard work of the first year the second year I'd say fifty percent of those “no’s” were like knocking on our door. “How can we get involved?”


Lisa: Really?


Erin: And that was huge. Yeah. I mean we had we worked with a lot of local people in Orange County and and you know now they're like hey, are you coming back to our event? Hey, can you help us here? Like hey, can we get involved? You know, and some of them are coming on a trip with us this weekend. We're doing a big delivery like our first real, you know, National delivery because we always say locally, nationally, and internationally. And we've only done one local Orange County delivery and you know, and then a few International deliveries in South America and this is our first like out of the state but still in the US delivery, so it's really exciting.


Lisa: That is cool.




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Lisa: I really enjoyed that section of the podcast because Erin talks about hearing no over and over and forging onward and I think that that level of resilience can be applied to anyone whether they own a business, they are pursuing something that they love, they're trying to get the job of their dreams. It doesn't matter where you're at, but I think it's so important and I talk about it all the time, to not be offended when people tell you no I did just keep trying. Because life is about fit and life is about timing and persistence. So that really resonates with me and I hope you guys get something out of it as well.


Iris: Yeah, and and like the biggest changes always come with a lot of resistance and push back so sometimes getting no’s means that you're onto something.


Lisa: That’s true.


Iris: That you're pushing the envelope and making big changes and being revolutionary.


Lisa: That’s a good one.


Iris: Back to Erin.




Lisa: What's your best trick for convincing someone to say yes, especially when you're knocking at their door with a kind of revolutionary idea.


Erin: So to be honest there. I have no trick. I'm not, like I don't have any sales experience. In fact, I'm not really... I wouldn't even call myself a good salesperson in any way. But for us, it's just sharing authentically. Like really sharing authentically. You know, I remember the first info night we stood up there and we put on this, you know, I don't want to call it a show but like, you know, we were like this we're going to do, this we're going to talk about was all all of this... you know, kind of production to like to advertise what Project Bike Love was about. And afterwards I had a meeting with this woman Jackie and she was like, okay, I want you to really tell me like how this came about in your life. Like, how did you at 30 years old decide you were going to do this? And so I sat down I talked to her, and she's like “that's what you need to share with people.” She's like, “if you really share how this came about for you and in your life, like people connect to that and that's when they want to be involved.” And so that's kind of I guess what you would call our trick is being, you know, really authentic about why it started and why we care and why we're doing it. I think as we got better at that, more people joined us. When we weren't trying to sell it to people when we actually were just sharing it and then people came to us, you know, because it's like, oh we want to do that too.


And one of the things that we really stand by is that when people get involved with project Bike Love, whether they're on the board, whether they're volunteering, whether they're just doing one event with us, is that we don't have some one way we need things to go. We want it to be an organization of our peers where we all get to write the story of Project Bike Love. Like, it's not, “oh I had this idea and here it is. And this is how it's going to go. Here's the rules, follow these guidelines.” It's like no, oh great. You don't think that's a good idea. Well let's try that. Awesome, you know, someone else gets involved. They're like, I want to try this. Yeah. Let's try that! And sometimes it's almost too much. Like people want to be told what to do and we're like no you get to make it up there. Like I don't know how to do this. I'm like neither did we! You just have to like, you just had to try, you know, like that's kind of how we... that's how we've grown is just letting people sort of have an imagination and just going for it.


Lisa: Is there anything you would say no to?


Erin: Um... I'm sure. I'm sure there's things we have to say no to. But you know, I don't think that there's been... there's been a few things that we said no to that haven't quite been part of our like mission, you know vision and values. Hmm, you know, we at this time, I don't know if... because we are so much about empowering women and groups of women, you know, we do like to stay with that theme because of the fact that that's what our donors are donating for. And so we don't want to spend donation money on something outside of what we promise. And I think, you know, if there are situations like... we did a children’s delivery for boys and girls and we did a specific fundraiser just for that. So people knew what they were donating for and we use just that money for that donation. So, you know, we really try to make sure that everybody who's donating their money goes to that specific cause or that donation. So right now we've been, everything's been about this Navajo Indian reservation in Arizona. And so all of those funds go to this and so whether you've donated goods or a bike, you know, we're like, this is the only place this stuff is going. So we try to honor our donors in that way.


Lisa: Yeah, that's good, that transparency and like let people rally behind your cause and actually put those finances to that cause.


Erin: Yeah.


Lisa: I think people appreciate that from a non-profit perspective.


Erin: Yeah.


Lisa: Yeah, that's awesome. What's been the toughest obstacle you've come across in this journey where you don't have, you know a business degree or nonprofit organizational structure kind of degree and you're just going for it because you care and you've got the passion? Like, what's been an obstacle and how did you overcome it?


Erin: Oof. It's all been an obstacle in some ways. I mean, I think for me personally in this might be different for others, you know, my co-founder, like, others involved. But I feel like fundraising has probably been my biggest obstacle, is really learning how to do that and do it in a way that's consistent where we're not just like knocking on doors. Also, I think a big obstacle for me has been... it's just been, I mean, I didn't know what I was doing, you know, I had no idea. So we worked with another company called Hello Possibilities in the beginning and what they do is they basically operate as a 501(c)(3) umbrella company for for nonprofits who are raising money that don't have that yet. So they can do tax return or you know, the write-offs and like all of those things for you. So you can still offer that to donors even though you're not technically a 501(c)(3) so, you know, we learned a lot from them when we were growing and when they were like, okay, all right, now you guys go out on your own. And I was like what? Like, we need you, you know, and so then it was like, okay, how do we incorporate? How do we fight figure out what... what the heck are bylaws? And like what how do we get an EIN number? And like all of that stuff is insane and I guess you know that's been like my biggest obstacle.


And the thing I've learned most... so that was my biggest obstacle, and like the biggest teacher in all of this is like using your community and reaching out and talking to everybody. It's really one of those things that it's like, I have to bring up Project Bike Love in every conversation because even 10 people might not have any ideas or resources, but one person will, and that person is going to make a huge difference. And that's kind of how Project Bike Love has grown. And I got a list from a lawyer friend of mine and it was like… it wasn't a list. It was like an application for a pro bono work for nonprofits or it was something like that. And so I filled out this application, to be honest I don't even know what I was doing. They sent it to me and said do this and I did it and it was just like an application and at the time I didn't exactly know what it was. And it turned out to be like the lottery for me and Project Bike Love and basically what they do is Orange County sends out a list of nonprofits or that are looking for help and they send it to all of the law firms and the law firms can like handpick if they want to take this like pro bono nonprofit assignment. And Jones Day law firm in Orange County called me up and was like, we are so excited about what you're doing and we're so excited to do something that's like meaningful. We're going to take you guys on. And I was like, what?


And like we show up, you know, all these like cyclists that probably like work for industry jobs, you know don't even own suits, you know, we show up at this law firm and we're in this huge high-rise building and we're in a big conference room and I'm like what is even happening? You know, like it was so incredible and they were just the most genuine authentic guys that just wanted to help and they just wanted to do something that was different from what they did every day at their job. And for some reason they were inspired by what we did and at the time like it was just... and even now, I mean, it's just incredible. It is really incredible what people will do, you know and how just believing in something can make such a huge impact. And these guys have done everything for us. I mean they have, they completely got our bylaws and all of our tax filing and like everything we needed to incorporate, everything we needed to become a 501(c)(3) then we had some like trademark issues at one point and they got us trademarked… like they took us on and every time I needed something I could email them and I heard back from them within 24 hours. And yeah, it was... I mean it was so incredible. And like I said, I mean it was literally like winning the nonprofit lottery for us to have that support and people who really wanted to be involved.


Lisa: Yeah, it seems like you've really created a beautiful community around Project Bike Love.


Erin: Absolutely. That is absolutely what it is. It is hands-down the most amazing community I could have ever been involved with. And it has shown me such a beautiful side of humanity and the cycling industry because of the time and effort people put into bikes because they know how impactful they are. I mean, these are bike shop owners race organizers, you know, people who are busy and aren't making millions of dollars either, you know, like these are people whose time is super valuable. And they put so much time into Project Bike Love, like, the amount of gratitude I have for the people in this community... I could never repay it. If I had 80 more years to live I could never repay it. I mean it is unbelievable what what the people in our community have done to get bikes to women in this world. It's… it’s awesome.




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Iris: I think that Project Bike Love is centered around sharing authentically is a really cool thing to see in these days of Instagram and filters and everything, being authentic and just sharing real life, real joy, the joy around bikes. That's what's really powerful and that's what moves people.


Lisa: Absolutely. And I think it's cool that they're set up to be nimble enough where they can say yes to people who are invested in the idea or support the idea. I think that ability to be adaptable and fast thinking and supportive is just crucial to the success of a non-profit, especially one like this. So good work to Erin on that.


Iris: Yeah! Do you want to hear more from Erin?


Lisa: Let's hear what else she's got.




Lisa: Do you hear back from the women that you give bikes to? Have you heard any like check-in stories about how this transportation has changed their life, or is it kind of more difficult to communicate in some of these areas?


Erin: We hear back a lot. Belen does a really good job of keeping in contact with the women in Paraguay, her sister Lupe lives in Paraguay and does a lot. She's basically like our ambassador there and keeps in touch with the women. She'll go back and check on them. The organization Techa show that we work with and some of the women that work there have, you know, will keep in touch with us about the women. And I remember one of the first check-ins we had a woman was like, she was telling us about how all of... I think they lost water or power in her area and where they live there's not really roads. They're just like dirt roads and if it rains too much there you can't even go by car. And one of the women said that she was able to use her bike to go to another community and do laundry for her whole family and she was talking about how important that was for her and for her family and the fact that she had access to things that she wouldn't have been able to do otherwise and be able to do her laundry for her family. And it's so simple. I mean, it's just crazy because like for us it's like, oh like either you have a washer and dryer your house, or you can go to a laundromat or you know, you can go to your community laundromat at your apartment complex or something like that. And you know, think about how like, these women don't have that. And the fact that like they need to go to another community to uses use somebody's laundry which probably isn't a washing machine. You know, it's like a tub. God, it's incredible, and it's just... the fact that they didn't have to walk there, you know? Like, we've done some of the math and I'm not good at math so I can't do it on the top of my head but the amount of time that we get to put back into these women's lives is just incredible. Because if this woman would have had to go do her laundry by foot and carry all of her laundry there and back that was like 5 miles, you know. Think about it, that's a 10-mile walk for her and now it's now it's like nothing, you know, not nothing but it's a bike ride, you know, so she can do that and still have time in her day to take care of her family. That's huge! It’s like if you didn't, you know, you don't think about it. You have a car, you have a bike, but you don't think about all of this like easy access we have here and they don't have that. It's like such a luxury to them and giving them a tool that gives them time back in their lives, it's just, it's incredible.


Lisa: Yeah, and I live in Montana where there's quite a big rural population where you know teenagers can't go get jobs after school because they live so remotely that like the school bus drops them off and that's it. They don't have a way to get back into town. And so I know how powerful it is to even get a teenager a bike in Montana and all these rural places. So I think it's amazing to be doing this in Paraguay and doing this, you know, getting people bikes and enabling people in a way that's just so much bigger than the world we live in in America.


Erin: Yeah.


Lisa: And transportation is freedom.


Erin: Absolutely. I mean it really is and that's the other thing I'll tell you, you know, forget about all of the stuff that we give them. You know, that actually has an impact in their lives and just giving them the bike, the act of, you know, the delivery, is so life-changing. I mean, these women write us letters and they cry and they said I have never been given anything like this in my life. And they kiss us and they hug us and they tell us we’re gifts from God. I mean, it's just crazy, you know, we're just like, we're just we're just here giving bikes, you know, but to them they are so moved and empowered by the sheer act of receiving the bicycle. And having a global community that actually cares about their success in this world. That is I mean, that's what Project Bike Love is 100% all about. That has always been the intention, is that these women have a global community that cares about their greatness. And that's like our motivation and intention when we go into these deliveries and we fundraise and we, you know, get these women bikes. It's like yeah, they have out. There's all these two great things that come from the impact of the bike time back in their lives time with their family, you know, access to education, you know, those are all real things, but just getting the bike. That's everything. I mean that is what changes... that's really what changes and that's what motivates them to you know, do different things in their lives, you know, with a bike.


Lisa: That's incredible. Your passion for this is incredible as well.


Erin: It's yeah, it's crazy. I mean, I'm super passionate about it. And you know, just seeing the impact of it has changed my life in ways that all... you know, nothing else could have ever.


Lisa: Wow, so what's your advice to someone who has... like our listeners who have full-time jobs in the outdoor industry, but maybe they see a different way to do things or maybe they want to do something that's totally outside the scope of their education and their career and experience. What do you recommend to people in that situation?


Erin: Gosh, you know, there's a lot. I mean, I recommend a lot of things, but honestly to go for it. Really, like, if you feel it, you know, if your gut tells you to go for it and not you know... think about like this. You have like a committee of people in your life, right? And if you check in with that committee of people in your life, like your tribe, and they say go for it, then don't let any of the other noise get in the way. Because it's like... just listen to the people who matter to you the most and then go with that. Because there's so many people who tell you that the market is saturated, that there's too much of that, that everybody's already doing it that you know, there's already, blah blah blah, right? I remember when I was getting my psychology degree everyone was like, oh, marriage and family therapist is saturated in Orange County. Like nobody should be a marriage and family therapist. Like, you know, and the thing is, if it is your passion, there is room for it in this world. There just is. There is no amount of saturation that's going to keep you from doing something that you're passionate about and you can contribute to in this world. There just isn't. So like, I just, I want people to go for it. Even if it is the exact same thing that someone else is doing, do it because we need more of it, you know. Even if it's just like professionally in your job, like even if it's not, you know, a non-profit idea, like if it's just making a change in your workplace or you know, going with a different direction in marketing or sales. I mean just go for it, you know, change always comes with resistance. There is no other way and generally the best and biggest changes come after the biggest resistance and that's, I mean, historically that's how it is.


Lisa: Wow. Yeah, that was very motivational. I love it. When you were talking about saying, you know, like listening to the people that are saying yes and being supportive. It reminded me of a conversation I once had with my grandmother when we were drinking coffee, she's said she's like, yeah, I know there are a lot of articles out there about how coffee is bad for you and then there's not a lot of articles about how coffee is good for you, so let's keep drinking coffee together and reading the articles about how coffee is good for you.


Erin: Yes, I love it. Yes.


Lisa: Yeah, and I'm like, yeah coffee is good for us, you know.


Erin: Yeah smart woman.


Lisa: Yeah, but that is kind of what it's like. If there's something that really brings you joy, like I think, you know, when it comes to business or life or whatever, it's nice to surround yourself with people who understand and support the vision because it won't be a good fit for everyone. I'm just a big big believer in finding the right fit in life.


Erin: Yeah, absolutely. And finding like what you're passionate with and making sure that you're listening to the people who are, you know, love and care about you, you know. And you know that what they're saying comes from a place of of real genuine care and concern for you as opposed to just saying stuff. Because a lot of people, a lot of people just say stuff to say it. And it literally has nothing to do with you. It has to do with their own perception of how things should or shouldn't be, you know, but when you're talking like your people, they actually are listening and want what's best for you and they're thinking about you. And so those are the people I feel like that we need to lean on when we want to do something different or make a change or do something revolutionary, you know.


Lisa: Heck yeah, that's awesome. Cool. Well, thank you so much for your time today. Is there anything else that you want to tell our listeners about revolution or making change?


Erin: You know, I don't... I don't know it's funny because when Iris sent me the word for revolution, I'm like man Revolution... it's like as a mountain bike technical expert, you know, you think about revolution as like how many times a crank goes around, you know. I think about revolution in a very technical way and then I was like trying to think about it and Project Bike Love. And you know, to me... and you know, you said it about the Project Bike Love community. I mean, that's it. That is like... community is everything and that's what starts a revolution. That's what starts anything, is building community. And when you want to go for something in your life and make a change, build a community around it. Because that's it. No one individual is going to make the change. It's all about the community you build. I didn't create Project Bike Love. I had an idea. The people on the board, the bike shops, the event, those people created Project Bike Love, not me. You know, it was the community that I reached out to that did it. And so that, to me... and letting that community do it. Because that is what is so important, I guess to me and in my life is it not being about me and my ideas but about being something I share with the community and I let it grow into whatever that community decides. So I guess to me, that's, you know, that's a revolution. It's not, you know, it's not just my idea. It's the community's idea.


Lisa: Wow, and kind of like taking the baton and handing it off to whose story it becomes.


Erin: Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely.


Lisa: I love that. That's a really interesting thing for a founder to say.


Erin: Yeah. [laughs]


Lisa: Usually people are wanting to... control the messaging and control how the brand and the you know, the cohesion and so it's very interesting to me that that you strongly believe in handing off that story. And I think that's amazing. I think that's so collaborative.


Erin: Thank you. I strongly believe that and I want to impact, you know, it's not just about empowering women with bikes, it's about empowering everybody within the organization to create this dream and you know, be able to have a voice and create it and have ownership in it. You know, I don't... I'm not attached to it being one way or another. Legally I watch out for things because we are, you know a corporation. I have to like monitor financials and whatnot. But outside of that, you know, I want it to be as creative and community-based as possible.


Lisa: Yeah, that's awesome. Well, thank you so much for your time. And thank you for all your passion and commitment to making making the world a better place.


Erin: Thank you so much. I really appreciate you having me on the show. This was fun.





Iris: Wonderful. Thanks so much to Erin for being on the show. My favorite quote that she said is, “if it is your passion there is room for it in this world.” That's very true. So thanks so much Erin for sharing your passion for bikes and passion for helping people with the world. You can follow Erin @ProjectBikeLove and ProjectBikeLove.org and her personal Instagram is @outdoor_boujee with an underscore in the middle and we'll put those links in the show notes. So you can find her easily.


Lisa: You know what else you can find easily? How to give a review on iTunes.


Iris: It is really easy. You just go to iTunes and you say leave a review! And we would really love to have a review from you.


Lisa: And your mom.


Iris: I'm talking to you, listener, right now. We'd love an iTunes review.


Lisa: Do it.


Iris: And don't forget to subscribe because we have new episodes every single Thursday. You don't want to miss out on next week's guest.


Lisa: Super badass poet, wordsmith, revolutionary dude, all-around good guy.


Iris: Jose Gonzales.


Lisa: We're picking a good one because Jose is a brilliant dude.


Iris: Yeah. We're really excited. So make sure you subscribe and you don't miss out. And goodbye.


Lisa: Bye.

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