Firstly, we love doing talks, panels and other events – and thank you for considering us!
Below you’ll find some information for folks who might be thinking about inviting us to participate in an event -whether that’s a talk, panel discussion, workshop etc. None of the things discussed are deal breakers or hard line rules; much as with our notes for brands, we’re trying to make clear the things that we weigh up when deciding whether we can or can’t do something.
We love doing events, and talking about bikes, cycle touring, the book, zines, all sorts! We are also two disabled people, doing these events on top of the things that consistently pay our bills and rent. We want to be upfront about the things we need to participate and that will make it easier for us to enjoy events.
We’ve drawn from the access docs for artists to create an accessibility rider for events. At present this is geared to digital events, but we will update it when physical events start taking place again.
- A clear structure ahead of time – how long do you expect us to be talking for? will we be answering questions? what time do we log in and how do we sign off?
- At least one week’s notice. As disabled people we can sometimes get overwhelmed by emails and will take a while to get back in touch. We also try to do so as quickly as possible, but it’s better for us and for you if there is not a significant time pressure when it comes to organising. We can work quickly if needed to (or if an event is something we are particularly excited about) but this is an exception rather than a rule.
- Information about the rough topics or areas of discussion during the event. This doesn’t mean we need set questions in advance (though this is also good!), but both of us process faster (and will be better speakers!) if we know what you’re interested in us talking about.
- Chatting with the facilitator face to face (video call) as a test ahead of the event. This can simply be a five minute chat, but meeting the facilitator will make us both less anxious
- At physical events we need easy access to a toilet.
Some other things we need to participate:
- A good understanding of non-binary identity and non binary pronouns. It is not good for either of us when we are misgendered, whether through incorrect pronouns or introductions which class us both as women (or something akin to), assume we are lesbians, etc. Lili is non-binary, Abi is a woman. Together we are a queer couple. If you are unsure, ask!
- We’re very very happy talking about queerness, disability, mental health, fatness etc in the context of cycling, and if that’s what your event is about, then we’d probably love to participate. But, it bums us out if that’s all we’re ever asked to talk about. Abi in particular would really like to talk about maps and routes since that is her current special interest and we welcome invitations to events that are just broadly about cycling.
- There are certain things that aren’t up for debate, including queerness, trans-ness, ‘obesity’, veganism, helmet wearing or anything click-bait-y.
- We would like to know the other participants at an event before we attend. We won’t participate in events (or spaces) which have platformed transphobic, racist, fascist, classist, sexist, homophobic or ableist speakers.
- For events that have a public dimension, we would like to see some sort of code of conduct/safer/braver spaces policy in action.
- If you have a budget, we should be paid for our time and expertise! Being paid makes it possible for us to put aside time and energy for an event. Please get in touch to discuss speaker fees, and your budget. If you want us to run an event (eg. a workshop) we expect to be paid for this, but there is sometimes wiggle room for grassroots, diy or community events.
How do we decide what events to do?
We will prioritise events that aren’t all white, all male, all cis, all able bodied and we may decline events which we feel do not sufficiently represent the huge number of different cyclists that are out there. If we feel like the token diversity, especially at events where we aren’t being paid, we reserve the right to pull out at any time!
We will prioritise events which are free to participants.
We will prioritise events which are grassroots, community led, or DIY.
We will prioritise events focusing on every day cycling, increasingly accessibility, cycle touring, writing about cycling, and bikepacking. We aren’t road cyclists and we don’t race, so we’d have nothing useful or interesting to say on these topics!