The 2024 Philly Bike Expo is fast approaching — March 16 & 17 are just a week away. I’ve been attending since its inaugural year (2010!) and I still remember the sense of awe I felt when I walked into the 23rd St Armory and found myself surrounded by the beautiful bicycles and bespoke parts from makers I’d never heard of. I was new to Philly, new to cycling-as-transport, and the event felt revelatory. I think I still even have my first-ever pair of Sock Guy cycling socks kicking around in a drawer somewhere, purchased that day. At a time when bicycle infrastructure was nascent in our city, the Expo was truly countercultural, and it centered the Philly cycling scene in a way that fostered the beautiful connected community it is today.

The Expo became an annual tradition for me, and now for my family — we catch up with makers about their new designs, have chance run-ins with friends, daydream about new gear (often returning home with something), and let the kid tool around on balance bikes in the kids arena. This year, I’m adding a new piece to my experience: seminars!

The 2024 Philly Bike Expo boasts a whopping 32 seminars & demos over the course of the weekend, with topics ranging from basic bike maintenance to race training, and beyond. The breadth of offerings can seem overwhelming, so I recommend viewing the schedule in grid mode — it’s easier to plan that way, I think. Seminars take place on the lower level, while demos and the kids arena are on the upper (main) exhibition level.

Here are few of my personal picks:

Insights Into Day To Day Youth Bicycling, with Joshua Funches of National Youth Bike Council and Lana Harshaw, Bicycle Coalition Youth Cycling Program Director. The interactive seminar, led by youth presenters, shares how cycling has transformed their day-to-day lives, and includes a fun activity as well as insights into youth bicycling. Saturday at 10:30am, Room 124.

Folx N Spokes: Supporting women, trans and non-binary riders in Philly and the region. Co-hosts by Kusuma Schofield, Folx N Spokes, and Elly Porter-Webb, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, invite WTFNB & BIPOC riders to come together for conversation and connecting. This informal time is dedicated to making space for the many individuals and organizations working to increase the ridership of women, transgender and non-binary riders in Philly. Saturday at 12:00pm, Room 124.

The Equity In Real Life Bike-umentary (film screening) places you as a participant on the 2021 rolling equity seminar and conversation between national bike equity advocate Courtney Williams, The Brown Bike Girl, and revolutionary equity policy maker Mitchell Silver (former NYC Parks Commissioner). Williams and Silver gift viewers with insights into engaging in with DEIA authenticity, and the embodying bold decision-making needed champion and achieve equitable outcomes across all genres of outdoor recreational space. Saturday at 3:00pm, Room 124.

Bike Law & Safety Seminar with Joe Piscitello and Marissa Perrone of Piscitello Law. The duo will discuss some of the most common bike crash scenarios, how to avoid them, and cyclists’ legal rights. They will also cover the top contributing factors to bike-car crashes, the local advocacy work underway to address these issues, and why every cyclist should have insurance for their ride. Saturday at 3:00pm, Room 125.

The Street Project (film screening): In 2010, the small community of specialists who pay attention to US road safety statistics picked up on a troubling trend: more and more pedestrians and cyclists were being killed on American roads. Digging deep into the root causes of traffic violence, the filmmakers engage a diverse array of experts including street historian Peter Norton, city planner Jeff Speck, and urban design expert Mikael Colville-Andersen. These expert interviews are interwoven with the stories of real people working to make their communities safer. Saturday at 4:30pm, Room 124.

Tools and Techniques for Car-free Living. Join Pamela Murray (Pam Likes to Bike) for a discussion on the equipment, gear and mindset needed for accomplishing your everyday tasks and transport by bike. It’s not as challenging as you might think! Sunday at 12:00pm, Room 124.

And you don’t have to go to the Expo alone! There are also 11 different rides happening — just find the one that works for you, hop on, and make some new friends. If there’s one thing I’ve learned since 2010, it’s that cycling friends stick together. And do be sure to stop by the Bicycle Coalition table to say hello — we’ll have some brand new swag for folks who make a donation to support our ongoing education & advocacy work, but you’ll have to come in person to get it!

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