Rollin’ with New Handlebars, there’s a New Director at C.I.C.L.E.

CICLEists,

I’m excited to announce that C.I.C.L.E. has a new director!

Back in April, I quietly announced that I would be leaving Los Angeles and C.I.C.L.E. as I support my partner’s entry into a Ph.D program at MIT.  While I’m looking forward to new experiences and riding the bike paths of Boston, I am very sad to be leaving this amazing city and life-changing organization.

I deeply believe in C.I.C.L.E. and its mission to use education and encouragement to help people start using bicycle transportation now.  You all have made C.I.C.L.E. what it is today and I want to sincerely thank you for your confidence, support and contributions to the organization.  The community is what makes C.I.C.L.E. great and what allows us to promote bicycling.  Most importantly, you — the Cyclists Inciting Change thru LIVE Exchange, are the conduits for reconnection.  Connection to people, places, and culture are how we make our city a happy and healthy place for all.  I hope that you continue to be active and involved with C.I.C.L.E. as there is still work to build a great future.

I believe that C.I.C.L.E. has its finest days ahead.  This month, Julia Lippe-Klein, who does programming and marketing for C.I.C.L.E., completed her masters in Urban Planning at UCLA (Congratulations, Julia!).  Her knowledge and skill-set are valuable additions to the organization.  In March, C.I.C.L.E.’s new Leadership Committee was launched.  This group brings years of experience from the fields of transportation, urban policy and sustainable bushiness to C.I.C.L.E.  Last, but not least, I am confident about C.I.C.L.E.’s future because of its new director, Vanessa Gray.  Vanessa lives and sings the joys and ease of the bicycle lifestyle, and her friendliness embodies the core of our organization.  Please wave hello and ring your bells as Vanessa takes over the lead of the pack!

Enjoy the ride!
Dan Dabek
Advisory Committee

VanessaVanessa Gray knew bicycling would become a special part of her life when her mom, answering a knock at the front door, saw her then two-year old daughter riding her tricycle, being escorted by the military police; she had ridden two-miles in an attempt to ride off the base. This started a life-long love affair with biking. While working as a lifeguard at three different aquatic centers in college, she became car-free after finding out how easily she could ride her bike to each job. Prior to joining C.I.C.L.E. as its director, Vanessa served as a communications deputy for an L.A. city councilwoman, as a senior communications specialist with SEIU, and was a manager at Beverly Hills Pavilions. She has volunteered previously at C.I.C.L.E. events and coordinated the Safe Routes to Schools’ Walk to School Day at Micheltorena Elementary School. As a member of Silverlake’s Neighborhood Council Transportation Committee, she works to make Silverlake safer for pedestrians and bicyclists by building community support to install a much needed traffic light at the corner of Edgecliffe and Sunset.

In addition to volunteering for bike advocacy events like Bike to Work Day, Vanessa also bakes jalapeno and cheddar bagels for the hungry cyclists stopping by the pitstop or makes glazed and chocolate doughnuts for a bicycle shop’s anniversary. She has a Bachelors degree in English with a minor in Chemistry from Old Dominion University and a certificate in Baking and Patisserie from the Cordon Bleu in Pasadena.

She’s excited about continuing C.I.C.L.E.’s positive mission of bringing safe bicycling fun to everyone. You can find her riding her vintage Bridgestone at local fun rides, to local shops and delivering cinnamon rolls and chocolate orange scones. You can reach her at vanessa@cicle.org.