This letter comes from Sole Fiumefreddo, a leader of Corvidae Bicycle Club, whose name is derived from the family of birds that includes ravens, magpies, and crows.
Dear Portland Bicycle Scene,
My name is Sole Fiumefreddo of Corvidae Bicycle Club, and I must ask you a favor.
I have been biking and commuting around Portland for more than 10 years. However, I didn’t find the community until 2015. When I did find you all, I completely immersed myself into weekly and monthly rides, curating the world I had been dreaming of with my wheels. There were freak bikes and battles and endless silliness. New pals, aimless summertime rides and secret Portland destinations lit up my life, and I am forever grateful that the light has grown with me.
Five years ago, I would’ve never thought I’d being a founding member of a growing bicycle club. With my best friends, we formed our club in 2017 striving for something different than the typical ride structure we’d all accustomed to. We aim to promote bike safety and accessibility, and to inspire biking as an alternative to fossil-fueled travel within Portland. But over the years, excessive alcohol and sloppy riders on big group rides turned me off from participating as much as I once did.
As a “Momma Bird” I have eyes for predatory behavior, and it is appalling how often it happens in our community. I cannot sit idly by while I continue to be told that someone in my community was sexually assaulted or fears running into another rider. Big groups bring big problems and our community is growing even faster than it used to. It is simply unacceptable to ignore the ones who violate boundaries. I believe it is time for us to openly call out damaging behavior.
Ride Leaders and participants, Pedalpalooza is upon us (the calendar is already live!). We have a responsibility to ensure (as best we can) our fellow riders’ autonomy and safety. This means thoughtful routes, maintaining sobriety when leading, and keeping an eagle-eye on harassment and the vulnerable. There are new riders every day and I believe we have responsibility to lead by example. Set the tone for wholesome silliness, not blatant and blind disregard.
Bicycles are the one thing that brings our eclectic group of fun-seekers together and I demand we protect each other.
— Sole Fiumefreddo the Magpie
If you’d like to join CorvidaeBC, we meet every second Sunday at 2:00 pm at the Peninsula Park Rose Garden. Our next two rides are March 8th (International Womxn’s Day Ride!) and April 12th. Find us on Facebook or Instagram.