Portland cycling leaders at front of transgender cycling fight

Portlander Molly Cameron in Bicycling.

Anti-transgender legislation proposed in many states across the country has spurred local cycling leaders to step up, speak out, and fight back.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), 31 states are currently considering bills that would limit health care to transgender youth and/or prevent transgender youth from playing sports.

Arkansas is one of the states leading the charge. It’s also slated to host the 2022 UCI Cyclocross World Championships. In addition to this high-profile event that’s likely to draw many racers from the Portland region, Arkansas has become a cycling mecca in recent years. That’s because it’s home to Walmart, whose young heirs’ love of cycling has led to massive investments to attract bike companies and riders seeking fun trails.

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Chris DiStefano hired for new marketing and public affairs position at River City Bicycles

Dave Guettler (L) and Chris DiStefano outside River City's central eastside location. (Photo: River City Bicycles)
Dave Guettler (L) and Chris DiStefano outside River City’s central eastside location.
(Photo: River City Bicycles)

Bicycle industry veteran Chris DiStefano has accepted a position as marketing and public affairs director for River City Bicycles.

DiStefano’s career in the bike world spans over two decades and he has held high profile roles with Shimano, Chris King Precision Components, and most recently Rapha, where he was communications director for North America. River City Bicycles was founded by Dave Guettler in 1995 and is one of the most successful independently-owned bike shops in America. Put together, these two powerhouses of business and advocacy are very likely to make huge waves in Portland and beyond.

In past positions DiStefano has embraced his role as a lobbyist for bike product makers and has proven to be an effective advocate. He’s been a loud voice pushing for mountain bike trails, he helped ferry the data-sharing relationship, between Strava and the Oregon Department of Transportation, and was picked by ODOT to serve on their Bike and Pedestrian Plan update committee. While at Chris King he made several trips to the National Bike Summit and even accepted invitations to the White House where he forged a working relationship with Secretary of Commercie Penny Pritzker.

Check out the official press release below:

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Trail Fest kickoff a pep rally for off-road advocates

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Portland Trail Fest Opening Night-12

Big crowd fills the Chris King employee cafe
at kickoff event for Portland Trail Fest.
(Photos © J. Maus)

The kickoff of the first annual Portland Trail Fest last night served as an inspirational kick-in-the-pants for local off-road riding advocates.

It has been nearly three years since the lack of local trails was first brought to the attention of the City’s bicycle advisory committee. Chris Distefano, the man who made an impassioned speech to that committee on May 9, 2007, addressed the crowd last night. Distefano is the marketing director at Chris King Precision Components, a company that allows him paid time away from the office to advocate for more mountain biking in Portland. Before introducing the night’s speakers, Distefano — a former board member of the International Mountain Bicycle Assocation (IMBA) and PR guy for Shimano America — stated the ultimate dream for local mountain bikers:

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