Dorothy Wong is one of the talented new California Bicycle Coalition board members and bike-entrepreneurs who'll be joining the California Dream Ride this October. We caught up with Dorothy right after she returned from Interbike this week.
CB: What's your favorite childhood memory of riding a bike?
DW: Wheelie contest on my BMX with neighborhood boys!
CB: As Director of the Team, SoCal Cross Prestige series and a member of the California Bicycle Coalition's board, what do you think is the most important thing you want Californians to understand about why safer, more connected, convenient bicycling is good for all of us - and why the California Dream Ride matters for raising funds and awareness about this?
DW: We must all, no matter what form of transportation we use, work together to make the streets safer for everyone. So much work is needed to help make our streets better for bicycling so that we can get more people riding bicycles—and taking advantage of all the benefits of bicycling.
The California Dream Ride is a great opportunity to raise awareness about what the California Bicycle Coalition does, and how we can help. I'm excited to be a part of the California Dream Ride for so many reasons. I'm looking forward to the wind on my face, meeting new people, and riding together for the common cause.
CB: Your professional focus is now on bicycling events aimed at growing female participation. Why is this such a passion of yours?
DW: Getting more women riding brings a balance to the game. The bicycle is empowering and gives anyone who rides it a sense of confidence, community and independence. Women need all of those things. The growing movement of promoting women on bicycles is already making a huge difference: our pre-season clinics have a stronger representation of women every year. Once 10-15%, this season with women focused promotion we expect 30%, with lots of younger women and families. We must continue to promote bicycling with women, though. It's happening, but there is more work to do.
CB: You began your career as a typewriter script girl, which took you to script supervisor, then production supervisor, then associate director including a stint with the very popular MAD TV. What aspects of that career are you using now in your bike work, and what aspects of that haven't you yet but would like to?
DW: Hollywood taught me strong organizational skills and also how to operate in the heat of the moment. Problem-solving. But also realizing the value of entertainment, and really building up the fun-factor. Cyclocross is fun to begin with, and teams have learned to build up the fun too. The Spooky Cross Night race is a great example, with a pumpkin carving contest for the kids, and the Spooky Cross Costume Race, complete with smashing pumpkins as a tradition. Silly fun, with everyone dressed up in costumes. The creativity is unreal.
CB: Is it true you'll be taking video of this year's Dream Ride? What are you most excited about capturing?
DW: The plan is to be a part of the ride and also film the ride for those who can't be there, to capture the interaction and the beauty. I'm excited about it all! Through it all we'll learn about the world of bicycling, and highlight the beauty of the ride.