Our Director of Media Relations Melissa Balmer interviewed Brian Addison, the recipient of the 2015 Bicycle Dreamer Award:
MB: What is your favorite childhood bicycle memory?
BA: To be honest, it’s a rather bittersweet one from when I was 11 years old. Every other week, I would take my mountain bike—my pride, my joy—over to my favorite teacher’s home. I had naïvely dropped it behind their SUV in the driveway while chatting and a craaaackle sounds off. I go outside to stand on the porch and there is her husband, holding up my mangled bike frame with its equally distorted front wheel. I was devastated, because that was how I explored; my escape-mania was only cured by my bike, which provided me these often wondrous adventures where the forest became an entirely different world. When that man was holding up my mutilated bike, it was like my world of imagination has shrunk a little to let the ever creeping dark side of reality set in.
During your time as both the Associate and then Executive Editor of the Long Beach Post, and then as the Editor of Longbeachize, you've been a passionate voice for the rights and opportunities for bicycling. When did this interest and passion start?
Bittersweetness seems to be the theme of my answers… While getting my MFA, I decided to sell my car. The alteration in my life was beyond significant: I began walking, and the experience of the human scale forever altered for me what it meant to get around. My bike—the same Specialized I ride to this day—came after that. These two things, walking and biking, made me love my city more than I already did. It made me pause, it made me examine things differently.
I once said that there is a mutual understanding that urban, dense environments are going to provide discomforts—parking constraints, occasional noise interruptions to your quiet living room, traffic—but that the vibrancy of the urban ballet, as long as it is safe and ripe with human activity, far outweighs those concerns. Part of that ballet is just being human—and I mean that in its physical sense: using your two feet and walking or biking.
Brian Addison will be awarded the Bicycle Dream Award on November 2nd at MADE in Long Beach (image via Pedal Love)