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Good Times Were Had at the Slow Roll Benefit, Co-Hosted by Streetsblog

Last Saturday’s Slow Roll Chicago End-of-Season Benefit Celebration, co-hosted by Streetsblog Chicago, has to go down as one of the best local bike parties of all time. Over 100 people packed Ancien Cycles in River West to support SRC, a group that is helping lead the movement for a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable Chicago bike culture. Thanks to generous support from those who showed up, the group netted $2,831 to fuel their important work, making this their most successful fundraiser ever.

Photo: John Greenfield

The bicycle-filled venue was the perfect setting to celebrate Slow Roll's very eventful year, which included over 60 community rides, outreach for the Divvy for Everyone program, a White House Champions of Change award for cofounder Oboi Reed, and many other achievements. Attendees munched on delicious Filipino-style empanadas and enjoyed brews donated by New Belgium Brewing, and DJ Mike Caliberz kept the dance floor filled with classic hip-hop and R&B. Bike attorney Mike Keating (a Streetsblog Chicago sponsor) won a beautiful New Belgium cruiser bike in a tension-filled auction that raised a grand for SRC.

Julien, Keating, and Reed with the New Belgium cruiser. Photo: Slow Roll Chicago

At one point, Reed and Slow Roll cofounder Jamal Julien gave a presentation about the year’s milestones that was alternately moving (thanks to Reed) and hilarious (thanks to Julien). For example, Reed spoke eloquently about the need for the city to work more closely with South and West Side stakeholders to determine where bicycle facilities should be installed. Julien summarized that as, “Ask us where the damn bike lanes should go.”

The next day, Reed sent this statement:

Slow Roll Chicago's End-of-Season Benefit Celebration was a huge success. We deeply appreciate our partnership with Streetsblog Chicago to host the party together. We also send a huge thanks to our sponsors New Belgium Brewing and Ancien Cycles. Together with our partners, sponsors, and extended community we celebrated the end of our successful 2015 ride season with an energetic, lively party. We look forward to riding this momentum into our 2016 season and growing our work to utilize bicycles as vehicles for social change, transforming lives and improving the condition of our communities. A proud thank you to our Slow Roll Chicago family. May the journey continue...

In case you’re wondering why Streetsblog Chicago hasn’t hosted any of our own parties this year, we plan to hold monthly meet-ups from now through April as part of the campaign to fund another year of hard-hitting transportation news coverage. Stay tuned for an announcement about the next event.

More photos from the Slow Roll party here and here.

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