Leading light for NELA bikes in need of help


Long before the all woman Ovarian Psychos formed, and well before the Iron Unicorns got their start, North East Los Angeles had a women-only bike day at the Bike Oven called “Bike Oven XX” or “BOXX”.

BOXX was organized and run by Liz and Shay, the founders of CICLE.org – a local bike advocacy not-for-profit.

Bike Oven XX was the NELA version of the Bicycle Kitchen’s “Bitchen” – a female- and trans-only bike collective night. The Bike Oven held BOXX on sunny Saturday afternoons, featuring mimosas, tea, and good conversation in a stuffy little garage in Highland Park.

That is Shay way back in May of 2006 in the light blue top kneeling down teaching a fellow woman how to repair a bike.

Liz and Shay were at the heart of the North East LA bike scene when I got engaged with it in late 2005. Along with organizing BOXX, they also created a vision of bike advocacy in LA that was unthinkable to even the most die hard advocates I encountered back then: a bike advocacy of universal appeal, a proto-Cycle Chic movement, with a bit of Maoist-style propaganda thrown into the mix.

Then something really terrible happened: Shay got sick, very sick.

Dan Dabek, current head of CICLE.org wrote this in a recent LA Streetsblog post:

Shay has been suffering quietly for the past three years.  She has had several brushes with death and has permanently lost her mobility due to Lupus Vasculitis.  If Shay has personally, or through her organization, touched your life, I ask you to consider making a contribution to herpersonal Kick Butt and Get Better Fund.  Shay and her partner have incurred and are facing heavy costs to improve her quality of life.  C.I.C.L.E. is also planning a community bicycle event for Shay in October.  More details will be included in the e-newsletter.  Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and donation consideration.

I am not a rich man when it comes to money, but I am going to pitch in to help an old friend out. It is time to give back to someone who brought joy to the hard work of changing our city and ourselves into something better.

I hope you can too.

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  1. Michelle
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Woah Woah Woah! “Long before the all woman Ovarian Psychos formed, and well before the Iron Unicorns got their start,” What the hells all that about?? Im not sure if it was necessary to mention us in a “look who jumped on the bandwagon sort of way” We Iron Unicorns werent even aware of Bike Oven XX nites,had I known a few years back,I would have loved to be apart of that when that started up. Our good friends the Ovarian Psycho Cycles are Boyle Heights/East L.A based and Iron Unicorns are Boyle Heights/Greater Los Angeles based,not just North East L.A based. Hm,Im not sure how to feel about the article,its nice but I just wish we female based collectives/bicycle brigades werent brought into it. Flattered that you felt it necessary to name drop us though,even if only in a slightly negative way..

  2. Michelle
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    hahaha,Nevermind,this is actually kind of funny how were thrown into this one so randomly/briefly! Thanks?? lol

  3. Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    Wow! Were those first lines necessary? We are all for the community and what you guys are trying to do is create a bit of conflict for these amazing all women cycling crews using that form of expression. I highly disagree with the way words are expressed about the Ovarians and ..us, Iron Unicorns. Even then I would love to help out, we are for the community and for SISTERHOOD! We are trying to eliminate tension, and other differences If YOU know what I mean. Ovarian Psycos and Iron Unicorns are already making a difference <3

  4. Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    How do we donate?

  5. Michelle
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    There seems to be some sort of misunderstanding going on as displayed in the comments above within the Unicorn camp. Ignore that,my sincere apologies..lol ANYWAY, As Iron Unicorn founder,we are interested in organizing a fundraiser for Shay and her Kick Butt and Get Better Fund, Hit me up and get back to me soon so we can get to organizing this. We have L.A’s first EVER all female Clitoral Mass coming up on August 31st,so were pretty busy at the moment. After the 31st however,we are super down to help out a fellow fallen sister. Let me know

    Michelle 🙂

  6. Posted August 17, 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    I apologize too on behalf of everyone mostly myself 🙂 down to help out <3 didnt even read the full article, just comments

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