Originally published in the Monadnock Shopper News
Prime Roast Coffee Co. in Keene launched a new program called BySpoke: Beans By Bike. They now deliver their coffee beans by electric bike to customers who order online and live locally. (Left to right): Devany Pitsas, Valery Cavadini, Emily Lavigne, Judy Rogers and Nicole Melanson. Photo Credit: Beth Pelton.
May is National Bike Month, promoted by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. Since 1956, National Bike Month boasts the benefits of bicycling to encourage more of us to go by bicycle.
In our region, we’ll gather virtually to mark Bike Month and watch the crowdsourced documentary film MOTHERLOAD on Thursday, May 28 starting at 6:30 p.m. MOTHERLOAD highlights the story of an overwhelmed mother and how a cargo bicycle brings her freedom and joy (see more about this film below). This event is free and co-hosted by Monadnock Food Co-op, Monadnock International Film Festival (MONIFF), and Monadnock Alliance for Sustainable Transportation (MAST).
A live post-film discussion will follow the film with MOTHERLOAD Director Liz Canning, VBike Director Dave Cohen, Prime Roast Coffee Company Founder Judy Rogers and Keene State College Film Professor Ted White. Event attendees will also have a chance to win one of our event prizes including a pair of VIP tickets to MONIFF, a $25 gift card to Monadnock Food Co-op, a bag of Prime Roast coffee beans delivered to your home by ebike (must live within 3 miles of Prime Roast and delivery date is subject to weather) and an e-bike/cargo-bike consultation from Dave Cohen at VBike. This event is free, but registration is required.
Why celebrate bicycling during the COVID-19 crises? “Because bicycling is more essential to our lives than ever,” shared Bike Month organizers from The League of American Bicyclists. “And because we could all use some bike joy to look forward to. Whether you’re riding for fun, fitness or with family, or taking essential trips to work or shop, you are part of a movement for safer streets, connected communities, a healthier planet and happier people.”
Prime Roast Coffee Company in Keene truly seized Bike Month this year. They launched their new BySpoke: Beans By Bike program. They deliver their coffee beans by an electric bike, named Iris, to customers who order online and live locally. “Are you wondering why we chose to name our new e-bike Iris?” asked Judy. “Iris was the goddess of rainbows and the messenger of the gods. It just seemed right.”
Last year, the Monadnock Food Co-op formed a team called the “Co-op Commuters” to participate in the National Bike Challenge. We kept this team going and have logged 928 miles so far! Anyone can join our team through at and log their own miles. New to bicycling? Watch the League of American Bicyclists’ videos and gain confidence in your riding skills.
You can also support bicycling beyond Bike Month. For example, Pathways for Keene opened up registration for their 19th annual Four on the 4th Road Race planned for July 4. This race will raise funds for the Cheshire Rail Trail, Phase 3 & the Park Avenue Loop project – projects that make our city more walkable and bikeable.
MOTHERLOAD follows director and new mother, Liz Canning, on her quest to understand the increasing tension between modern life and our hunter-gatherer DNA, and how cargo bikes offer a solution. As Liz meets the people behind this push to replace cars with purpose-built bikes, she learns about the history and potential future of the bicycle as the “ultimate social revolutionizer.”
Conflict arises when characters encounter cultural resistance, in particular bikelash, focused on women and mothers. MOTHERLOAD draws connections to the struggle of cyclist Suffragettes and women’s seemingly endless fight for bodily autonomy. Ultimately, Liz’s experiences as a cyclist, as a mother, and in discovering the cargo bike world, teach her that sustainability is not necessarily about compromise and sacrifice. Instead, there are few things more empowering in an age of consumption than the ability to create everything from what seems to be nothing.
“For seven years, MONIFF has been fortunate to share some of the best independent films with members of our community—during the festival and throughout the year,” said MONIFF Board Chair, Deirdre Fitzgerald. “COVID-19 has made a trip to the movies off-limits for now, so it’s wonderful to be able to bring people together with this free, virtual screening of MOTHERLOAD and help raise awareness about the benefits of bicycling.”
Now, let’s get rolling!
The Local Crowd Monadnock - Mailing Address: 63 Emerald St. #114, Keene, NH 03431