Wheels on Fire with Elly Blue (Episode 71)


Elly Blue is a bike activist, writer, and publisher, and has run more Kickstarter campaigns than nearly any other person or group. She is fiercely in favor of using bikes as a necessary mode of transportation — though it is not necessarily the ideal — and describes herself as a feminist bicycle activist. We talk funding, publishing, and persistence. (Square photo by Caroline Paquette. Expo photo courtesy of San Francisco Zine Fest.)

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Show Notes

Elly has launched 19 Kickstarter campaigns; the 18 completed campaigns have all funded successfully. Her 19th is underway. A children’s book, Zoom! The story of a boy and his balance bike, was her biggest project with over $10,000 raised. (Sign up for her mailing list.)

Jean MacDonald spoke to us about App Camp for Girls; she recently left her for-profit job to become executive director of the program she helped found. Amelia Greenhall explained the purpose of and process to create Double Union, a women-oriented makerspace in San Francisco. (Amelia and colleagues recently launched the publication Model View Culture, and just shipped their first quarterly issue.) Elly’s boyfriend, Joe Biel, founded Microcosm Publishing. I talked to Matt Bors about his book crowdfunding campaign.

I wrote an Economist item recently about the perils of taking a book aimed for print production and creating an ereader edition. Elly mentioned George Packer’s lengthy article about Amazon.com in the New Yorker. Elly wrote about Dutch-style cargo bikes, bakfietsen, for The Magazine.