Originally Published on WTF Bikexplorers in May, 2019
WTF Bikexplorers was founded in the fall of 2017 when six friends agreed to collaborate on a movement toward more connection, gender inclusivity, and racial equality within bicycle adventure travel through supporting, celebrating, and connecting communities identifying as Women, Transgender, Femme, Queer, and/or Non-Binary who use their bicycles to explore (albeit the outdoors, themselves, eachother, etc.) We do this by organizing an annual three-day national Summit that brings together 150 voices from across the globe to share skills, cross pollinate ideas, and connect with one another over rides, clinics, storytelling, and campfires. Prior to the summit we organize campaigns to connect our community and fuel the stoke for this movement through the SJ Brooks Scholarship, Grassroots Ride Series, and WTF Bikexplorers Swag.
We believe that in order to create long-lasting change for more connectivity, inclusivity, and representation in our bicycle communities and the bicycle industry as a whole the WTF Bikexplorers Summit must be accessible to the people on the grassroots level doing work in their communities and/or at their local bike shops.
In order to make the summit as financially accessible for those who will benefit from it the most we rely on a combination of sponsorship support, community funding, and swag sales to cover the Summit expenses. These expenses include normal business operating expenses, venue, and equipment rentals, ticket expenses for those who volunteer and present at the Summit, as well as a small organizer stipend. Through this structure we are able to make the ticket prices as close to free as possible while also covering the ticket expenses of the unique individuals who will share their voice, time, and energy at the summit through presenting and/or volunteering.
In 2018 ticket prices were $425 for onsite camping and $275 for primitive camping. We covered the ticket expense for a total of 16 tickets for speakers and volunteers.
In 2019 ticket prices are $150 for onsite camping and $225 for glamping in a yurt/walled tent. We will be covering over 33 tickets for speakers and volunteers.
Our ultimate goal is to raise enough funds through sponsorship support, community funding, and swag sales to make the tickets free to the public while also covering the ticket, travel and labor expenses for each individual doing work as a volunteer and/or speakers for the WTF Bikexplorers Summit.
As organizers of the WTF Bikexplorers Summit we budget to pay ourselves $4.5/hour for 15-20 hours of labor per week (before taxes) on WTF Bikexplorers related tasks which include ride series, scholarships, design, agenda, accounting, shipping, communication, sponsorship and community outreach, venue, tickets, presentations, website, newsletters, and media. Each one of us does this work because we have benefitted from being uplifted in spaces like the WTF Bikexplorers Summit and our jobs/lifestyle allow us the time and energy to work part-time on WTF Bikexplorers. While it is our ultimate goal to pay ourselves a living wage for the labor we put into organizing the summit and to motivate us to continue to do this work, our primary focus right now is to distribute any surplus funds to scholarship opportunities, volunteers, speakers, and reducing tickets sales for future summits.
As you can see WTF Bikexplorers is a labor of love and in only its second year, very much a grassroots movement. Thank you to each individual who has gone above and beyond to support our mission through financial support, volunteering your time, and/or networking on our behalf as well as everyone rocking our #shredthepatriarchy stickers, leading rides in your communities, and spreading the stoke of WTF Bikexplorers.
If our mission is the future you also want to see realized, we invite you to please consider making a donation! The WTF Bikexplorers are grateful for whatever level of support you can offer – no donation is too small to make a difference!