1. What do you do for a living (company you work for, official title, daily responsibilities, etc.)?
I am a professional computer fixer and a savior of smart phones for a company called NEPA Geeks in Mountain Top, PA. My daily responsibilities usually include opening the shop promptly (more or less) at 9 am and answering phones while waiting on customers, doing minor repairs, virus removals and more. But my greatest talent lies in magically transmogrificating a broken iPhone or Samsung Galaxy phone into a shiny like-new one. I also do the same thing with iPads, so you know I’m not just a one-trick pony.
2. Can you tell us a little more about the beginnings of your blog, when/why did you start it and what have been your biggest ah-ha moments?
Dee Rides Her Bike began about 3 years ago when I was looking for a fun way to get in shape. I had just tried rollerblading for the first time in about 13 years when I slipped and fell and decided, “You know what? The 90s were a long time ago, and this is really just not for me…” So, I fished my bike out of the garage and decided to see how far I could go, and then just kept on going. Before I knew it, I was entering my first charity ride and needed some encouragement to properly train for it, so I started up a blog. The rest is herstory…
3. Where do you pull your inspiration from (in relation to your blog)?
Mostly, I draw my inspiration from the sound of the wheels rolling along the pavement, the smell of the air changing as I ride through an evolving landscape, and the feeling of the freedom to explore the world at my leisure. The thoughts that drift through my mind, leading to new connections and ideas… I just allow them to ruminate as I pedal onward, mile after mile. And then I simply write them down when I get home.
4. What (offline) hobbies do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time, I like to play guitar, sing karaoke, go shopping and hang out with the girls. I’d love to start up a feminist, punk rock band, but who has time for that when you’ve got a plate full of fries and good friends to share them with?
5. If your blog was an animal, what animal would it be?
It would be half Hobbes the stuffed tiger from “Calvin and Hobbes” and half Bill the Cat from “Bloom County”; two uniquely dynamic takes on the same sort of animal. One half is wild, yet deeply philosophical. The other is… well, more like a mad science experiment.
6. Briefly describe your session “How Cycling, Blogging and Social Networking Saved My Life” for us.
Loneliness is a huge problem; especially for those of us on the fringes of society. We’re working on normalizing things, but even in 2015, a person can find themselves in complete crisis with nowhere to turn and no one to talk to. I know, because I was there.
In the Summer of 2014, I was scared for my life. As everything I thought I knew about myself had come crashing down, I needed to meet someone like me… I needed to know that I was normal, that my feelings were ok. I needed to meet someone else who is transgender.
Fortunately, because of my love of bicycling and blogging, and social networking, I did.
Riding has always been my passion, so naturally, I blogged about cycling. And it was through this passion that I met a man named Will who, like me, loved bicycling. But Will and I had much more in common than I first realized. See, just like me, Will is transgender.
In my talk, I’ll discuss how blogging and social networking put me in touch with a support group on Facebook, and how that changed my life in ways I couldn’t even imagine. I found my tribe. I had come home. And I’ll discuss how anyone can find their tribe with just a few Google/Twitter/Facebook searches and an open mind. No one has to be alone, anymore.