Our mission is to promote and advocate cycling in the deaf/hard-of-hearing (HOH) community.
Since 2014, Deaf Velo Alliance (DVA) has been hosting and partnering with cycling events, workshops, and tutorial sessions in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. DVA is open to all who are deaf/HOH and hearing (who know sign language) with one goal in mind: cycling for pleasure!
Melissa Manak (founder/partnerships), an EdTech fellow at Chicago Public Schools and Rogers Park resident, began bicycling as a child, sneaking off with her sister to freewheel down her neighborhood hill. Despite her parents' disapproval, fearing they may be hit by a car, they had many fun times being out on the streets and scraping knees.
Years later, Melissa moved to Charlotte, North Carolina for a master's degree in Geography: Community Planning. There she began commuting on a bike regularly. After graduating, she relocated to Chicago and has been involved in deaf and bike communities.
You can find her riding on Lakefront Trail, Halsted and Clark routes on a Linus Mixte or 2014 Trek District S. She makes a goal to be an urban planner focusing in disability and elderly planning.
Chris Ross (finance), a web application developer residing in Chicago's Near North side, has been bicycling since age five. As a kid, he once set up a short ramp with 2"x4" blocks and attempted to jump it on a Mag Scrambler. After regaining consciousness, he was lying on the driveway with what he thought were bits of teeth in his mouth (they were pebbles).
Luckily, he kept on biking and now commutes on a Divvy, logging 400 trips in his first year. You can find him riding his Specialized Roubaix on his favorite routes: North Shore Bike Path, a.k.a. the Robert McClory Bike Path, Poplar Creek Forest Preserve loop; or mountain biking on Rampart Reservoir trail in Colorado.
In addition to bicycling, he enjoys running, kayaking, volleyball and snow skiing.
Nick Ng (communication/design), who hails from Norwood Park, made many memories leaving skid marks as a kid. From biking to rollerblading to skateboarding to driving (and embarrassingly, scootering), he loved anything on wheels. However, when he started commuting to work by car, it left him feeling cranky. Months later, Nick read an observation that would click with him:
In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it, you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You're a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame. On a cycle, the frame is gone. You're completely in contact with it all. You're in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming. - Robert Pirsig
Being tired of not having the sun on his back and rain in the face, Nick took up bike commuting. Since then, he has enjoyed exploring networks of alleys, streets, and trails on his Mercier Kilo TT and 1987 Peugeot Tourmalet.
Stefrose Renner (honorary member) grew up in North Dakota where she learned to love the outdoors. Running, camping, and mountain biking are among the activities she enjoys. After obtaining both bachelor's and master's degrees in fine arts from Rochester Institute of Technology and Montana State University respectively, she is an artist working with paint and textile sewing. Like creating art, bicycling enables her to experience freedom and adventures. It does good for her body and soul, as she would say.
After several years in Chicago, Stefrose is now traveling across USA and soon to be in Southeast Asia, continuing to promote DVA mission in other cities.
Friends of DVA
Slow Roll Chicago works to achieve equity in bicycle access, bicycle usage, bicycle infrastructure, bicycle safety, bicycle culture, and other community-related and bicycle-related resources in Chicago with particular focus on communities on the Southside and Westside, making our communities healthier, more empowered, more economically viable, more socially cohesive, more bikeable, and ultimately more livable. Slow Roll envisions bicycles as effective forms of transportation contributing to reducing violence, improving health, and creating jobs in communities across Chicago. • slowrollchicago.org
A grassroots movement to empower more women to ride bikes for transportation and recreation in Chicagoland, hosting events, rides, and the Annual Day of Dialogue and Demonstrations. • womenbikechicago.org