Alice Nominee: Sara Stout

[Sara Stout, one of this year’s Alice B. Toeclips Award nominees, is a life-long promoter of cycling and the culture of cycling. She’s a founding member of a cross-section of Portland bicycling institutions, including Shift, the bike culture non-profit; Citybikes, the co-op bike shop; Critical Mass, the visibility and advocacy movement; and the KBOO Bike Show, a monthly community radio show. She has been nominated for those works and for coordinating Portland’s Carfree Day celebrations in 2003 and 2004. She has also facilitated an extensive variety of bicycle-oriented art projects – including the “Share the Road Mural” at the Hawthorne Auto Clinic, below. She currently works for the BTA, teaching pedestrian and bike-safety in the Portland Public Schools. Here’s what she has to say about her Alice nomination.]

Bikes have always been a central part of my life. My family has used bikes for transportation since before I was born and I grew up in an environment where American car culture was constantly criticized. I’ve always been interested in the practical uses, the mechanics and aesthetics of bicycles and by now my life has been saturated with bike-related activities.
Here is my favorite family portrait. It’s a super a poor quality picture from an old NYC newspaper in 1970. I think you can make out just enough to see that my barefoot mom is toting me & my sister on her old Raleigh 3 speed.
This past summer I was given the exciting opportunity to design and paint a “Share the Road” themed mural on the side of the Hawthrone Auto Clinic in SE Portland. This was a very fun and educational project for me. Usually, my perspective is uncompromisingly bike-centric, and I was challenged by the assignment to represent the idea of Sharing the Road from the perspective of all road users. Expanding my point of view was not always easy, but the dialog that was initiated by the mural gave me renewed faith in the power of public art to create a safe place for the community to discuss difficult issues.

Thanks for all your hard work for Portland bicyclists Sara!


Comments (4)

  1. cap'n pastry Permalink  | Mar 03, 2007 09:36pm

    One more qualification – she toted her bass amplifier up the Alameda Ridge on her truck bike to play the original Monsters of Bike Rock benefit for Multnomah County Bike Fair, with her band the Pheramones.

    That’s not just stout – that’s burley!

  2. bikewonder Permalink  | Mar 04, 2007 11:42am

    Sara – you are awesome! Thank you for all your spirit and energy put forth in this community. Can’t wait to clap for you! Cheers.

  3. Sally STOUT Permalink  | Mar 05, 2007 11:12am

    Wink, That family portrait brings back wonderful memories of us in NYC and Paris. Ralph and I are so proud of you. Not just because you are an “Alice Nominee” but because you are so smart, generious, insightful and always faithful to your princeples. You are an awesome daughter and Portland is lucky to have you in their biking community. We’ll be cheering for you.
    Love, Mom

  4. jackbspence Permalink  | Oct 18, 2007 10:19pm

    YOU, upon wheels that you grace with such power and wonder, I mean really; leave some for others… I fondly recall our co-orker Toga bike shop commonality, and then you where here circa fall ’91 and said “Hey” by the phone wire. The skills you have given you have shared have so bequeathed you all Stout. You. I am so proud. 206-720-7018 is still it, and it still” makes me sick” to think I paid for a frame set ( a Paul Barkley Soft ride integrated killer 24×24 road/crit built up in “94 with cronometro/edco!)) in stead of Danny Fuquai and I having built them for us and all alike. In ’94 I have been an after market accessory mfg’r. and also same since then time frame have been outside selling for I always will be in your skateboarding debt( yeah right Sara, as I recall I paid you 20$ for it as I did not other than get it stollen from my secret commute stash/ hidden-secret place. Some secret, and You. Lovely to know . Thank you so for being you.,me jack