On June 10th one of 5 Slow Roll events will be taking place in the Barelas neighborhood and Homewise is thrilled to be the sponsor! Some of you might be wondering what a “slow roll” is. A slow roll is a slow-paced group bicycle ride. I met with Victor Gallardo, Barelas resident and founder of Slow Roll 505 to talk a little bit about his organization and the event.
Tell me a little about yourself
I was born in Juarez Mexico but I moved to New Mexico on February 14th, 1988 and I lived with my aunt and uncle. I went to elementary, junior high and high school in Santa Fe and after graduating, I joined the US Marine Corp, which was a major shift in my life. I now work for the Department of Defense.
What is Slow Roll 505 and why did you decide to start it?
I am not really into biking. I don’t do it every day. I just jump on a bike if I’m going somewhere nearby. I bike because of my kids, but I don’t feel safe taking them around in bike lanes. I was looking for a safe alternative. In 2017, I had a job where I traveled a lot. I was visiting Detroit and I met a person that told me if I wanted to see something interesting, I should check out this event called Slow Roll Detroit. I rented a bike, paid a donation and I met some cool people and ate some great food. We biked together through different neighborhoods, some were depressed with abandoned homes and some had million dollar homes. I thought, Albuquerque has some cool neighborhoods too so why not have one here? At that time, there was no way I could commit any time to it. I was in school and I wanted to wait until I could have a structured approach. In October of 2018 I approached art gallery, OT Circus and owner Victoria Van Dame about becoming a fiscal sponsor and they agreed to it. I gathered a board of directors and bylaws and it became an official nonprofit.
Tell me about the slow roll events and specifically about the June 10th event in Barelas
The idea for these events is for community to get together and to meet people. There are 5 events total and they are open to everyone. The May 27th event will start at Robinson Park in downtown Albuquerque, June 10th is in Barelas, July 22nd will be in Wells Park, August 19th will be the zoo ride, and the last one is on September 29th in Los Ranchos where we will be joining forces with the Los Ranchos Tour de Farms event.
June 10th we will be meeting at the Barelas Community Center. The event starts at 7pm but you’ll want to arrive early. The Street Food Institute food truck will be there along with live screen-printing by Joseph Arnoux of Karuna Colectiva. He will be printing the Slow Roll 505 logo and creating a mashup with some of his personal work. People can bring their own t-shirt to be printed or they can purchase one at the event. Hans Hrichak of Bike 505 will have a bike clinic set up for adjustments and bike maintenance. Hans has also gifted three bikes for students at Working Classroom. District 2 County commissioner, Steven Michael Quezada (of Breaking Bad fame!) will be leading the bike ride.
Anything else you would like to add?
I am thankful to Homewise for sponsoring the event. We have a lot going on for the future. My goal is to get 1,000-2,000 people to attend. We need better options than just bike lanes. People need to be more aware of bikers. The more we get out there, the more people become aware of us. We are here to create community.
We hope to see you on your bikes on June 10th! For more information about Slow Roll 505 and the event, visit their website www.slowroll505.com, check out their Facebook page, and Instagram: @slowroll505
“Vecinos” is a Homewise blog series dedicated to getting to know the neighborhood businesses and organizations in the Barelas neighborhood and surrounding our Homeownership Center and Orpheum Community Hub.