Empowering women in cycling

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Week End Roundup

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Philly Bike Expo

This weekend, Nov 9 & 10th

Juliana Bicycles Hiring

Juliana Bicycles, a women’s specific mountain bike brand, is looking for a Brand Manager

Quick Start Cyclocross Training

Have you been bit by the cyclocross bug? This quick start plan will get you in better shape for the late season successes!

Bikenomics

Bicycle infrastructure creates more jobs per million dollars spent than any other kind of transportation

A Winter of Cyclists

The story of a group of Colorado cyclists who challenged each other to commute by bike, at least 52 times, during the cold, dark, and snowy months.

Safety Concerns for Giro della Toscana Leads to Protest

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This past weekend a moment in women’s cycling history happened, and you probably didn’t hear about it.

In the fourth stage of the Giro della Toscana more than half of the racers did not finish. Why? In protest of the lack of safety for the group. This included lack of security for riders while on roads, and leaving the peloton to ride through traffic.

While this would have been worthy of protest if it happened at a local Cat 3 race, this race had the likes of  world champ Marianne Vos and was to be considered a women’s pro road race.

With women’s cycling growing voice, and attracting more media exposure I’m glad to see that these ladies and their teams took a stance for safety and a clear division of how men and women are treated in this sport.

 

Your Feedback Wanted: What Makes a Great Women’s Cycling Team?

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Over the years I have been lucky enough to be embraced, grow with and learn from some great women’s groups. The first that comes to mind is Artemis Racing out of the Mid-Atlantic and then there are the Dirt Diva’s in Charlotte, NC.

As I mentioned earlier this week, one of my goals over the next year is to help my Team Cycleton build and grow a women’s team. As I build the groundwork and before I put out a call for applicants for the team I want to hear from you.

What Makes a Great Women’s Cycling Team?

The specific word I want to point out in the above question is TEAM. While there will be some club aspect, social events and rides, it is also a large goal of mine to help develop female racing. This includes having like minded goals, training rides or events and education on all aspects of bike riding/racing.

So sound off, what have you seen work in making a successful women’s cycling team that helps develop women into strong riders and racers?

Fort Follies’ Women’s Grand Prix & Ride with the Stars

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The US Pro Challenge hits Fort Collins this Saturday, and so does the Fort Follies’ Women’s Grand Prix with many other women’s events.

 

Ride with the Stars

 

 

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8am : Event starts at 8am. Enjoy a leisurely ride with some of the professional ladies! Will ride to Crankenstein’s in Old Town for $1 coffee drinks (there will be ample bike parking). Highlighting ladies, but guys are welcome as well. All levels and ages welcome! Let’s celebrate ladies of all levels on bikes. Linkage

 

Fort Follies’ Women’s Grand Prix

 

12pm : This fast, flat .93 mile course is centered in the heart of the action in Old Town, Fort Collins on the same day as the USA Men’s Pro Challenge Stage 6, also ending in Fort Collins. With a major $9,000 prize purse, $1000 awards, plus primes, sprinter points, and a most-aggressive rider jersey, you can expect incredible action among some of the highest-level women professionals in the U.S.! Linkage

 

Launch of Women’s Cycling Association

 

6:30pm at Rio Grande Mexican. The party is the official launching of the Women’s Cycling Association, an organization of professional women cyclists striving for equality in women’s cycling. Schultz, Miller and Wilcoxson helped form the WCA this June. Linkage

5 Fundamentals of Riding Everyone Should Take Note Of

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When I tell people I run a website with the goal to empower women in cycling they automatically hear “feminist.” This is as far from truth as you can get as I simply want more people on bikes, and realize that a huge opportunity is to empower women on two wheels.

Last week the Bike League released a report wrapping women’s cycling stats and misconceptions together. The report, Women on a Roll, is a great summary of the state of cycling but not just for women – for everyone. Anyone working to get more people on bikes could benefit from reading the stats and assumptions found in this report. Stripping the spandex and politics from getting more bikes on the road this report gives a great baseline for many shops and advocacy groups to build forward momentum off of.

Focus on the 5 C’s

Catchy, but effective. The 5 C’s will help increase ridership in all communities (and across most niches.)

Comfort
Convenience
Consumer Products
Confidence
Community

If brands, product managers, bike shop owners, and advocacy directors focused on the 5 C’s cycling will be headed in a positive direction.

Women Bike Mini-Grant Awards

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I realize this is very much a repost of a press release, but the idea is killer and each program is unique. Do you think you could use any of these ideas in your community?

To seed and support this growing momentum to encourage women from all backgrounds to become engaged in bicycling and the bike movement, the League of American Bicyclists’ Women Bike program has awarded $7,500 in small grants to innovative, model campaigns in four cities.

WE Bike NYC
Engaging Latina Women Through Bilingual Outreach and Resources
$2,000

Breaking down barriers for women cyclists, WE Bike NYCrealizes the importance of creating a space where new riders feel welcome and understood. “Engaging Latina women is done by creating accessible resources where these women can literally and figuratively see themselves — or people who look like them,” says Liz Jose, a bilingual organizer and founder of the group. “Our goal with this grant is to create outreach and educational materials in print and online that encourage Latina women to join the bicycle movement. By compiling existing Spanish language resources as well as creating new, downloadable documents, the work created under this grant will create a model for language inclusiveness for groups across the country, as well as materials such as a Spanish-language ‘Fix-A-Flat’ book featuring Latina women and a Spanish-language ‘Club Pack’ that can be used to begin work in local communities.” Learn more about WE Bike NYC.

Women Bike PHL (Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia)
Girl Scouts on Wheels
$1,500

The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia’s Women Bike PHL campaign is working to get more women and girls on bikes in Philadelphia. Their innovative “Girl Scouts on Wheels” project is developing and promoting a Biking Basics patch, as well as offering Bike Rodeos and Learn-to-Ride classes to Girl Scout troops. “I was a Girl Scout for 10 years, and know from experience what a positive impact that organization has on youth,” says Katie Monroe, Women Bike PHL coordinator. “If we’re serious about getting more women riding, we need to start young — and Girl Scouts seems like the perfect platform for educating and inspiring girls to get pedaling. It’s also a powerful national network, so ideally this partnership between bike advocates and Girl Scouts could be replicated around the country.” Learn more about Women Bike PHL.

We Are All Mechanics
Scholarship Program
$1,500

A women-owned and operated initiative since 2003, We are All Mechanics has been teaching bicycle maintenance courses to women in the Madison-area community for 10 years. The grant from the League will enable us to offer scholarships to women who would otherwise not be able to participate in our Basic Bicycle Maintenance Course,” says Ali Dwyer, a co-founder of WAAM. “Participants in our Basic Course report that they are excited to share what they know with others, and they report riding more often, for more reasons, and with more confidence after taking our course.Our successful program, and our original materials will serve as a model for other programs and bicycle educators.” Learn more about We Are All Mechanics.

 

Marin County Bicycle Coalition
Women on Wheels in Spanish
$2,500 
(Special Smart Cycling grant)
Marin County Bicycle Coalition’s Women on Wheels was developed in 2011 to provide classes for women to ride together and provide other shared information. “The classes are designed to help women gain the confidence and skills they need to ride a bicycle for errands, to get their children to school or for recreation,” says MCBC’s Wendi Kallins. “With this grant, we’ll be able to offer these classes in the low income, predominantly Hispanic neighborhood of the Canal area of San Rafael – and make the curriculum for Spanish-speaking women available to other communities around the country.” Learn more about Women On Wheels.

 

Women Bike with the Bike League

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Some killer information from the Bike League’s program Women Bike

May is National Bike Month, and we want to make sure you have all the tools and inspiration you need to get women riding in your community! In this special edition of the Women Bike E-news, we’re keeping it short — so you can get out and ride, of course!

To help showcase the power of women on bikes this May, we invite you to take three steps to make this the best Bike Month ever:

  1. Ride with CycloFemme
  2. Register for the National Bike Challenge
  3. Download Bike Month resources to get more women rolling in your community

Learn more about Women Bike

WABA’s Women & Bicycles Program

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WABA (Washington Area Bicycle Association) is putting together an education and outreach program to get more women on bikes! While the program is still in the infancy it seems they have obtainable goals and mission to begin with. I’m excited to follow along with what WABA is doing and how these efforts can be duplicated elsewhere.

From WABA….

Why is getting more women on bikes a critical cause?

  • In 2012, women represented just 22.7 percent of cyclists on the road in D.C. According to DDOT, that’s a slight drop since 2011.
  • In Women on Wheels, April Streeter writes, “New bike commuters are overwhelmingly male. Data reviewed by researchers John Pucher and Ralph Buehler show that almost all of the recent growth in cycling in the united states recently can be attributed to men between 25 and 64 years old. Pucher and Buehler found that cycling rates are just holding steady for women, and have fallen sharply for children.”
  • Our women’s bicycling forum identified three top barriers for getting women on bikes: safety (fear, safety concerns, inexperience/confidence, harassment), logistics (facilities, time commitment, weather, gear, money), and perception (misconceptions, double standards, and professionalism).
  • We aren’t the only group at work! Through Women Bike, the League of American Bicyclists is working at a National level to encourage women to facilitate solutions on the local level.

How is WABA going to fix these problems through the Women & Bicycles program?

  • Ten “Roll Models” will be selected to mentor women in their friend, family, church, and work groups
  • Roll Models and mentees will be invited to a series of bike meetups, group rides, and workshops that will mix practical advice and conversation about how to incorporate cycling into one’s lifestyle with socializing and low-key hanging out.
  • Non-participants will be kept abreast of the program, so they’ll learn more about the issues facing women on bikes and be inclined to encourage their friends and family to bike, regardless of gender.

We don’t want to sit around and talk about what’s discouraging women from biking, so we’ve created a program centered on peer-to-peer encouragement, information, and experience through events.

Want to learn more? Visit WABA.org

National Women’s Bicycling Forum: March 4th

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On March 4th, 2013, timing around the National Bike Summit, the League of American Bicyclists are hosting the second annual National Women’s Bicycling Forum. I asked Carolyn, Director of Communications at the League of American Bicyclists, some follow up questions to learn more about what the League has planned for this Forum!

About the National Women’s Bicycling Forum

Join hundreds of fellow advocates and enthusiasts who are working to engage more women in bicycling at our next Women Bike event! Register now for the second annual National Women’s Bicycling Forum on March 4, 2013 in Washington, D.C.!

With a theme of “Women Mean Business,” this all-day event will showcase women leaders and entrepreneurs in the bicycle industry and highlight the economic impact and rising influence of women in the bicycle movement. (The Forum will end before the start of the National Bike Summit.)

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

With an opening keynote address from Georgena Terry, break-out sessions, lunch plenary, networking and so much more, the Women’s Forum will be an opportunity to learn, connect and network with advocates and leaders from across the country who are working to close the gender gap in American bicycling.

Both women AND men are encouraged to attend!

A Recap of the First National Women’s Bicycling Forum

Carolyn: The first National Women’s Bicycling Forum was really a toe in the water — it was a first attempt to bring the discussion about gender to the forefront and gauge the interest and trajectory of where that conversation could take us at the national level.

First, we tried to pour a number of different perspectives into a two-hour panel. With incredible speakers like Elysa Walk (GM of Giant Bicycle USA), Marla Streb (former world mountain bike champion) and Veronica Davis (founder of Black Women Bike DC) some incredible insight floated to the top — but it was crystal clear that tackling “women in bicycling” is NOT a single conversation. It’s an ocean of content!

Secondly, the response was a tidal wave. We packed the room with more than 300 people, all of whom were just buzzing with excitement and ideas and energy to keep the conversation going. So the take-away was simple: A two-hour forum is just the first drop in a really big bucket. In September, we expanded to a full-day event with more sessions with more specific content, like family biking and marketing to women. In 2013, we’re expanding and sustaining that effort with a full-time program, so we can compile and create new resources, share stories and work on targeted strategies to increase the number of women riding, in between these killer events.

What are the Main Reasons the League is Putting Energy into this Forum?

Carolyn: The Women Bike initiative is really part of a more big-picture effort by the League to change the face of bicycling — or better represent and include the voices of the many diverse communities and people who ride. Clearly, since we’re 50 percent of the population, we need to engage more women if we want to mainstream / normalize bicycling as a means of transportation (like we see in European countries) and recreation, too. And it’s not just about equity in numbers — our voices our powerful. Women are role models for the next generation, decision makers for their households, persuasive political constituencies and ingenious entrepreneurs. Bringing more women into all aspects of the bicycle movement, from lobbying on Capitol Hill to designing product at major bicycle manufactures, is in everyone’s best interests.

What is the Second Annual Forum Focused On?

Carolyn: The second annual National Women’s Bicycling Forum on March 4 in Washington, D.C. With a theme of “Women Mean Business,” we’re focusing on how the industry and retailers are working to close the gender gap and highlighting efforts that are changing the culture of cycling in new and innovative ways.

The speaker line-up is off the chain: Georgena Terry, Jacquie Phelan, leaders Red Bike & Green, reps from industry leaders like Specialized, Giant and ASI; editors from Bicycle Times and Momentum; the founder of Cyclofemme; the woman behind the nation’s largest bike share systems… and so many more. And we mean business when it comes to making this event accessible to all. Bring your kids: We’ll have free childcare. If the $85 registration fee is a barrier, apply for a scholarship.