DC Bike Summit Update: It’s a Women Thing

For the third year, the 2014 National Bike Summit will feature a forum focusing on women and cycling. In just three years, the women’s forum has gone from a 2 hour session to a full day conference with 375 registrants, 32 speakers, 20 business leaders, 3 keynote addresses all gathering with the single unified goal of showcasing female leaders and getting more women on bikes.

Those of the Wisconsin crew that made it past D.C. airport closures and 6 inches of snow in a city where three inches is considered a blizzard,  learned from women marketing gurus, advocacy divas  and equity mavens how to best bring more women to the table and to the bike lanes.

From women specific bike-friendly fashion to new devices to carry kids on bikes to leadership development, women are no longer sitting in the stoker seat on tandems. The vibe at the conference was positive as people all over the country doing great things showcased how they are improving gender equity in their bike lanes, on trails and in bike shops. Wisconsin can be proud of our local efforts with leaders like the Bella Donnas, We Are All Mechanics and even a new series of female only Savvy City Cycling Classes in the Milwaukee Rec Program.

The country has many different local versions of the Bellas, Magic City Cycle Chix, and Velo Vixens, etc., who are raising the profile of women cycling. Are you one?  What can you do to help get your female friends to ride? There are tons of examples out there that you can copy or make your own. Want to organize a Wine, Wenches, and Wrenches night at a local shop? Or a bike class ‘ tupperware’ party in your home?   Whats your idea to make biking the new running, where women out number men?

 

About Jessica Binder, Program and Policy Director

The second staff member hired for the Milwaukee office 10 years ago, Jessica created and runs Bike Fed’s statewide Safe Routes to School Programs, Bike Camps, and adult bicyclist and motorist education programs. Jessica lives in the Riverwest neighborhood with her husband Christian and son Everett.

2 thoughts on “DC Bike Summit Update: It’s a Women Thing

  1. Milwaukee Kidical Mass?? Not mom only of course, but one way to support women who ride or increase biking families.

  2. Thanks for highlighting the National Women’s Bike Summit.

    From following it on Twitter, it seems that yesterday was not only about gender equity, but also about incorporating racial equity, socioeconomic equity, and equity for other underrepresented groups into the efforts for getting more people to bike more often.

    Adonia Lugo, the Equity Initiative Manager for the League of Amercan Bicyclists and one of yesterday’s presenters, has provided compelling arguments that these equity efforts are not ‘add-ons’ to bicycle advocacy, but must be fundamental to such efforts.

    Bicycle advocates must embrace this viewpoint if any meaningful sustained change in how people get from A to B is to take place.

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