At last week’s National Women’s Bicycling Summit in Long Beach, California, the League of American Bicyclists launched a new initiative: Women Bike.
Women Bike aims to empower more women to bicycle and become engaged in the diverse leadership opportunities of the bicycle movement – as advocates, engineers, retailers, manufacturers and policy makers – through networking, knowledge sharing, resources and inspiration.
The Women Bike initiative was formed to rebalance the role of women in cycling. The group notes that, in 2009, women took just 24% of bicycle trips in the United States – and it’s easy to see why. In communities across the nation, women are underrepresented in all aspects of the bicycle movement – from retail to politics, from advocacy to engineering.
The group’s vision is: ‘By 2025, American women will ride their bikes at the same rates as American men for transportation, recreation and fitness.’
“Equity matters — in bicycling as everywhere,” said Elizabeth Kiker, Executive Vice President of the League of American Bicyclists. “The League’s Women Bike program will work to ensure that the conversation of how to transform America for cycling includes women.”
“After 20 years of being involved in bicycling and watching how women integrate bicycling into their lives, it is a fabulous time to see the emergence of Women Bike,” said Gail Spann, League board member. “The timing couldn’t be more right!”
Evident from the 250 attendees at the Women’s Summit, the energy and momentum around women bicycling is growing nationwide across the US. To support and accelerate that rise, advocates need the opportunity to share collective knowledge, build a network of female leaders and advance targeted programs that put more women in the saddle – and at the forefront of the movement:
- Women Bike will bring together women cyclists at key meetings, such as the National Bike Summit and Interbike
- Women Bike will encourage, educate and demonstrate how women can take leadership roles in bicycle advocacy
- Women Bike will help women become bicycle educators and thought leaders in their communities
To provide insight and direction Women Bike will be guided by the input of bicyclists around the US and an advisory board of women leaders in bicycle advocacy, media, manufacturing and engineering, including:
- Pasqualina Azzarello, Recycle-A-Bicycle
- Melissa Balmer, Women on Bikes SoCal
- Elly Blue, Taking the Lane
- Veronica Davis, Black Women Bike DC
- Alexis Lantz, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
- Katie Mulvey, Jamis Bicycles
- Fionnuala Quinn, Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals
- Tiara Ranney, Trek Women
- Caroline Samponaro, Transportation Alternatives
- Gail Spann, League of American Bicyclists
- Elysa Walk, Giant Bicycle
- Corinne Winter, League of American Bicyclists, Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition
- Susi Wunsch, Velojoy.com
Women and men in all aspects of the bicycle movement are invited to get involved.