1 of 2
Photo courtesy of Washington Area Bicyclist Association
Washington Area Bicyclist Association WABA, Women & Bicycles,Women of the Washington Area on a bike ride
2 of 2
Courtesy of Washington Area Bicyclist Association, waba.org
Washington Area Bicyclist Association, Women and Bicycles logo
With the goal of narrowing the gender gap by getting more women in the saddle, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) is launching an innovative new program this spring called Women & Bicycles.
This interactive program will focus on peer-to-peer learning with bike-savvy women providing encouragement to women tentative of riding through social gatherings and skill sharing. For six months, ten “Roll Models” will mentor women in their friend, family, church, or work groups during a series of dinner parties, workshops, and group rides. The aim is to provide casual, comfortable environments where women can feel at ease while discovering how to incorporate cycling into their lives. The various get-togethers will address gear essentials, bike maintenance, and the misconceptions about both the dangers of cycling and the inability to be fashionable while riding. Road safety, etiquette, and use of public transit with bicycles will be practiced on group rides.
The spark for this fresh idea came from Jesse Cohn, WABA’s Women’s Outreach and Advocacy Intern. In December 2011, Cohn organized and moderated a women’s bicycling forum. Nine female panelists, ranging from advocate to businesswoman, and nearly 80 attendees put their heads together in a collective brainstorm about the obstacles and solutions to getting more women on bikes.
The launch party, open to participants and supporters alike, will take place on March 3, 2013, the night before the National Women’s Bicycling Forum and the National Bike Summit. With bike riding, food, beer, and wine promised, the event shares the theme of the program itself. “Our objectives with the launch are to bring together participants of the National Women's Cycling Forum as well WABA's local supporters, to continue conversations, sharing ideas, and getting to know one another in an informal setting,” said Nelle Pierson, the Outreach Programs Coordinator of WABA. To add to the fun, cycling advocate and author, Elly Blue, will be making a short presentation.
Women & Bicycles is set to run through October 2013, and will conclude with a celebration party. And with more women on bikes, what’s not to celebrate?
Learn more at waba.org