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Photo by Sarah Bryant
Women-Only RidesWomen laugh, smile, and make new friends on a 2 Wheels & Heels Columbus Ladies Ride.
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Photo by Megan Leigh Bernard
Women-Only Rides sideStylish outfits and sassy heels at the first 2 Wheels and Heels in Columbus, Ohio.
How do you motivate women who may not have been on a bicycle since childhood to ride again? The growing trend of women-only rides hopes to provide this inspiration. These rides aim to show all types of women at all riding levels that the bicycle is a viable transportation option.
Women-only group rides provide an environment meant to empower and encourage, not intimidate. “Women-only rides make a welcoming and non-competitive space for newbie and veteran cyclists to come together,” said Hyedie Hashimoto, organizer of Cupcake Rides in Toronto, ON.
These rides have the power to inspire women to contribute to creating livable and vibrant communities and cities. “My favorite experience,” recalled Rebecca Serna, executive director of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, while discussing the local Heels on Wheels rides, “is seeing women who’ve never done a group ride, and often have never ridden on the street, experience city cycling for the first time.”
A growing focus of many women-only rides is to make them even more inclusive. “We’re seeing many more women on bikes,” said Serna.
“Now we need to make sure that women in communities of color feel welcomed and able to bring their talents, style, and interests to the cycling experience.”