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On May 10, 2014, BikeWalkKC hosted their first ever Women’s Bike Summit, an event that brought together women of all ages and backgrounds to celebrate bikes and being active.
“Women are the key to bringing change across many parts of the community,” said Sarah Shipley, the co-founder of BikeWalk Kansas City, who on May 10, 2014, hosted their first ever Women’s Bike Summit. The event brought together women of all ages and backgrounds to celebrate bikes and being active.
From workshops on biking with children and how to carry stuff on your bike to talks about women-owned bike shops and learning about why more women aren’t biking, the 2014 Summit was a huge step forward in BikeWalkKC’s initiative to get more women and girls on bikes. By offering services like on-duty nannies, the Summit encouraged mothers to attend that may not have been able to come otherwise.
Shipley shared that the turn out was excellent and full panels of speakers were eager to share their bike enthusiasm. Denesha Snell, the president of Sisters That Are Riding Strong (STARS), used her experience in public health, social work, and building community relationships to share with Summit attendees how to build their own bike group. Maggie Priesmeyer, the education and outreach programer for BikeWalkKC, spoke of her experience in a bicycle crash and outlined what to do in a crash with the help from attorney, Vance Preman. Theresa Van Ackeren, owner of Family Bicycles in Waldo, KS, spoke about how bike shops are changing the bike shopping experience so that it is more welcoming to women.
Plans are in motion for 2015’s Kansas City Women’s Bike Summit, which is scheduled to take place on the Saturday leading to Bike Week. The momentum of BikeWalkKC’s initiative has begun and, as Shipley explained, “if we can get more women on bikes, we can get families riding together, and with a bit of support and encouragement we can change the future, just by going on a ride.”