Women Bike

The first-ever National Women’s Bicycling Summit is wrapping up today in Long Beach, CA.

Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to this year’s Summit, but I cheer the movement and look forward to the outcome.

This first-ever event is co-hosted by the League of American Bicyclists and the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, in partnership with Women on Bikes SoCal and Pro Walk Pro Bike.

The Summit will provide a unique opportunity to network, share best practices and develop action steps to get more women in your community out riding. It will provide the space for us to create a bike future where women of all backgrounds are equally represented on the streets and in the movement!

And now…on the heels of this Women’s Cycling Summit, the League of American Bicyclists announces the formation of a new initiative “geared” at women: Women Bike.

For Immediate Release

Carolyn Szczepanski
Communications Director
League of American Bicyclists
(202) 355-3048

Women Bike Aims For Equity in the Bicycle Movement
League launches new program to encourage, engage and elevate women bicyclists
Long Beach, Calif. – September 13, 2012 – Twenty-four percent is not good enough.

In 2009, women took just 24 percent 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. It’s time to encourage, engage and elevate more women bicyclists in the United States.

Today, at the National Women’s Bicycling Summit, the League of American Bicyclists launched a new initiative: Women Bike.

Women Bike will 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.

“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. 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 like 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.

Our vision: By 2025, American women will ride their bikes at the same rates as American men for transportation, recreation and fitness.

To provide insight and direction Women Bike will be guided by the input of bicyclists around the country 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,

Women and men in all aspects of the bicycle movement are invited to get involved. Learn more and sign up for e-mail updates at

As a woman who bikes and who is already involved with bike advocacy and education, I welcome the support of the bike community. I know plenty of women currently making wonderful contributions to the bike world and I look forward to seeing more female influences.



    This is totally anecdotal and unsupported by any decent study, but I want more women to engage in cycling for one simple reason: the women I see riding bikes are most (or at least more) often doing it RIGHT. All cyclists need more people doing it right if we are to gain any ground or respect or voice. Bring on the women!

  2. Graham

    Honestly, I just would like to see more women out doing something! If that something allows me to admire their bicycles, then I’m all for it.

    It seems to me that men (read: husbands) are much more likely to engage in activities that take them outside the house and are more OK with leaving their spouses to tend the children, dogs, or whatever. And I agree with Rantwick; women are a civilizing influence (more often than not) in public spaces and that is something definitely needed in most communities.

    I am a little bit curious what Women Bike feels that female cyclists need that male cyclists don’t. Maybe this is some form of latent chauvinism here, but don’t all cyclists need the same things?

  3. Elizabeth (Post author)

    I think that some women feel that the cycling is not geared to them. The way a man rides can be quite different from a female. Every cyclist has a different need, but I often meet women who want the support of more women doing an activity – cycling included. While it’s fun to ride with the boys, too, sometimes it’s nice to just ride with the girls. I think a lot of companies are catching on to the trend – female specific bikes for competition and around town, female clothing lines, female bike accessories, plus quite a few female cycling blogs, etc.

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