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My first full day in D.C. in early March (following an evening bike ride and Women & Bicycles party) ushered in the 2nd annual National Women’s Bicycling Forum held just before the National Bike Summit. The National Women’s Bicycling Forum brought more than 350 attendees rallying around the theme “Women Mean Business”.

As summarized on the League of American Bicyclist’s site

“this all-day event showcased women leaders and entrepreneurs in the bicycle industry and highlighted the economic impact and rising influence of women in the bicycle movement.

The Forum included keynote addresses from industry pioneer Georgena Terry, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth and NYC Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, as well as break-out sessions, a Women Bike Pop-up Shop and plenty of networking.”

Elizabeth with NYC Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan (JSK)

For the fun of it – following the keynote addresses – the New York Bike Dancers graced the luncheon audience with a lively performance:

A year ago, the first ever National Women Cycling Forum in 2012 was simply a 2-hour panel discussion the afternoon before the start of the National Bike Summit. For 2013, it has become a full-day of speakers and break-out sessions… overwhelming in such a good way. So many inspiring female leaders in the bike industry and who work in their communities shared their ideas for how to inspire more women to bike, and the day marked a celebration of the unique (and enhanced) perspective females give to cycling.

A breakout session panel. All sessions were full of attendees.

Add to that the pop-up shops featuring female vendors in the bike industry – each showcasing their wares with distinctive flare.

follow the Women Bike movement

In the spirit of the day – there was even an impromptu photo booth to express bike love:

accessories for the bike photo booth

[Note: this forum was not a repeat of the National Women's Bicycling Summit (which was held last September in Long Beach).]

The result of this Forum?
“As a take-away for Forum participants and folks around the country, the group created a hand-out with 11 tips to engage more women in your cycling events.”

Nationwide women’s events are already forming and growing, such as the Venus de Miles Ride and CycloFemme.

CycloFemme Pledge:

Take the CycloFemme Pledge

Here in Chicago, our very own grassroots Women Bike Chicago has already formed… and hosted its very first Women Bike Chicago Forum (more to come in a separate post). More fun events to engage women biking in Chicago are in the works… along with planning already underway for a bigger and better Women Bike Chicago Forum in 2014. I was privileged to bring back ideas and energy from D.C. to Chicago; I hope all the people who in attended this National Women’s Bicycling Forum returned to their respective communities with energy to inspire women and all cyclists where they live.

For all you females (and males) now inspired to get more women on bikes in your community – the League may be able to help fund your ideas. Find out more about applying for a mini-grant.

Next up… the Women Bike Pop-Up Shops