Category: National Bike Summit 2012

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.

We got a press release a few days ago about an upcoming event that should be very enlightening:

For Immediate Release

Contact: Carolyn Szczepanski, League of American Bicyclists
(202) 822-1333,

Women’s Summit to Tackle Gender Disparity in Bicycling

National event will gather leaders and galvanize action to get more women riding

Washington, D.C. – July 23, 2012 – Leah Missbach Day, co-founder of World Bicycle Relief, will keynote the first-ever National Women’s Bicycling Summit on September 13, 2012 in Long Beach, California.
Speaking about how the bicycle can inspire both personal and cultural revolutions, Day will set the stage for an event aimed at increasing the number of women who ride bikes and empowering female leadership at all levels of the bicycle movement.

In 2009, women accounted for just 24 percent of all U.S. bike trips. Hosted by the League of American Bicyclists and the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, the National Women’s Bicycling Summit will provide a unique opportunity to network, share best practices and develop action steps to close the gender gap in American bicycling.

“This event will be a powerful opportunity to learn from each other, build a network of female leaders from coast to coast, and work toward a bike future where women don’t account for just 24 percent of bike trips, but are equally represented on the streets and in the movement,” said Carolyn Szczepanski, communications director for the League of American Bicyclists.

The Summit will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center, immediately following the Pro Walk Pro Bike conference, from 2 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on September 13.

In addition to the keynote address, the Summit will feature six break-out sessions, including media, diversity and car-free families. Speakers will include:

Dotsie Bausch, Olympic track cyclist
Elly Blue, writer/speaker, Taking the Lane
Yolanda Davis-Overstreet, Ride in Living Color
Emily Finch, Car-free mother of six
Kristin Gavin, founder, Gearing Up
Mia Kohout, publisher, Momentum magazine
Allison Mannos, co-founder, Multicultural Communities for Mobility
Ovarian Psychos women’s bike brigade
Staff and youth leaders from Recycle-A-Bicycle
and many others…
The Women’s Summit will also include the “Cycle Chic: Past, Present & Future” urban bike fashion show, hosted by Women On Bikes SoCal and inspired by Mikael Colville-Andersen, founder of and the world-wide Cycle Chic movement. Colville-Andersen will be a special guest at show.

“We’re so delighted to pay homage to Mikael, and the influential place the bike holds right now as a design and fashion darling,” said Melissa Balmer, Editor/Initiative Director for Women On Bikes SoCal. “We hope both the Summit and the fashion show will inspire more women to become active participants in the crucial movement of bicycle advocacy.”

Tickets for the Summit (open to women and men) are $35 and registration is now live. Click here to sign up!

Scholarships are available for women with financial need: For more information, contact Carolyn Szczepanski at

Visit for additional details and updates. Learn about the Cycle Chic fashion show at

You may remember that our own Elizabeth Adamczyk attended this year’s National Bike Summit, and also attended the Women In Cycling Forum. It looks like the National Women’s Bicycling Summit will build on some of the topics discussed at that forum back in March.

A week after the the 2012 National Bike Summit gathered like-minded cyclists, especially women cyclists, for the first-ever National Women Cycling Forum, the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) is hosting a free webinar this afternoon – Wednesday, March 28, 2012 from 3-4:30 p.m. (Eastern time).

Per the website, this FREE webinar is entitled the Women Cycling webinar, Empowering Women to Bicycle for Transportation and is today (Click here to register):

Since APBP inaugurated the Women Cycling Project in 2010, thousands of women have participated in the project. This year’s webinar highlights programs and approaches that encourage women to bicycle on a more regular basis. Learn about Cycles for Change, the Minneapolis program that educates and empowers women of various cultures to use bicycles as transportation, helping to build a sustainable environment and community; and Birmingham’s Magic City Cycle Chix, whose motto is “Building courage, confidence, and community…two wheels at a time” and whose mission is to encourage women to mountain bike. Stay tuned as we announce more speakers.

The webinar will also include a brief update on these topics:

Outcomes of the National Women Cycling Forum
Plans for the interactive Women Cycling website
Update on transportation legislation in Congress

The webinar is hosted by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals and is sponsored by APBP and the Alliance for Biking & Walking.

Last Tuesday, I attended the first ever National Women Cycling Forum – a pre-Summit event intended to bring women together to discuss the disparity between men and women in cycling. The summary of the forum had announced that “Women still cycle at much lower rates than men in the United States — making up just 24 percent of bike trips in 2009. But that trend is shifting. We’re eager to learn from our peers, share our experiences and explore ideas to engage more women.”

Before I offer my own commentary, I’m curious about your thoughts – those of my fellow male and female bike commuters – on this topic. I wonder if your thoughts echo those of the ones I heard voiced in D.C. last week. Stay tuned, as I’ll be offering suggestions for action of what you can do to organize women in your own community.

Hope you can attend this afternoon’s webinar and hear more on this ever growing important topic.

What did I do for spring break? I went to Washington, D.C. for the National Bike Summit – of course!

Now that I’m back, I’m sorting through my many photos and notes from the very busy and informative days. I was also lucky enough to have been in D.C. during the peak blooming of the cherry blossoms – during the 100th Anniversary of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

I even was lucky enough to have borrowed a bike for the week from Miriam’s friend who lives in D.C.

After a long day on Capitol Hill – still smiling because I'm on a bike!

Stay tuned for more posts about the Women in Cycling Forum and other sessions I attended, as well as photos from the Summit and of the Congressional Bike Ride.

My morning commute to Capitol Hill looked like this:

My morning commute to Capitol Hill down Pennsylvania Avenue's center bike lanes.