Category: National Bike Summit 2013

As a welcome addition to this year’s expanded Women’s Bicycling Forum, the League of American Bicyclists “put out a call for applications [to women leaders in the bike industry] and were absolutely inspired by the diverse array of vendors who responded and delighted to announce the lineup for our Women Bike Pop-up Shop.”

The idea to include vendors stemmed from the theme of this year’s Forum — Women Mean Business, and the vendors who participated in this pop-up shop served to showcase several of these female leaders in the bike industry.

Nearly 20 women-owned bike shops (and causes) decorated the lobby spaces of the National Women’s Bicycling Forum and provided a welcome opportunity for attendees to meet these talented vendors, learn more about their businesses and products, and snag some great deals on awesome bike accessories.

Forum attendees wander the women’s shops showcasing their unique bike accessories.

Cleverhood displayed their rain cape – with reflective accents woven into the fabric for evening visibility:

the reflective grid pattern in the light

And in normal light:

Cleverhood under normal lighting condition

Bird Industries offered stickers saying “Friends don’t let friends wear spandex”:

For keeping a skirt in place, Bird Industries sells a skirt garter, along with other bike accessories

More bike accessories from Bird Industries

Bling from GiveLoveCycle:

Jewelry bling from GLC

Elly Blue and Ellee Thalheimer each had their publications and stickers available:

Elly Blue alongside author Ellee Thalheimer

Ellee Thalheimer’s books

Elly Blue’s publications

Vespertine‘s eco-chic reflective gear:

Vespertine from NYC – chic reflective vest, jackets, belts and pins

Bicyclette‘s bike-inspired accessories for bike, self and home:

Bicyclette’s bike-inspired items

I was especially happy and proud to see Maria from PoCampo (from Chicago!) at this event:

Chicago-based PoCampo’s bike bags and purses

Bikie Girl Bloomers offered a clever way to bike in a skirt (with a skirt hitch- the “skitch”) and fun spandex for wearing under the skirt:

Bikie Girl Bloomers

Nuu-Muu dresses:

Nuu-Muu dresses make biking in sportswear fashionable and easy

Bandbox Bicycle Helmets with their own helmet covers:

This line of bike helmets offers its own bike covers, so you can cycle in your own “hat” style.

Vaya Bags use recycled canvas and recycled bicycle tubes to make bags, purses, belts, wallets, etc.:

Vaya Bags offer items from recycled canvas and bike tubes… I bought myself a cool belt.

In fact, I may be reviewing the Vaya Bags pannier hybrid bag :

Pannier Hybrid Bag complete with backpack shoulder straps, plus clips to attach to a rear bike rack – so you can carry it multiple ways.

Jacquie Phelan of the Women’s Mountain Bike and Tea Society (WOMBATS) also graced the pop-up show with her tunes:

As listed on the League of American Bicyclists’ site, the complete list of Women Bike Pop-up Shop vendors included:

Bandbox LLC
Bicyclette
Taliah Lempert, Bicycle Paintings
Bikie Girl Bloomers
Bird Industries
Elly Blue, Taking the Lane Media
Cleverhood
Cyclofemme
Georgena Terry, Heart of Steel bicycles
Georgia in Dublin
GiveLoveCycle
Iva Jean
Nutcase
Nuu-Muu
Po Campo
Recycle-A-Bicycle
Eleanor Thalheimer, Cycling Sojourner
Vaya Bags
Verspertine

It took all my restraint to not buy something from every vendor. I did buy myself a few items – that were easily packable in my suitcase – but I admired everything I saw and every woman I met. These women have the creativity to meet the needs of fellow female cyclists.

With all this talent in the bike industry, there truly is something for everyone and women need not feel that the bike world is male-dominated. Just demand that your local bike shop stocks these items.

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

This past March I ventured (for the second year) to Washington, D.C. for the National Bike Summit.

For those of you unable to attend the event “in-person” I hope that the insights of these next few posts about the National Bike Summit may inspire you to go in future years or to at least check out the presentations now available online for your viewing pleasure.

This year “more than 750 attendees from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian provinces participated in the 2013 National Bike Summit!”

Let’s start from the beginning…

Upon my arrival in D.C. (much chillier this year and not a cherry blossom in bloom!), I perked up at sight of the bright red Capital Bikeshare bikes.
capital bikeshare bikes

I, however, passed by the bikeshare bikes; instead I borrowed a bike from Miriam’s friend (who graciously lent me her bike “Cherry” last year and this year – thank you!).
Cherry

Once on bike, I was equipped to join an evening bike ride organized by the group Black Women Bike. Bundled up, we cycled past several D.C. monuments before circling back to a launch party for the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA)’s Women & Bicycles campaign – an outreach and education program geared to get more women on bike.

The event was full of bike love:

Plus books and such from Elly Blue and WABA:

My initial day in D.C. would set the pace for a jam-packed week of everything bike advocacy and meeting awesome bikey folks… especially meeting these other fine ladies named “Elizabeth”:

Ladies named Elizabeth