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Cascade hires national bike leader and Women Bike founder as new Director

Photo from Cascade
Photo from Cascade

Cascade Bicycle Club’s new executive director comes from the national bike advocacy scene, where she was a VP at the League of American Bicyclists and a founder of the League’s Women Bike program.

Elizabeth Kiker will take the position held for years by Chuck Ayers, who retired from the club earlier this year. Originally from Houston and with some experience as spokesperson for the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, Kiker became a bike commuter essentially on a dare. She loved it and jumped into the bike advocacy world with a particular focused on reaching out to a broader range of people and working to make sure everybody feels safe and welcome on two wheels, according to Cascade.

The choice also means that essentially every large Seattle-based transportation cycling organization now has a woman at the helm (Barb Chamberlain at the Bicycle Alliance, Deb Salls at Bike Works, Holly Houser at Puget Sound Bike Share, Cathy Tuttle at Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, Sam Woods at SDOT’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Program, and now Kiker at Cascade). How cool is that?

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For more on Kiker, check out this Bicycle Story interview from last year and this post from the Cascade Blog:

“I’m excited to work with the board and staff at Cascade to build on its incredible success and history,” Kiker said. “Outstanding recreational rides and effective advocacy work will continue to be the hallmarks of the organization. We will build collaborations and take advantage of Cascade’s excellent staff, committed board, and dedicated membership to continue to transform the Pacific Northwest into one of the most bicycle-friendly regions in the country.”

Kiker is particularly committed to engaging “interested but concerned” cyclists in the region. While at the League of American Bicyclists, she helped create and raise funding for a strategic plan for the successful launch of the Women Bike program. She hopes to continue similar work at Cascade, with programs that encourage and increase the number of cyclists in the region.

She was critical in building relationships with businesses and foundations while at the League, and helped the organization grow during an important period in its history. Kiker has a strong network of advocates, colleagues and leaders throughout the bicycling world that will be strong assets as she takes the helm at Cascade.

“As bicycling continues to increase in popularity, Cascade’s work continues to increase in importance,” Kiker said. “Helping craft a far-reaching Seattle Bicycle Master Plan, ensuring that bicycle facilities are top-quality and region-wide, and increasing the popularity of cycling in King County and beyond are all on Cascade’s to-do list. I look forward to meeting with our members, partners, and supporters and uniting our community behind a vision for growth through collaboration.”

You can get a chance to see her in person Thursday at the BikePAC Party:


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12 responses to “Cascade hires national bike leader and Women Bike founder as new Director”

  1. Janine

    I wonder of this critical mass of female leadership will gradually eradicate the stereotype among many that bicycle riders are all pumped-up guys with corporate logos on their asses.

    1. Matthew

      What century do you live in?

    2. Southeasterner

      Funny just a few days ago I was passed by a group of females cyclists with Starbucks logos on their asses.

      I know it’s inconvenient for generalization loving Americans to accept the fact that people ride bikes for different reasons (rec, commuting, racing, BMX, off-road, trip to the grocery store etc…) and wear different types of clothes for those activities, but as far as I can tell most of the people I see riding in Seattle are wearing a helmet (85%), not wearing spandex (68%), and flying through red lights or jumping sidewalks.

      Maybe we should worry more about following the rules and helping enforce vehicle rules than worry about what we wear? I believe that will be what really helps to bring men, women, and children out on their bikes in whatever clothes they feel comfortable in.

      1. CascadianBlue

        Accuses Americans of generalizing about cyclists’ clothing and reasons for riding
        Generalizes that all cyclists are reckless criminals
        (p.s. if you live in Seattle, riding on the sidewalk is not illegal)

  2. SashaBikes

    Yes! I’ve been excited by the advocacy of the Women Bike program, and I’m excited to see how Kiker’s leadership will benefit our region in terms of making the streets safer and more welcoming for everyone. Though I’m not a member of Cascade, this news has me considering changing that. Hooray!

  3. Janine

    O dear, I didn’t think that spate of sarcasm would be found quite so offensive.

    1. biliruben

      It’s not you.

      I’m not sure what company our shaggy writer has been keeping, but he seems to have recently picked up a family of fleas which use any post as an excuse to rail against and denigrate those “scofflaw bicyclists.”

      Try and resist scratching.

  4. […] As the Seattle Bike Blog has noted, bicycle planning and advocacy is an area where women in leadership roles are very well […]

  5. […] As we reported last month, nearly every top leadership position in Seattle-based bike organizations is now held by a woman.* Since men still greatly outnumber women among bike commuters, programs and policies that make cycling a more inviting option to women is one way to dramatically grow the number of people cycling regularly in our city, region and state. […]

  6. […] recent weeks, several more staffers left or were let go as new Executive Director Elizabeth Kiker continues to dramatically reorganize the 15,000-member […]

  7. […] logo change comes amid a string of changes at the club since Elizabeth Kiker took control of the organization in […]

  8. […] took the reins of a very shaky Cascade three years ago following the publicly messy departure of longtime […]

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