Took a rad group of ladies out on an e-bike spin! Most of them had never ridden downtown. They were all smiles. #womxnbike #bikemonth #seabikes @limebike @CascadeBicycle @TranspoChoices pic.twitter.com/jC6uHaQikz
— kelsey mesher (@kmesh) May 23, 2018
Womxn are leading the modern urban cycling movement. When a group fighting a safer 35th Ave NE said single moms don’t bike, biking moms of Seattle took action and refocused the debate over that street’s design on people of all ages getting around their neighborhood safely. People are organizing more WTF (women/trans/femme) spaces and groups to invite more people to feel comfortable biking. Demographically, people who identify as women on the Census make up a huge percentage of Seattle’s new bike commuters.
Want to meet more womxn interested in bike advocacy? Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, Cascade Bicycle Club and the Urbanist are hosting a Womxn’s Bike Month Happy Hour Thursday evening. Details:
Womxns’ Downtown Seattle Happy Hour – there’s an Advocate in all of us!
When: Thursday, May 31, 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Where: Elephant & Castle (1415 Fifth Ave Seattle, WA 98101)
Join Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, Cascade Bicycle Club, and The Urbanist for a happy hour that’s just for womxn who like bicycles, or want to!
Hear from rad womxn leaders in bike advocacy and close out Bike Month in style.
The happy hour comes after a forum for women Cascade hosted in March. Kelsey Mesher (formerly with Cascade, now with Transportation Choices Coalition), Vicky Clarke (Cascade) and Keiko Budech (TCC) wrote about the forum and the upcoming happy hour at the Urbanist. Here’s an excerpt of some takeaways from the forum:
Back in March, Cascade Bicycle Club hosted a thought forum with several dozen women connected to the bike community to discuss these intangibles. The list that came forward ran the gamut:
- Geography or facilities available to different abilities
- Lack of access to good places to ride
- Lack of kid friendly rides
- Judgement based on what you wear, or how how you look on a bike
- Cat calls/ harassment
- Cars and people being rude
- Loading bike on a bus
- Getting passed based on how you look
- Not having the “right” gear
- Bike shops can be intimidating
- Lack of knowledge (such as, riding speeds, trends, lingo)
- Perceptions and realities of cost (gear, “nice stuff”)
- Vehicles in bike lanes
- Shock and disbelief by others that you rode a bike
The women also developed ideas about what makes biking inclusive:
- Being a part of bike culture and a community
- Bridging races
- Bridging ages (especially kids)
- Riding can overcome identity at times
- Seeing more women (leadership, advocacy, riding in public)
- All ages and abilities networks
- Being able to ride in regular clothes (and seeing others in regular clothes)
EDITOR’S NOTE: For the past five years, regular readers may have noticed disclosures on posts about Cascade noting that my spouse Kelli works for the organization. Well, you won’t see those anymore. She has moved on and now works at G&O Family Cyclery.