Dispatches from the National Bike Summit Women’s Forum

After a weekend of wondering whether or not my plane would take off, I finally arrived in D.C. for the 2014 National Bike Summit. Being from the Midwest, I should have known a little snow wouldn’t stop my journey to our nation’s capital.  

I could probably fill a book with all of the information I gained, new trends I saw, ideas that were planted in my mind and reflections I have, but instead I am going to focus on one topic: women. 

How do we get more women riding?

The Cascade ladies and I spent all day Monday listening to and learning from amazing advocates that are changing way we see people who bike. I find it interesting that here at Cascade, our staff is comprised of a whopping 23 women. Yes, you heard me, 23 out of 39 of us are women. I also find it interesting that here in Seattle, nearly every top position in bicycling organizations is filled by a woman. But what I find most interesting is that neither of those situations are reflected out on the roads and trails. Out of every 39 people that I see riding, there are rarely 23 women. 

I spent a large chunk of time Monday talking with bicycling advocates from across the country who are working to change that.  

                      Cascade advocacy staffers Taldi and Emily enjoy a pedicab ride in D.C.

Here’s what they’re doing: 

They’re talking about menstruation and the best bicycling bras. They’re teaching one another that placing a clip on your skirt will help prevent public flashing. They’re spreading the news that going fast and climbing hills can also be really fun. They’re creating Girl Scouts curriculum and teaching the next generation. They’re leading bike trains to work, happy hours, markets, schools and ice cream shops. They’re walking up to sorority houses with their bikes and smiles. And most importantly, they’re always, always showing up. 

So here’s my call to the women of Seattle - let’s change this city! Let’s get more lady bike trains. Let’s communicate with and compliment one another. Let’s inspire a community that is filled with empowered, happy and healthy women. 

Check out more highlights of the summit and forum (and my StreetFilms debut!) here: