One of the key takeaways from last month’s National Women’s Bicycling Forum in Washington DC, presented by the League of American Bicyclists, was that women need more opportunities to ride together. That’s why the League is among the leaders in advocacy rallying around CycloFemme, a global celebration of women’s cycling on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12.
Building on the momentum of the inaugural event in 2012, which saw 164 rides in 14 countries, Cyclofemme, presented by Girl Bike Love, is back, and aiming to be bigger and better than ever this year.
“This one day has already become an incredible unifying force, creating solidarity among the many women’s initiatives in the U.S. and proving that, whether you’re a commuting mom in Idaho or a road racer in California, women are a powerful and growing force in the bicycle movement,” says Carolyn Szczepanski, communications director, Women Bike, League of American Bicyclists.
I participated last year in a CycloFemme social ride up the Westside Greenway and through Central Park, followed by brunch along the Hudson River. It was a wonderful way to get to know colleagues in a social context, and also to meet other women who enjoy cycling for transportation and recreation in NYC. This post will give you a sense of the spirit of the day and the stories of the women who were along for the ride.
The Cyclofemme premise is simple, yet powerful: Women around the world are invited to register a ride of any type and distance in any location, free, then invite friends, family and colleagues to join in. CycloFemme events range from social rides to mountain biking adventures to group participation in a road races. It’s all about gathering women, experienced cyclists and novices alike, to share the joys of cycling in whatever way feels right to them — and in so doing to acknowledge the rich history of women’s cycling and to promote a vibrant future of the movement.
Beyond the in-person experience, social media, notably the #cyclofemme hashtag on twitter and Instagram, in conjunction with the CycloFemme mark on temporary tattoos and T-shirts, helps unify participants all over the world. For 2013, the organizers have added new features to the website to further enhance the CycloFemme community experience, including a map of registered rides, a ride data base that’s searchable by state and a downloadable poster to help promote local events.
Register your own ride or join one of the 2013 CycloFemme rides already scheduled — including three so far in New York City — by clicking here: cyclofemme.com. “Manbassadors” are welcome, too.
Hope you’ll all join in for this year’s CycloFemme!