Stay Up to Date
Receive Bicycle Friendly America news delivered straight to your inbox every other week.
Women Bike Wednesday: CycloFemme Poised to Double Rides in 2013
Exactly one year ago, I blogged about a new, exciting event taking place during National Bike Month. The first annual CycloFemme event sprung from the vision of Sarai Snyder, a former bike shop owner and advocate who turned her passion for women's cycling into a popular blog: GirlBikeLove.
But she didn't stop there.
"Despite the website’s success as an online forum for news and reviews, I often felt we were missing something bigger — a deeper, richer connection for women who ride bikes," Snyder writes in the latest issue of the League's magazine (online soon!). "I couldn’t help but feel we needed the camaraderie of shared experiences to bring us all together. That desire for that shared experience evolved into CycloFemme — a single day that would unify our voices and showcase the diverse power of women who ride."
That single day was Mother's Day — May 13, 2012 — and the call to action was simple: Organize a women's ride or event in your community. “It doesn’t matter if you ride a mountain bike or a road bike, if you commute to work or ride to the store," Snyder says, "it’s about starting that conversation that we need to be working together.” The response was tremendous: Women across the globe planned 164 rides in 14 countries.
The day of CycloFemme 2012 Snyder's phone was buzzing at the break of dawn, the start of a tidal wave of social media updates and connections. "It started in Australia with seven rides spread across the continent," she recalls. "Next was Afghanistan, where a woman named Jerusa would ride with friends, later joined by her sister-in-law, riding in Pennsylvania. Soon, ladies in the UK bundled for the chill and threat of rain. For 24 hours, the rides and stories and pictures poured in, across international border, across all time zones — all in the name of CycloFemme, celebrating women in cycling."
"The beauty of the day was the diversity of riders who joined us. We became a tribe of friends old and new," she continues. "We rode as casual riders, road racers, coffee sippers, beer drinkers, cake eaters, gritty mountain bikers, mothers, daughters, fathers, sons and professional athletes. We saw beautiful images of women on bikes stream onto social media, with Instagram and twitter feeds populating the CycloFemme site — and immediately felt an amazing camaraderie with strangers. With images of women showing off their CycloFemme tattoos on biceps and calves, we saw women willing to commit, at least for a day, to be part of something bigger."
And you better believe this year is going to be even bigger than last. When I caught up with Snyder on April 24, 2012, approximately 80 rides had been organized and registered on the site. This year on the same day? Nearly double that many have been organized...
There's still plenty of time of get involved — and Snyder has mapped out the five steps to planning a ride and provided all the resources you need to bring CycloFemme to your community, including this great poster:
So why does this one day, this one ride, hold so much power? Why is it important that "We Ride Together"?
"For me, watching the movement grow has been both inspirational and empowering," Snyder says. "I’m continually humbled by the courageous stories of women riding bikes in Afghanistan, Ghana, and Ethiopia. I’m constantly energized by women who are not just riding bikes themselves but actively working to enable others to ride with them. As we approach the second annual celebration of women in cycling, CycloFemme has become more than a ride; it’s a movement, a feeling, a spirit, a tie that binds and reminds, that whenever we ride, we ride together."
Find a ride in your area or register an event in our community here. And tell us where you'll be riding in the comments!
(CycloFemme design by Language Department)