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#WomenBike Unites for National Forum
Right out of the gates, Women Bike has exceeded expectations.
Our very first two-hour Forum, in 2012, drew more than 200 people. In 2013, with the Summit theme Bicycling Means Business, we proved that Women Mean Business, expanding to a full day of programming and welcoming 350 participants.
This year, we once again grew our audience, defied a winter storm and lived up to the theme: United Spokes.
The 2014 National Women’s Bicycling Forum united advocates and industry; engineers and enthusiasts. Because the belief that more women on bicycles make our communities, our nation, our world better, the event united a 2013 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, and the president of one of the nation’s largest feminist organizations.
Because the Women Bike movement is NOT a one-way road but a complex street network, we heard from leaders who are mobilizing parents and engaging middle-school girls; initiatives that reach out specifically to African American and Latina populations and campaigns that empower women to exceed their perceived limitations and radically transform their lives thanks to the simple act of riding a bicycle.
But, perhaps even more important, we addressed the second part of the Summit theme: Moving Beyond Gridlock. Women Bike, at all levels, by whatever name, is by definition moving beyond the gridlock of false stereotypes and outdated perceptions of bicycling that have held us back. And with more than 420 registrants, we proved that we HAVE started to break that gridlock.
Women Bike is a conversation that, in two years, has gone from the margins to the main stage. And it’s opened to space to push even further, to address head-on the sometimes uncomfortable topics about who is and who is not represented in a movement that holds such promise and joy and opportunity for all.
So, whether you were here in D.C. or following along on social media, thank you for your energy, your engagement and your involvement in Women Bike and your efforts to create a Bicycle Friendly America, not just for half of the population, not just for the “strong and fearless,” not just for people who live in a certain part of town, but for everyone who wants to ride.
Stay tuned for more photos and recaps in coming days!