Women Bike Archives
In 2009, women accounted for just 24 percent of bicycle trips in the U.S. It’s time for that to change. That’s why the League launched Women Bike — the first national advocacy initiative to encourage, engage and elevate more women bicyclists in the United States.
The popularity of bicycling is skyrocketing nationwide and interest among women is rising, too. More than 80 percent of American women have a positive view of bicyclists and two-thirds think their community would be a better place to live if riding a bike were safer and more comfortable (Princeton Survey Research Associates national poll, September 2012). Still, women are underrepresented as riders and leaders in many aspects of the bicycle movement.
As the energy and interest to get more women on bike grows, we need to share our collective knowledge, build a network of female leaders and start working on targeted programs that put more women in the saddle and at the forefront of the movement. The purpose of Women Bike is to serve as a central source of information, inspiration and community.
Looking for facts and figures? Trying to find the latest research on women and bicycling? Need an idea to kickstart a campaign in your community? We're committed to being your go-to source of information and best practices in engaging and empowering more women to ride a bike — and rise in the movement.
Creating pathways for women of diverse backgrounds to embrace biking as an everyday activity that improves lives, and changes perspectives on how we move through our communities, our world and our lives.
To change the face of bicycling by getting more women on bikes and participating as riders, advocates and leaders to create strong communities and celebrate the joy of riding a bike.
- We believe in the power of women to create change.
- We believe that by uniting our efforts we are stronger.
- We believe that women should be equally represented in the industry, in advocacy and in retail.
- We believe biking should be accessible to women of all backgrounds.
- We believe the time is now.
Liz Jose, Seattle Bike Works
Liz is the founder of WE Bike NYC and currently the Adult Programs Manager at Bike Works, Seattle. Liz started teaching over 10 years ago, working both in and out of classroom settings. When she moved to New York City for graduate school, she decided to pick up work as a bicycle mechanic to balance out her studying. She soon began to see the connection between her studies in Sociology of Education and her job as a bicycle mechanic. Liz sees bicycles as a tool for personal and social transformation. WE Bike NYC grew out of this realization and offered an opportunity to build community in NYC inclusive of many people traditionally excluded from the cycling world. She created targeted programs working with Latina women and moms as part of WE Bike NYC. Liz moved to Seattle in mid-2014 and is currently building educational programs for adults and youth at Bike Works. She teaches everything from bike mechanics to bike touring and is thoroughly enjoying the trails, trees and adventures that Seattle has to offer both on and off the bike.
Dorothy Nichols, Shebeest
After completing her law degree at the University of Denver, Dorothy went to work for USA Cycling and has been in working in the cycling industry in some capacity ever since. Dorothy was brought on board to start Cycling’s original NORBA series, a seven race national series. She was in charge of running the series and managing grassroots MTB events nationwide. She also started the National MTB Patrol program in conjunction with the National Ski Patrol. Since her time at Cycling, she has been a UCI International Commisaire and USA Cycling National Commissaire, participating annually in domestic and international events. Her following career moved landed her at Yeti Cycles in Durango. She was brought in as the purchasing manager, but very quickly, found herself as the manager for Yeti’s professional race team. This assignment took her around the globe where she organized and supported Yeti’s race team effort in total. Dorothy worked for Todson, where she was the Director of Event Marketing. Her duties were not limited to events and relationship management but also handling the identities, social media and web pages for all of the brands under the Todson umbrella. Dorothy currently works for shebeest as the National Sales Manager. She lives with her husband, Brad, in Denver.
Nichole Noel, Black Women Bike DC
Nicole Preston, American Diabetes Association
Nicole is the Managing Director of Tour de Cure, a fundraising campaign with 90 cycling events nationwide that has grown from 26,000 riders to more than 62,000. Through the Tour de Cure, Nicole promotes cycling to new audiences as a means to improve health and reduce the incidence of diabetes. Nicole rides regularly, in various modes: at low speed with family on the paths around the Washington, D.C. area, at moderate speeds in various cycling events around the country and in high-speed pace lines on timed segments. Nicole is also on the League's Board of Directors.
Lori Richman, Quality Bicycle Products
With 30+ years of leadership and organization development experience, Lori serves as the Director of Organization Development for Quality Bicycle Products, helping QBP grow as an extraordinary business through vision, purpose and core values, clarity of expectations and direction, and effective internal communication. With QBP for over 13 years, Lori is a passionate life-learner and uses her own mistakes and human frailties as a springboard for personal and company growth. Lori has an MA in Org. Leadership, is a committed bike-commuter, and learns how to be a better person from her dogs and her son.
Leah Shahum, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition
Leah Shahum has served as Executive Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition since 2002. For four years prior, she was the SFBC's Program Director. Before coming to the SFBC, Leah worked as a journalist for a local newspaper and a national magazine. She graduated from Duke University in North Carolina with a degree in political science and a focus in women's studies. Leah most recently served on the Board of Directors of the SF Municipal Transportation Agency. She previously served for five years on the 19-member Board of Directors of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway, and Transportation District. She is also a San Francisco representative to the state Democratic Party.
Caroline Samponaro, Transportation Alternatives
Caroline Samponaro is the Senior Director of Campaigns & Organizing at Transportation Alternatives New York City's leading transportation advocacy organization, with a citywide network of tens of thousands of supporters committed to reclaiming New York City’s streets for people by ensuring that every New Yorker has safe space to walk and bike and access to public transportation. Caroline is one of the nation’s foremost advocates for urban bicycling and has spearheaded New York City’s rapid transformation into a bicycle-friendly city since 2006. Caroline has directed campaigns that address all areas of bicycling, from developing new neighborhood bike lane networks, encouraging growth in the number of daily bike commuters, to leading national roundtables of experts on public bike share systems. Caroline is frequently quoted in the New York Times, Bicycling Magazine and New York Magazine, and she is a sought-out speaker on urban bicycling culture, the growth of cycling among women and the history of bicycling in America. Caroline lives in Brooklyn and holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Columbia University.
Sarai Snyder, Girl Bike Love / Cyclofemme
Since her first mountain bike ride, Sarai has spent much of her time advocating for and working in the cycling industry. While running a bike shop she noticed the need to get more women riding bikes. She soon founded Girl Bike Love and created CycloFemme, a Global Women's Cycling Day. Sarai now rides and resides in the cycling mecca of Boulder, Colorado.
Elysa Walk, Giant Bicycles
Elysa Walk joined the bicycle industry in 2004 with Giant Bicycle, Inc. Prior to that, she worked in the software industry as an Operations Manager, running the operations of a fast growing telecommunications management software company for 10 years. Elysa took full responsibility for Giant USA as General Manager in 2007. Since that time, she has grown the company by forty percent, and has launched many ground-breaking initiatives, such as a women’s specific bicycle brand called Liv, and the “Link” annual Giant dealer convention. She is known for making Giant a great place to work and fostering a coveted employee culture. Elysa serves on the boards of Bikes Belong and the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association, which includes now serving on the Executive Board of People For Bikes as Treasurer. While a graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the University of Southern California and an MBA from Pepperdine University, Elysa is first and foremost a cyclist of all kinds. She can often be found riding roads, cross-country mountain trails, gravity parks, or just her local commute. She completed the Tour de Taiwan, a 600-mile ride around the island of Taiwan with the Giant executive team in 2011, and regularly participates in Giant-sponsored triathlons or charity rides. Elysa has a bicycle family, and is regularly riding with her husband and two teenage children.
Susi Wunsch, Velojoy.com
Susi Wunsch is founder of the New York City-based website velojoy.com, a growing online source of news, events, how to's and stylish gear for city cyclists and the "bike curious." The site is dedicated to attracting more people to riding bicycles by demystifying and celebrating the joys of two-wheeled transportation. Wunsch, who has a background in marketing and freelance writing, serves on the board of directors of the New York City advocacy organization Transportation Alternatives and supports a variety of pro-biking causes. She also contributes to Bicycling and Momentum magazines. Wunsch joyfully uses her bicycle, as well as Citi Bike share, for year-around transportation and is a weekend road cycling enthusiast.
Women Bike Resources
How to Host a Women's Bicycling Forum
Across the country, individual leaders and bicycling organizations are prioritizing getting more women on bikes — and many are starting the conversation with a gathering of new and long-time riders. To help make these events as successful as possible, we created this guide: How to Host a Women's Bicycling Forum (click to download).
Women on a Roll
A first-of-its-kind report from the Women Bike program, Women on a Roll compiles more than 100 original and trusted sources of data to showcase the growth and potential of female bicyclists in the United States. It also suggest five key focus areas — the 5 Cs — to increase women's ridership. Download the full report and read the press release.
Additional Women Bike resources
Through webinars, grants, magazine articles and special reports the Women Bike program is a growing hub of information about women and bicycling. Read more from our library...
New Report: Women on a Roll (August 6, 2013)
10 Myths about Women & Bicycling (August 8, 2013)
Women on a Roll to Better Health (August 12, 2013)
Recap: #WomenBike Twitter Chat (August 12, 2013)
Webcast Recording: "We need to sell the joy" (August 16, 2013)
Increased Comfort = More Women Riding (August 27, 2013)
Webinar Recap: Insight from top researchers, Jennifer Dill & Susan Handy (August 30, 2013)
Fewer Men, More Women Riding? (September 3, 2013)
Kids, Cargo and Cycling Convenience (September 4, 2013)
More Men, Fewer Women... Commuting? (September 10, 2013)
Women Spend Billions on Bikes (September 11, 2013)
5 Tips for the Bike Industry (September 17, 2013)
Confident Riders = More Women Bicycling (September 23, 2013)
Webcast Recap: 10 Tips for Engaging Women in Bike Education (September 27, 2013)
All Aboard the LA Bike Train! (September 30, 2013)
10 Myths Poster Available for Download (October 1, 2013)
Building Community Among Female Riders (October 8, 2013)
Community Profile: Women Bike Atlanta (October 9, 2013)
For Interbike 2013, Women Bike partnered with Leisure Trends Group on a factsheet and data campaign highlighting the theme: "Women Mean Business: Female riders spend millions — Will the bike industry benefit?"
Meet 14 innovators who are flush with new ideas about how bicycles can change the world -- Bicycling Magazine, Sept. 12, 2013
Female bicyclists trying to close the gap on men -- Washington Post, May 7, 2013
Coming Soon to a Bike Shop Near You: Lattés, Craft Beer—and Wedding Cake -- Wall Street Journal, Aug. 28, 2013
Fewer women than men ride bikes in Phila. -- Philadelphia Inquirer, Sept. 17, 2013
Women On A Roll When It Comes To Biking -- Women You Should Know, Sept. 12, 2013
How Bike-Share Programs Can Help Close the Biking Gender Gap -- GOOD, Sept. 2, 2013
Bike-Share Is Key to Closing the Cycling Gender Gap -- Atlantic Cities, Aug. 19, 2013
The National Push to Close the Cycling Gender Gap -- DC Streetsblog, Aug. 19, 2013
Lots of Women Use Hubway, and That’s a Good Sign -- Boston Globe, Aug. 19, 2013
Six lessons for Portland from the League's new 'Women Bike' report -- Bike Portland, Aug. 8, 2013
Participants in the 2013 and 2014 National Women's Bicycling Forum Pop-up Shop
- Cheryl Allen-Munley of Bandbox Helmets
- Elly Blue of Taking the Lane Media
- Karen Canady of Bikie Girl Bloomers
- Recycle-A-Bicycle's Cycle Craft jewelry
- Sarah Canner of Vespertine
- Susan Mocarski of Cleverhood
- Ashley Fullenwider of Nuu-Muu
- Debra Zusin of GiveLoveCycle
- Tia Meilinger of Vaya Bags
- Maria Boustead of Po Campo
- Lisa Brady of ElleBrady Design
- Robin Bylenga of Pedal Chic
- Abbie Durkee of My Alibi
- Karen Fienberg of Keep Making Circles
- Megan Hottman, the Cyclist-Lawyer
- Paula MacMann of Chainspirations
- Emily Monroe of Montrose Stitchery
- Delaney Pearson of Velo California
- Sara Petyk of Bike the Gap
- Marcia Price of Vector Strategy
- April Reinhard of Natril Gear
- Stephanie Routh of Hopscotch Town
- Amber Wason of RIIDE
- Stacy Wood of JetLegz
by Elly Blue
Women on Wheels
by April Streeter
On Bicycles: 50 Ways the New Bike Culture Can Change Your Life
by Amy Walker
Joyride: Pedaling Toward a Healthier Planet
by Mia Birk
Bicycle: Love your Bike
by Helen Pidd
Heels on Wheels: A Lady's Guide to Owning and Riding a Bike
by Katie Dailey
Every Woman's Guide to Cycling
by Selene Yeager
The Bicycle Book
by Bella Bathurst
Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way)
by Sue Macy
A Wheel Within a Wheel: A Woman's Quest for Freedom
by Frances Willard
City Cycling (Chapter 10: Women and Cycling)
John Pucher, Ralph Buehler (2012)
Infrastructure, programs, and policies to increase bicycling: An International review
John Pucher, Jennifer Dill, Susan Handy (2010)
Promoting transportation cycling for women: The role of bicycle infrastructure
Jan Garrard, Geoffrey Rose, Sing Kai Lo (2008)
Categorizing Cyclists: What Do We Know? Insights from Portland
Jennifer Dill (2012)
Bicycling for Transportation and Health: The Role of Infrastructure
Jennifer Dill (2008)
Capital Bikeshare Study: A Closer Look at Casual Users and Operations
Ralph Buehler et al. (2012)
Revolutions for women: Increasing women's participation in cycling for recreation and transport
S. Crawford, J. Garrard, N. Hakman (2006)
Promoting Cycling for Women
Jan Garrard, Natalie Hakman (2005)
Gender Preferences in Bicycling Behavior and Facility Preferences: Research on Women's Issues in Transportation
K. Krizek, P. Johnsonhttps://bikeleague.org/1. http://carbon.ucdenver.edu/~kkrizek/pdfs/Womenandcycling.pdf, N. Tilahun (2004)
Research on Women’s Issues in Transportation: Volume 1
Transportation Research Board (2004)
Past Webinars & Webcasts
From advocacy campaigns to business initiatives, there are so many exciting efforts to get more women riding. Women Bike webinars will share stories, showcase key leaders and highlight ideas and programs that can help you empower women in your community.
Women are critical to the future of the bike movement in America -- and essential to the viability of the bicycle business, too. And that's not just talk; we've got the numbers to back it up. The Gluskin Townley Group discussed new data and insights on the impact of female bicyclists from recent research reports, including The Metro Urban Cyclist and the 2014 Specialty Bicycle Retail Study.
Providing community and education, women's bike clubs are a powerful way to create those connections and empower more women to take that first pedal stroke and discover the many benefits of riding. On this webinar, we heard from WE Bike (Women's Empowerment) NYC, Black Women Bike DC and Girl Bike Love. Watch the recording or click here for the webinar Tip Sheet (slides and notes). (January 23, 2013)
Though underrepresented in many aspects of the bicycle movement, there's growing evidence that women hold the purse strings when it comes to the future success of the bike industry. In preparation for the Women Mean Business theme for the National Women's Bicycling Forum, we explored the results of the American Bicyclist Study with authors Elliot Gluskin and Jay Townley to better understand the tremendous economic impact of women on the current, and more importantly, the future of the bicycle movement. Click here for the presentation slides or watch the full recording. (February 27, 2013)
Research consistently shows that women shoulder more of the household responsibilities, including childcare and transportation. Whether running errands or shuttling kids, women often face additional considerations when it comes to getting around by bike. In this webinar, we'll explore how individual, advocacy and retailer leaders are addressing these unique but widespread considerations and helping to get more moms and families out riding. For this conversation we were joined by Megan Odett, founder of Kidical Mass DC and creator of the National Family Biking Survey; Kit Hodge, Deputy Director for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and the creator of the organization's "Family Biking Guide"; and Martina Fahrner, co-founder of Clever Cycles in Portland, Ore., which was among the first bike shops in the U.S. to carry bikes specifically geared toward family transportation needs. (April 11, 2013) Click here to watch the recording or download resources discussed on the webinar:
- Click here to download the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s Family Biking Guide — in English, Spanish or Chinese.
- Click here for for the presentation from Megan Odett, of Kidical Mass DC, including steps to hosting an ABCs of Family Biking event in your community
- Download the results from the National Family Biking Survey
- Click here for the presentation from Martina Fahrner, co-founder of Clever Cycles in Portland
What's the first step to encouraging more women to ride? Starting the conversation! In a growing number of communities, organizations are using Women's Forums to kick off the discussion — and start building campaigns. On this webinar, we explored successful models, strategies and take-home tips for effective women's panels with the organizers behind the Washington Area Bicyclist Association's Women & Bicycles Program and the Ohio Women's Bicycling Summit. (July 23, 2013)
As we continue to delve into our new "Women on a Roll" report, we were joined by a trio of women who have research expertise and personal experience related to the health benefits of bicycling. During the live Google Hangout, we talked the research and stats that prove bicycling is an immense tool for any woman to keep in shape, and also the personal stories of those whose lives have changed for the better because they got on a bike.
Comfort and convenience are two major factors in getting more women on bikes. In our latest Women Bike report, "Women on a Roll," we can see how important these two elements are to bridging the gender gap in bicycling. We took a closer look at "comfort" and "convenience," hosting a webinar with two expert researchers in the field: Jennifer Dill of Portland State University and Susan Handyof University of California, Davis. (Aug. 29, 2013)
From our "Women on a Roll" report, we've learned that confidence is a key factor to getting more women on bikes. In this webcast, we heard from four leading League Cycling Instructors who shared some tips on building women's confidence through inclusive education. Our four panelists included:
- Lesly Jones, Black Women Bike DC
- Jennifer Laurita, leading LCI coach
- Maria Sipin, Women on Bikes SoCal
- Claire Stoscheck, Cycles for Change
During the wide-ranging conversation, we discussed how to change perceptions and entice women to become bike educators and students, as well as best practices for the classroom. Watch the full 40-minute video or read the panelists top tips here.
Women control a majority of buying decisions in the U.S. and consistently show high interest and participation levels in cycling. Can bike manufacturers and retailers do more to serve this important market? In October, Leisure Trends Group and Women Bike combined forces for a compelling webinar on the important topic of women’s-specific bike business in the U.S. Tom Jones, Senior Retail Analyst at Leisure Trends, explored retail sales trends and probed the numbers to illuminate new opportunities for cycling manufacturers and retailers; and Carolyn Szczepanski, Director of Women Bike at the League of American Bicyclists, discussed trends in women’s participation in bicycling, remaining barriers, and key opportunities to attract more women and girls to take advantage of the many benefits of biking. Click here to watch the recording.
In 2013, the League was proud to support the Washington Area Bicyclist Association's innovative Women & Bicycles initiative. Over the course of a year, the organization created and implemented a full-scale, multi-faceted campaign to increase the number of women riding in the DC area. On this webinar, Nelle Pierson, the program creator and the organization's Outreach Manager, shared the details of the program, challenges they faced and a step-by-step toolkit to help you launch a women's bicycling initiative in your community.
To close the gender gap in bicycling, we need to remain focused on the next generation of female riders. With assistance from a Women Bike mini-grant, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia created a bicycling patch for the local Girl Scouts Council and, in this free webinar on August 6, 2014, creator Katie Monroe will share her tips and toolkit to engage Girl Scouts in your community. Watch the video here and download her advocacy toolkit here.