Women-Owned Bicycle Friendly Businesses
Women-owned businesses that recognize and promote the benefits of bicycling are a force to be reckoned with as they are not only breaking down barriers in entrepreneurship but are building more opportunities to make the bicycle movement inclusive of all riders. Here are 10 examples of women-owned businesses that also hold a Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) title. You can find all Bicycle Friendly Businesses on our BFA map.
Bloomington Cycle and Fitness (Platinum)
Caryn Davis, also a League Cycling Instructor, co-owns this bicycle shop in Bloomington, Illinois. Along with selling everything from gravel bikes to electric bikes, the bicycle shop hosts community rides and workshops, including women-only rides and bicycle maintenance clinics for Spokeswomen, a local bicycle club. Bloomington Cycle and Fitness moved up from a Gold-level BFB to a Platinum-level BFB in the Spring of 2018.
“We were proud to be awarded a Gold BFB award from LAB from 2014-2018, but when we moved to a new location, we put our budget toward moving to a location that was as bicycle-friendly and accessible as possible, and built out our new space with even more amenities (showers to encourage commuting and rides, proximity to bike trails and bike lanes and centrally located in our community).”
This women-only bike tour company in Rochester, New York, is owned by Jackie Marchand, president of the company and an avid adventure cyclist. Jackie and the WomanTours team design bike trips for women of all ages, abilities and interests. WomanTours received a Gold-level BFB award as a new applicant in the Spring 2020 round of awards.
“We regularly hear stories of how cycling has improved women’s lives and made them feel more empowered. We never turn down a participant based on capabilities and attempt to accommodate women with physical challenges with tricycles or tandem riding for those with visual impairments.”
Advertisement for FTW-only ride
Bike Fun (Gold)
League Cycling Instructor KJ Garner makes inclusive bike education her business with Bike Fun, a nonprofit in Madison, Tennessee, that offers clinics, rides and workshops for riders of all ages and experience levels, but especially for beginning and returning FTW (femme, trans, and women) riders. In our Fall 2021 round of awards, Bike Fun earned a Gold-level BFB award as a new applicant and we “sat down” with KJ to learn more about her work. Read the blog here.
“At a learn-to-ride follow-up, a 34-year-old student finally figured out how to use the pedals to push to start. As we were riding around a big parking lot, she kept shaking her head and saying, ‘This is amazing’. The impact learning to ride has on individuals is immeasurable, and it’s what keeps us going.”
Toole Design Group (Gold)
Toole Design, located in Silver Spring, Maryland, is a firm run by its founder and president Jennifer Toole who leads a team of planners, engineers, and landscape architects dedicated to designing and building spaces where active, multimodal transportation is possible. In the Fall of 2017, Toole Design renewed its Gold-level BFB award.
“Unlike many planning & engineering firms, we focus on creating a safe, comfortable user experience for bicyclists. As a responsible corporate citizen, we’ve spent both funds and community service hours supporting local organizations in building bikeways.”
Mountain Bike Specialists (Silver)
Mountain Bike Specialists, located in Durango, Colorado, and owned by Patti Zink, goes above and beyond helping customers get on bikes and incentivizes employees to bike to work with a bike wash station, social rides, employee discounts on gear, bike tune-ups and accessories and ample secure bike parking. Mountain Bike Specialists renewed its Silver-level BFB award in the Spring of 2018.
“We will ride with our customers who are new to cycling or just want a little one-on-one training. Our sales associates want them to enjoy cycling. That is all that matters!”
Enjoying a DC bike ride back in July 2020.
U Create Macon (Silver)
Charise Stephens runs this makerspace for youth based in Macon, Georgia. As the first and only official youth affiliate of the Major Taylor Association in the world, a Trips for Kids chapter and a mountain bike team, U Create Macon places an emphasis on youth-guided programming, including youth bike rodeos, bike history tours, earn a bike and bike giveaways. In the Summer of 2020, the organization applied to the BFB program for the first time and earned a Silver-level award.
“Youth biking has transformed my community so we have seen the power of the possible firsthand. Getting more kids on bikes in all communities is possible and a goal that all of us working together can achieve.”
If you’d like to learn more about building a space in your community for bikes, Charise will be presenting at the #BikeSummit22 session Bike Advocacy Through Community Connections. Learn how you can join at bikeleague.org/summit.
Heaven Sent Creations (Bronze)
Heaven Sent Creations is a gift shop owned by Aracely G. Perez and located in Brownsville, Texas. It promotes bicycling to guests and employees by offering external bike courses through a partnership with a local bicycle co-op, in addition to providing in-kind donations to the City of Brownsville Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC). The shop earned its Bronze-level BFB award as a new applicant in our Summer 2017 round of awards.
“While Heaven Sent Creations does not offer any bicycle maintenance or repair classes, we refer employees and guests to the Brownsville Bike Barn, a local bike co-op space that offers an earn-a-bike program and teaches interested parties about bike maintenance. In addition, we have brochures about the program on display in the shop.”
Rendezvous Brewing (Bronze)
Owned by Sue Toth, Rendezvous Brewing in Hackensack, Minnesota, welcomes those who visit by bike by offering rest areas, free water bottle refills (just water!) and maps to local bike infrastructure and nearby trails. As a new applicant, Rendezvous Brewing was recognized as a Bronze-level BFB in our Summer 2021 round of awards and noted plans to add more secure bike parking and outdoor space for cyclists to enjoy in the future.
“Many of our guests ride in on bikes, as we are across the street from the Paul Bunyan Trail. In fact, 40-50% of our business in the summer month is cyclists and we treat them well!”
Yoga in the Park participants with their bikes.
Lucky Cat Yoga and Wellness (Bronze)
This yoga and wellness center, located in Tampa, Florida, owned and co-founded by the aptly-named Erin Wheeler, provides outdoor bike parking, changing rooms and storage lockers for those arriving by bike. Lucky Cat also partners with Tampa Downtown Partnership to regularly host “Yoga in the Park”, a day of free yoga sessions where guests are encouraged to get there by bike. Lucky Cat earned a Bronze-level BFB award after applying to the program for the first time in the Fall of 2019.
“Lucky Cat Yoga is highly regarded in the Heights community for its support of cycling, and for providing the bike rack at the studio. Gaining customers and customer loyalty is the most positive outcome of Lucky Cat’s bicycle-friendliness.”
The Shandro Group, Inc. (Bronze)
The Shandro Group, Inc., owned by Lori Shandro Outen, is a health insurance agency in Boise, Idaho. Its efforts to encourage bicycling to work include participating in commuter challenges and rides during Bike to Work Week and offering two loaner bicycles, which they encourage employees who may have driven to work to use for errands or to commute to appointments. In the Summer of 2017, The Shandra Group, Inc. earned a Bronze-level BFB award as a new applicant.
“We are the only insurance agency in town that promotes bicycling and has a location that is welcoming and accessible to bikes.”
Did you know that the League offers a special discount for women-owned businesses to apply to the Bicycle Friendly Business program? To receive 25% off the BFB application fee, enter the discount code BFB_WOB25 on the payment screen after your application is finalized, “in cart” and ready to submit!
If you would like to see your business earn the League’s Bicycle Friendly Business designation, apply today at apply.bikeleague.org or learn more at bikeleague.org/business. The deadline to apply in our Summer round of applications is June 15, 2022.