(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)
The gender gap in bicycling will get its first national stage when the 2012 National Bike Summit begins in Washington DC next month. The Alliance of Walking and Biking and the Association for Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals have announced the inaugural National Women Cycling Forum, a free event to raise awareness of the gap and figure out how to close it.
The event will be held on March 20th, in conjunction with the summit. Keynote speaker will Sue Macy, author of Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way) (2011, National Geographic Childrens Books).
Here’s more from an event press release:
Women still cycle at much lower rates than men in the United States — making up just 24 percent of bike trips in 2009. But that trend is shifting. This Forum will be the first national gathering specifically dedicated to raising awareness about and discussing how to engage more women in bicycling.
“This critical topic and rising energy is gathering momentum across the country as more women of all backgrounds are starting to ride or getting more involved in the movement,” said Carolyn Szczepanski, Communications Coordinator for the Alliance for Biking & Walking. “We’re eager to start a continuing conversation aimed at increasing the number of women who bicycle for transportation and recreation.”
In addition to Sue Macy, other confirmed speakers include: Elysa Walk, General Manager, Giant Bicycles Inc.; Marla Streb, former World Mountain Bike Champion; Andrea Garland, Planner, Alta Planning + Design; Veronica Davis, Founder, Black Women Bike D.C.; Kimberly White, Youth Advocate, Recycle-A-Bicycle; Nelle Pierson, Events Coordinator, Washington Area Bicyclist Association.
On Wednesday evening following the event (3/21), there’s also a Women Cycling Social planned.
Stay tuned for coverage of these events. I’ll be at the Summit this year (thanks in large part to the generous support of Planet Bike!), and will share stories and photos from D.C. The National Bike Summit is March 20th – 22nd.