women

Portland’s network of bike clubs for women is thriving

by on September 6th, 2017 at 1:02 pm

The Bikin’ Betties of Portland.
(Photo: Bikin’ Betties on Facebook)

The community of people who love bicycling in Portland is always changing and evolving. As someone who watches over it everday, I’ve noticed a nice trend of late: A proliferation of riding clubs devoted specifically to women.

It’s a very encouraging sign and a testament to the depth and breadth of who’s riding bikes in Portland. Statistically speaking (as of 2014), women make up about one-third of Portland’s daily bike traffic citywide; but you wouldn’t know that if you could see my social media timelines and inbox. Just since the start of summer I’ve learned of several new groups. Add them to the existing foundation of clubs and initiatives aimed at women on bikes and you’ve got a connected network where nearly anyone can find a home for their biking passions.

If you’re looking for a supportive place to meet other riders, check out the info below. From bikepacking to business, there’s something for just about everyone.

I’ll share the new (to me, at least) groups first, followed by a list of the older ones…

Bikin’ Betties

Bikin’ Betties is a ladies-only bike ride on Monday nights. It’s a great way to meet fellow female cyclists, get a bit of a workout, learn awesome bike routes around our city, and become more skilled and confident on our bikes. Anyone who gender identifies as a woman or who is gender non-binary is welcome.

Find them on Facebook. You can also join them for a special, culinary-themed ride to the “Black Feast” dinner on September 10th.
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New ‘Friends on Bikes’ group wants to create a warm welcome for women of color

by on March 6th, 2017 at 11:20 am

Posts from the Friends of Bikes Instagram feed (top) and a motif from their website.

One reason Portland’s vaunted bike culture keeps growing and evolving is because new people arrive in town, look at the local cycling landscape, and feel like something’s missing. Then they set out to create it.

That’s the story of how Molly Sugar and Gritchelle Fallesgon started Friends on Bikes.
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Winding roads, wine and an all-women ride: Gal by Bike says Yes, Please

by on June 17th, 2016 at 7:24 am

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Maybe it was the wine?
(Photos: K.Laudermilk)

This post is by columnist Kate Laudermilk.

In April, Cycle Oregon’s Chris Knott e-mailed me asking if I would like to cover the first ever women’s only Cycle Oregon ride. At the time, he informed me that they had exceeded their original goal of 250 sign-ups and were at 620.

After visiting the ride’s website, I could tell why so many women were enticed. Wine tasting? All local catered lunch and rest stop snacks? Massage therapy and acupuncture? Yoga? Live music? Widmer beer? AND bike riding!? SOLD!

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Reform school: PSU will host a free ‘Summer Transportation Institute’ for girls

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on May 25th, 2016 at 3:29 pm

Sunday-Parkways-SE-2012-3

It’ll be an introduction to transportation careers.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

If you’re a female high schooler with a yen for understanding how cities work and how to help them evolve, Portland State Unviersity has a deal for you.

PSU’s Transportation Research and Education Center is offering its first-ever Summer Transportation Institute, a two-week course designed to introduce young women (rising into grades 9-12) to the possibilities of a career in shaping streets. It’ll be divided between (a) guest lectures from prominent women in Portland’s transportation world and (b) “field tours of Portland’s transportation infrastructure and public spaces.”

Here’s how the course description puts it:

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BTA’s new Women Bike program aims to link up Portlanders who ride

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on August 19th, 2015 at 9:49 am

Cyclofemme ride-25

The program will be
modeled on ones in DC and Philadelphia.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

With companies and groups for female bike users popping up across the Portland area, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance has launched a new program aiming to stitch together their social scenes.

From the women’s cyclocross course at Gladys Bikes to the women and trans wrench night at the Bike Farm to the mom-focused Andando en Bicicletas en Cully club to the Ride Like a Girl training program, lots of Portland-area bike lovers have been throwing themselves into making it easier and more fun for women to ride.

Thanks to a new grant from Metro, the BTA now has a half-time staffer to support those efforts and build other such networks of women who bike. The advocacy group’s first Women Bike commute clinic is tomorrow (8/20).

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Why Sunday Parkways organizers are reaching out to female volunteers

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on April 29th, 2015 at 9:42 am

Sunday Parkways Northeast 2011-44-53

A volunteer “Superhero” in action.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Sunday Parkways, the series of summertime open-streets festivals that starts next month, runs in large part thanks to volunteers. Today we noticed an interesting angle in a recruitment pitch for those volunteers.

The recruiter, Phil Barber of Axiom Events, called his appeal “a long-overdue first step toward trying to connect with wider circles of women interested in supporting Sunday Parkways.”

Here’s what Barber wrote in an email today to the Shift bike-fun email listserv, with emphasis added:

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New ad for women’s jeans raises the bar for marketing bike products

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on March 11th, 2015 at 4:14 pm

We shared the news in this week’s Monday Roundup that Levi’s has just launched some new fits, including a line for women, of their Commuter brand jeans. The jeans are designed for bike transportation with high-rise waists, skinny legs and slightly reflective seams.

And befitting a clothing line that’s built for everyday riding, the video they launched today bursts through a dozen dull stereotypes about both biking and about marketing women’s bike products.

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Comment of the Week: The challenge of speaking up as a woman who bikes

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on January 30th, 2015 at 3:58 pm

Wonk Night - Romp in the Comp Plan-3

Biking community leader Lisa Marie White, right,
leading an advocacy discussion at a BikePortland
Wonk Night in October.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Of all the conversations we’ve had on the site this week — there have been 1,100 comments on 27 posts — the biggest was about the line between journalism and community.

Many people who we respect disagreed with Jonathan’s decision to delete archived references in past stories to a man who, he’d decided, seemed to be using his perceived status to hurt other people.

The One of the most upvoted comments in the thread came from another reader and fellow community member who we respect a lot: Lisa Marie White, a prominent local biking advocate (most recently at Bike Walk Vote) and active community member. Here’s her take on Hart Noecker and, more importantly, on what Portland’s biking communities should learn from this conversation:

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New shop on Williams Ave, ‘Gladys Bikes’, caters to women

by on October 4th, 2013 at 10:35 am

Gladys Bikes bike shop-11

Leah Benson, owner of Gladys Bikes.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland has a new bike shop. But before you react with, “Really? Another one!?”, keep in mind that unlike any other shop in Portland, Gladys Bikes (Facebook) at 3808 N Williams caters specifically to women.

The shop is the work of 30-year old north Portland resident Leah Benson. I stopped by yesterday to check out the space and learn more about her.

A native of Wisconsin, Benson moved to Portland five years ago. She previously worked for Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc., a non-profit that provides education and advocacy for women going into non-traditional employment (mostly building and construction trades). Benson has also been an active volunteer with the Community Cycling Center.

While she’s ridden her bike her entire life (“I grew up in the middle of nowhere, so I had to ride my bike if I wanted to do anything,” she said) and started biking to work in her early 20s, it wasn’t until she moved to Portland that biking became a larger part of her life. “This is such an easy city to become immersed in bicycles,” she said, “it became not just something I did to get from point A to point B, but so much an integral part of my life.”
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Six lessons for Portland from the League’s new ‘Women Bike’ report

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on August 8th, 2013 at 9:19 am

woman on a bike

Common, but not quite common enough.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Even in Portland, people who really ought to know better (links to FB) still claim now and then that biking is a thing for young dudes.

Still, in a town where only 31 percent of people on bikes tend to be female (it’s about 25 percent nationally) we’ve got a long way to go until, as in Germany or the Netherlands, our biking population is evenly split by gender. Portland’s failure to change this ratio for 10 years can be discouraging to people who think everyone deserves to feel welcome on a bike.

That’s why there’s a lot to celebrate in a new report by the League of American Bicyclists that rounds up dozens of statistics about women and bikes. Culled from industry reports, political polls and academic studies, a few of the report’s figures are pretty surprising…

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