Women on Bikes

Portland’s network of bike clubs for women is thriving

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) 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.
[Read more…]

PBOT launches women’s cycling survey

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on June 13th, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Sexy Schwinns and Trektosterone Rides-13

Survey asks what women want.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has released a women’s cycling survey. The survey comes from PBOT’s Active Transportation Division and it aims to learn more about women’s current bike use and interest in cycling in general.

PBOT’s Women on Bikes program has been leading rides and creating resources for women since 2005. Currently, just 31 percent of Portland’s bike riders are women. According to the most recent City data, that number has not changed since 2003. Women are often singled out for promotion of cycling because it’s believed that they are an “indicator species” of a bike-friendly city.

A 2009 article in Scientific American put it this way:[Read more…]

Let’s Race Bikes! gets a strong start (Photos from launch party)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on December 13th, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Big crowd for Let’s Race Bikes! launch party.
(Photos by Will Wall)

Last month we shared a bit about Let’s Race Bikes!, a new coalition of local teams that want to encourage more women to suit up and race on the road. They had their big launch party on Saturday night and we heard from one of the organizers, Karey Miles, that it was a huge success.

Miles says over 250 people turned out for the party and there were a “whopping” 65 ladies who showed up the morning after for a group ride in the rain. The party was both a launch and a fundraiser to support women’s racing. Attendees snapped up raffle tickets in hopes of winning one of the many donated prizes.

The women behind Let’s Race Bikes! plan to host rides and clinics in the coming months as the 2013 road racing season is just around the corner. [Read more…]

Four takeaways from Pro Walk/Pro Bike and Women’s Cycling Summit (from someone who wasn’t there)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on September 18th, 2012 at 11:07 am

Elly Blue debuted a test for determining
whether bike ads are sexist. This one wouldn’t pass.

I didn’t make it to the big Pro Walk/Pro Bike advocacy conference and the National Women’s Bicycling Summit that were down in Long Beach last week; but I did follow it closely via Twitter and other outlets. From all the news and opinions I’ve read, four things stood out. I share them below in case you missed them too.

Mark Gorton’s calls for radical reform
Mark Gorton, the web entrepreneur and financier behind Limewire, Streetsblog, and Streetfilms, gave a keynote that brought the house down. Gorton has recently launched a global initiative dubbed “Rethinking the Automobile” and his speech certainly seemed to meet that goal. Channeling one of his inspirations, former Bogota Mayor Enrique Peñalosa, Gorton exclaimed, “Birds fly, fish swim, people walk,” and he added that making it impossible to walk in our cities is a “human rights violation.” Cities have become so auto-centric that Gorton believes, “We have crushed the ability of children to move about their own world.” To thwart the dominance and negative impacts of cars in cities, he suggested that, “We should not be building any new automobile infrastructure.” [Read more…]

Agenda set for first ever National Women’s Bicycling Summit

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on July 31st, 2012 at 9:53 am

In the latest sign that 2012 is shaping up as a big year for women on bikes, the League of American Bicyclists is gearing up for the first-ever National Women’s Bicycling Summit. The event (not to be confused with the National Women Cycling Forum held during the National Bike Summit back in March) is being billed as the “Women’s Summit to Tackle Gender Disparity in Bicycling” and it will be held in Long Beach, California on September 13th.

Here in Portland, we’ve taken a leading role in encouraging women to ride. The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has had a ‘Women on Bikes’ program for many years, many local shops have women’s only wrench nights, we’ve got a healthy women’s racing scene, and many prominent women in the bike advocacy sphere — like Alta Planning and Design President and author Mia Birk and League Board Member and Executive Director of the Community Cycling Center Alison Graves — call Portland home. [Read more…]

Women step up, speak up at inaugural CycloFemme ride

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on May 14th, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Cyclofemme ride-11

Janis McDonald pumps up the Cyclofemme
crowd prior to the ride.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

CycloFemme — a global ride to honor, celebrate, and empower women — rolled through Northeast Portland during Sunday Parkways yesterday. Women of all shapes, sizes, ages and ethnicities met at Woodlawn Park, attached blue balloons to their bikes, attached “Women on Wheels” sashes over their skirts and dresses, got a souvenir CycloFemme tattoo and listened to an inspiring welcome by City of Portland staffer Janis McDonald:

“We are here to honor the women of yesterday who fought for our equality; to celebrate the women of today who make bicycling more mainstream in Portland; and to empower the women of tomorrow to take our momentum and make bicycling accessible to every woman and girls.”

[Read more…]

Portland will join global ‘Cyclo Femme’ ride

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on March 27th, 2012 at 12:05 pm

The stars have aligned for Portland to take part in the global Cyclo Femme ride on May 13th. The ride was created by Girl Bike Love (a website and online community for women who ride) with the goal to, “create a unified voice for women in cycling, encouraging and empowering more riders.”
[Read more…]

MAMILs, ‘Biker Chicks’, and the rise of women on bikes

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on March 20th, 2012 at 8:20 pm

National Women Cycling Forum-12

The panel at today’s first-ever National Women Cycling Forum.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

[Read more…]

All signs point to a big year for women on bikes

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on March 8th, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Sexy Schwinns and Trektosterone Rides-13

Coming to a street near you.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

2012 is shaping up to be a big year for women on bikes.

Everywhere I turn I see signs of a growing recognition that there needs to be more women riding bikes in American cities and increasingly — both from the grassroots and on a national advocacy level — people are doing something about it. Given that women played a big role in cycling’s popularity in the late 1890s and early 1900s, this is a resurgence that is long overdue.[Read more…]

‘National Women Cycling Forum’ coming to Bike Summit

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on February 13th, 2012 at 10:15 am

Why don’t we see more of this?
(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).[Read more…]