Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Getting More Philly Women On Bikes (Part 3)

As we've been talking about this week, Philadelphia bicycling has a gender gap. Our bike counts find that only one out of every three bicycle commuters in Philly is a woman. We've discussed possible reasons for this, and briefly covered the conversation happening on a national level.

Now, what are we going to do about in Philly?
Susan, a Philly bicyclist in Headhouse Square, 2012
This spring, the Bicycle Coalition is launching a “Women Bike PHL” campaign, aimed at making riding a bicycle more fun and feasible for Philadelphia women of all ages and backgrounds.

This campaign will be centered around action:
  • Last weekend we held our first ever women's mountain bike clinic in the Wissahickon with the legendary Jacquie Phelan, sponsored by Breezer Bikes. (The event sold out like whoa). 
  • We'll be offering women-only Urban Riding Basics classes: at our office, at neighborhood bike shops, in offices, in English and in Spanish. Our first class is happening May and you can register for it already
  • Bicycling activist and feminist Elly Blue will visit Philadelphia during Bike Month -- May 19, venue TBD! 
  • Bike Rides! More casual, introductory bike rides, starting with a "Take Your Time" women's bike ride March 19th in partnership with Fairmount Bicycles. Stay tuned for a "Cyclofemme" Mother's Day Ride during Bike Month! 
  • We are collaborating with Girl Scouts in the region to increase their bicycle-oriented programming. 
  • Regular blog posts celebrating the wide variety of women bicyclists who are already out on the streets of Philadelphia, blazing the trail for others. Have a suggestion of a woman we should feature? Let us know! (

Victoria, Center City Philly, 2012
We are excited to begin this work, and we are eager for collaboration! Bicycling is, after all, more fun with friends! We are looking for leaders and collaborators to make this campaign a success. Do you have a venue for an Urban Riding Basics class? Are you part of a women's group that wants to partner with us? Do you work for a business that is interested in sponsoring this type of initiative? Do you want to volunteer to help plan rides? We welcome all input and support -- email

You can help close the gender gap by becoming a member of the Bicycle Coalition. Join the conversation and talk to us on Twitter, and keep an eye out for #womenbikePHL tweets.

Questions? Ideas? Contact Katie at to get involved.


timaree said...

I'm glad initiative is being taken to increase ridership among females. But as a female who commutes almost exclusively by bike, none of these measures address my concerns as a cyclist, nor those of females I know who have thought about converting to cycling.

What we would appreciate:
-more bike lanes
-enforcement of no parking/driving in bike lanes
-education of drivers on the rights of cyclists

Most of the women I know who would consider biking but don't currently are held back by fear of aggressive drivers who don't respect the rights of cyclists. And I empathize, since it's a significant danger.

timaree said...

All the effort and initiative is appreciated. But I have some suggestions that would be more applicable to the riders (and would-be riders) whom I know.

-more bike lanes
-enforcement of no parking/driving in bike lanes
-education of drivers on the rights of cyclists and the state's 4 foot clearance law

I commute almost exclusively by bike and have female friends who consider it but don't because of the aggressive drivers, and poorly maintained bike lanes.

Thank you!

M. Sean McManus said...

I don't even remember posing for this.