Creating Intentional Space for Women on Bikes

I'm currently in the middle of planning 2 women-specific bike related events, a race that  is super-duper organized with sponsors/social media/the whole 9 yards, and a women-only ride and campout of The Dalles, Oregon.

Honestly, I've been feeling a little bit ugh about biking in general over the winter, after way too many rainy days and close encounters with cars, but these two events have rejuvenated my drive and desire for event planning and organizing.

First up, over my 31st birthday weekend is what I have deemed "Ladies Shred Dalles Mountain." It's basically an open-ish invite to any WTF identified rider around Seattle/Portland to join us the weekend of May 19-21st in the Dalles for a women's only ride of the Dalles, with a bonus camping night on Saturday. 

 Maryhill Loops on the Dalles Ride in 2016

Maryhill Loops on the Dalles Ride in 2016

 

I had the pleasure of riding this route last spring and fell in love. From the epic gravel climbs to Mary Hill Loops, it's truly a classic route that I can't wait to share. I'm super excited to extend it into two days this year, exploring the Deschutes River Recreation Area at the end of day 1, and then continuing the end of our ride.

Most of the women who are going have been bike camping before, but many haven't ridden gravel before, so I'm excited to introduce this new element of riding to them. Riding rural farm roads, gravel roads, and back roads is my favorite part of biking and I know that a ton of women shy away from biking because of cars. I hope that by exploring a rural area together we can open up so many new opportunities to previously hesitant riders.

 I'm smiling, but I hate this climb...Old Moody Road

I'm smiling, but I hate this climb...Old Moody Road

The second thing I'm helping to organize is Girls of Summer, the 7th Annual All Womens Alley Cat race put on by Menstrual Monday. This is my favorite race of the summer, and no-joke, a shit ton of work. We work hard to make sure every single rider gets a prize, which is hard fucking work. It means contacting sponsors, getting volunteers, making a route, spoke cards, props, and promoting the race. 

I love this race- I don't know any other race where 100+ women from all stripes come together in a day of fun and silliness, but also strength. These women race their hearts out across Seattle for some rad prizes. Last year we gave away a bike, 4 sets of wheels, and thousands of dollars in other prizes from sponsors. 

 Begging for sponsors for our race

Begging for sponsors for our race

 

Putting on this race is a huge honor to the women in our community, so I'm honored and happy to put it on.

Creating this space for women cyclists feels so fucking tired in 2016. I remember in 1ST GRADE writing about being the first woman president. 20 years ago. And we're still.not.there. UGH. We still have to fight for our right to ride bikes in public spaces without being catcalled, harassed, and questioned.

Honestly, I love being with all other women- we lift each other up, we're encouraging, we push each other beyond our boundaries. But when will it stop being a necessity?