Thursday, December 1, 2011

Female Cycling Pioneers

I really like this little survey of woman who took to the bicycle for myriad reasons and shook things up. It includes Suffragettes, commuters, and racers. Victorians, Baby Boomers, and Millennials. I think what these women had when they lacked public acceptance or infrastructure was community. I applaud the idea behind the Breeze network--building a sense of community amongst women cyclists through relaxed, fun rides.

In Atlanta, there's a "Heels On Wheels" ride sponsored by the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition in addition to two other social rides that occur monthly. Sopo Bicycle Cooperative offers a women's and trans bike clinic. However, I don' think that these organizations should be largely responsible for connecting female cyclists. In fact, the Breeze network trains women to be "Breeze champions" who can organize rides in their communities. That's the ticket. While we advocate for infrastructure improvements and educate the masses, banding together as women on bikes is a powerful way to encourage one another and grow our numbers. Women who want to race can train together and women who want to commute can pootle together and, hopefully, we can all get together for a ride like the Clitoral Mass that just dissipated into Atlanta's smoggy ether long ago.

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Maira Gall