Wisconsin Bike Fed’s Women & Bicycles program gets ready for 2015 Season

The calendar has turned to spring and we have seen some warm days, heard the song of robins, and felt the itch to encourage more women to ride bicycles.  Our Women & Bicycles program is ready to get back on the road and trails and all areas of Wisconsin communities.  Our goal is to help more women ride more often and with more confidence. The Alliance for Bicycling and Walking 2014 Benchmark reports that 0.7% people in Wisconsin commute to work. Our state  is ranked 13th in the country. Of those commuters, 31% of women. Census Bureau released a new report on U.S. commuting, heralding a 60% increase in bike commuting over the past decade. Men are almost 3 times more likely to bicycle to work. Why does this matter:

  • Bicycling has a large impact on Wisconsin’s economy;  a greater number of women riders would be good for tourism dollars and bike shops, where women are more likely to make bike related purchases
  • Health cost savings; active commuting  improves  health and reduces health care costs
  • Budgets: commuting saves money; a 10 mile round-trip commute saves $10 a day
  • Women are concerned about the vitality of neighborhoods and communities where we can bike are where we want to live

The most successful workshops were those that taught women how to clean their bikes and change their own flat tires.

Last season we trained a network of woman as Roll Models around the state who worked to engage others in bicycling.  They offered social meetings where they shared stories, answered questions, and provided a welcoming setting for women to join.  They also organized a variety of workshops on topics that interested the women in their groups and organized a variety of bike rides.

The most successful workshops were the experiences women had learning to clean their own bikes and change flat tires.
Women also enjoyed the variety of riding experiences.  For some, they were happy to try riding on a trail at night with lights.  Others were thrill to find  women who were interested in exploring  mountain bike trails.  Some of our Roll Models were able to  interest women in using their bikes for transportation and there were a variety of groups of women who meet regularly for road rides.

Wisconsin Pros like Sam Schneider from ISCorp will inspire women interested in racing.

This is season are looking forward to expanding our program.  We are excited to have the support from the ISCorp Women’s Professional Cycling Team. They bring with them the passion of bicycle racing.  They may be able to offer a glimpse into the life of racing.

A group of women from the St. Croix Valley region

We are looking for more women who are interested in serving as Roll Models in a variety of places across the state.  The program will focus on creating networks were women can :
  • Find opportunities for a variety of riding experiences
  • Connect with other women socially around bicycling topics
  • Attend a variety of workshops

Click here to apply for a volunteer position as a Roll Model in our  Wisconsin Bike Fed’ Women & Bicycles program.  We will choose Roll Models who have the support in the support within their community to create a group  with :

  • A Social Meet-up focused around bicycling
  • Workshops with bicycle content
  • Regular bike rides
  • Good communication skills
Applications are due April 17th.

About Carolyn Dvorak, La Crosse Ambassador

Carolyn lives in La Crosse with her husband and two daughters. She has loved riding a bicycle throughout her life. She enjoys working in the La Crosse area helping to create great places to bicycle.

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