When Sandra Lupien first moved to Sonoma County, it seemed like nobody rode a bicycle. In the rural/suburban community, the number of transportation cyclists was far smaller than the dense urban centers of nearby Oakland and San Francisco. But Lupien quickly learned that biking is alive and well: In the evenings and on weekends, impressive crowds show up to participate in social and recreational rides.
As the outreach director for the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition (SCBC), Lupien discovered something else: Women are particularly engaged in her community. Though underrepresented nationally (taking just 24 percent of bike trips in 2009), women make up an impressive 46 percent of the SCBC membership.
How do you get more women riding in your local bike club? If you’re a League member, attend our next club leadership webinar — Engaging Women in Your Club — on Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern to find out!
Our panelists on the webinar will include:
- Sandra Lupien, Outreach Director for the SCBC, who will discuss women’s participation in bicycling in Sonoma County, including membership demographics from the area’s largest bike club and SCBC’s “Biker Chicks” women’s rides program.
- Sara DeShong of the Austin Cycling Association, who will provide insight on the similarities and differences of the vast niches of women-only rides in Austin, as well as problem identification and solutions from the standpoint of local leaders in the cycling community.
- Sarai Snyder, founder of Girl Bike Love, who will share very specific details of how to address the issue of getting more women out to ride in groups based on her personal experience running a bicycle shop and changing the demographic of the rides and customer base from about 10 percent women to closer to 30 percent.
(Did you know the League is also co-hosting a National Women’s Bicycling Summit this September? Learn more here!)
Carolyn SzczepanskiCarolyn joined the League in March 2012, after two years at the Alliance for Biking & Walking. In addition to managing the League's blog, magazine and other communications, Carolyn organized the first National Women's Bicycling Summit and launched the League's newest program: Women Bike. Before she crossed over to advocacy, she was a professional journalist for nearly 10 years.