Women and Bikes!

In collaboration with The Adventure Syndicate, a few of us are organising a weekend get together/ mini-conference/ festival on the theme of Women and Bikes to take place in Leeds in April or May 2017! The Saturday will be a day of talks, workshops, stalls, food and socialising and on the Sunday we will have some group rides.

We’re currently looking at venues and dates (as our workshop doesn’t fit the bill and isn’t big enough) and starting to put together the programme. This is where you come in! We’re looking for suggestions of workshop themes, speakers, activities and so on. What would get you interested in coming along? We want to inspire seasoned riders, women who don’t cycle at the moment and everyone in between. So we’re hoping to have a programme that offers something to encourage and inspire everyone.

Our ideas include speakers/ workshops on: urban riding, cycle touring, off-road cycling, framebuilding, bike fit, women and the bike industry, kit, overcoming barriers/ challenges and more. But what would you like to see? And can you help us reach networks of women who don’t currently cycle? Please email your suggestions to amanda@pedallers-arms.org or comment below.

There are also similar events being organised in Oxford and Nottingham in collaboration with The Adventure Syndicate who we’re working with too! We’re not yet at the point of writing a piece about why we’re wanting to run this, so for now here’s what Broken Spoke who are organising the Oxford event have to say and which we heartily agree with…

Women & Bicycles is open to everyone but we think it’s important for this festival to be organised, run, and about people who identify as women. The festival aims to create a space where we can all learn, teach, socialise, get greasy hands (if we want to), eat tasty food, hang out, laugh, help each other, high five, ask for help, make friends.

We believe that it is important to actively create spaces for women to do this, as it encourages women and trans folk to participate in the wider cycling community. Often growing up, women aren’t visible in many cycling spaces, and aren’t given access to knowledge about bikes, fixing things, getting their hands dirty, and the physical endurance of cycling. When most people working in the cycling industry are men there is a kind of hierarchy of knowledge, where the men fix the bikes, arrange the events, and then take part in the events. This primacy of cis-men in bike spaces can often discourage women and trans folk from participating because they think that its not ‘for them’. This is a shame because riding and fixing bikes are massively freeing activities, we want to share the profound impact that participating in them has had on our lives with other women and trans people.

Women & Bicycles aims to showcase the variety of wonderful things that women can do – and are doing – in the cycling world, and inspire other women and trans folk to get involved. We invite everyone to be a part of making this change.

Broken Spoke Bike Co-op: http://bsbcoop.org/women-bicycles-2017/

That’s it for now! Remember to send your suggestions for speakers, workshops, networks to publicise through to amanda@pedallers-arms.org.

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