From Bicycle Colorado's Julia Davenport (a.k.a. Mom on a bike):
A few days ago, Bicycle Colorado held its fourth annual Colorado Bike Summit. While I always find this event energizing and encouraging, this year I left feeling particularly motivated after one of the breakout sessions on Getting More Women Riding.
The room was full of people interested in finding more ways to get women out on bikes, and more ways to make women feel like they really belong out on the roads, paths and trails around our state.There were many great ideas thrown around, such as all-women’s events and rides, creating more female-friendly bicycle clothing, and improving infrastructure to make riding easier and more accessible. What stuck with me most, though, was a discussion about being a mom and how that affects many women’s bike-riding habits.
There was talk about how tricky it is to actually tow your children on bikes, or the pressure of balancing with a kid on the front handlebars or on a back bike seat. It’s one thing to be on a bike yourself, but a whole other issue to bring children out into the world of cars and traffic and who knows what else. I hear this so often, both from friends and from people I have just met. We all keep making excuses about how it is just too hard.
...Infrastructure changes take forever. Fancy clothing or scheduled women’s rides aren't quite what I am looking for. Given limited free time in my new family of four, what I want is to spend good time with my kids doing what I love. I want to take them out to explore on bikes.
I need to get creative with finding new routes to show other moms (and dads) that this can be a way of life, even with kids. I need to be reminded that it’s not about riding your bike EVERYWHERE, EVERY TIME. It is OK to ease in and to do whatever works best for your family. And I need to show my own kids how special it is to spend time outside, feeling the breeze on your face and realizing the sheer joy that a simple bike ride brings.
-Julia Davenport, Education Program Manager, Bicycle Colorado
Click here for the entire article. Julia knows her stuff. I had the pleasure of working with her for several years with Bicycle Colorado. You can meet her and the rest of the trusty Bicycle Colorado gang at their upcoming Gala, Friday, April 25th from 6-9:30 p.m. It's a party like no other where everyone present exudes that same bike riding joy Julia mentioned in her blog.