To the Summit WBC – March 6, 2016

Today I'm packing a bag and a helmet and getting ready to attend the 2016 National Bike Summit and Women's Forum. This year is the first year that both events are being hosted together as one; in previous years, the Women's Forum was separate, including separate registration, and began a day before the rest of the Summit... which meant that it excluded some of the very folks it is meant to include. 

So – this year I head to DC wearing the hat as the Chair of Women Bike Chicago – and I am so proud to do so. I attended the first Women's Forum when the DC area's Women Bike had just launched and I came back to Chicago full of ideas to share with our also recently formed grassroots group of Women.... it was right before our first Day of Dialogue and Demos. In the years since, we in Chicago are breaking ground and I'm excited to share our progress with those I meet this year in DC. 

Please follow these DC bike adventures via our Twitter feed -- @wbikechi

For more information regarding the summit, check out the schedule here! https://nationalbikesummit2016.sched.org/ and tweet us of anything you're interested in hearing about!

Jennifer Howard on Cycling

We'd like to extend our thanks to Jennifer Howard for her words of wisdom!


Together, my bike and I travel places I’d never visit on foot or by car. The ability to traverse multiform paths—grass, gravel, dirt paths, paved roads—means I can easily take a new path or chase down a distantly glimpsed landmark, riding a mile in a quarter of the time it takes to walk and with no trouble finding a parking place.  A key to that liminal space that still exists between human dominated and human shared space, my bike permits access to nature, even as I enjoy the city-life. I’ve raced alongside deer at dawn, surprised lumbering families of raccoons crossing a snow-filled path after dark, and enjoyed coyotes playing by a moonlit lake.  A habitual amateur botanist and mushroom hunter, I often stop to examine species new to me. 

 

In winter, many paths belong almost exclusively to a small subset of cyclists, payment for our endurance of Chicago’s lowest temperatures.  In summer, we share, and in every season, cycling connects us intimately to the time of year, the time of day, and the weather outside—one gets caught in a rainstorm only once before learning to check the forecast, and I generally know what time sunrise/sunset is due. 

 

As I am, to put it delicately, a well-fleshed woman, cycling is the only exercise I’ve ever done that lets me go fast.  VERY fast, under the right circumstances. Over the past decade, increasing from occasional rides to twice daily commuting, my body has become accustomed to riding. The occasional ache or bump has never been enough to outweigh my ongoing pleasure in a bike ride. Feeling my childhood “thunder thighs” become thunderous in reality is often a near euphoric pleasure, as I manage terrains, inclines, and speeds not otherwise possible.  On a bike, my body is about what it can do, not how it appears, and that is an incredible experience for a woman in America. 

 

In more presumptive moments, I think it’s insane that anyone foregoes the mental and physical health, economic, entertainment, and environmental advantages of riding a bike to wait for a bus or maintain a car.  Just get a bike and go!  But then I remember that parents can’t easily transport kids to daycare by bike, that it’s challenging to ride a bike to work if your path lays on roads with heavy traffic and no bike paths, that some people have commutes so long or jobs so demanding that bike commuting is physically impossible, that bike commuting requires an investment in clothing, gear, and maintenance, that still others have physical, mental, or social hurdles to participation in this activity that I love so much.  So I cherish my ability to cycle, respect the privilege, and advocate for access for all.

 

- Jennifer Howard

2016 Chicago Winter Bike Swap

Thanks to all who came out to check out the 2016 Winter Bike Swap! We had a great turn-out and met a bunch of new riders looking to connect. Many thanks to Lee Diamond and Kevin Conway of Chicago Bike Coalition for putting on such an awesome place to buy bike stuff, meet new people & get everyone connected on a warm February day.

Thanks to all the vendors!
Aaron & John – SMC | ABUS Mobile Security | Active Transportation Alliance | American Lung Association in Greater Chicago | Back Yard Bike Shop | Bicycle Illinois | Big Shoulders Realty | The Bike Lane | Blackstone Bicycle Works | Blue City Cycles | The Chainlink | Chicago Bicycle Coalition | Chicago Cargo LLC | Chicago Ride of Silence | Chicago Velo | Freeman Kevenides Law Firm | Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices | Illinois Bike Attorneys | John & Sarah's Bikey Bits | Life Behind Bars Cycling | Linda's Bicycling Jewelry and Glass Art | Monday Night Bike Build | Pachyderm Cycles | Pedal to the People | The Recylcery | Retro Metro | Ride Illinois | The Stabettes | Timbuk 2 Chicago | Tour for Cancer Gran Fondo | West Town Bikes | Women Bike Chicago | Working Bikes and many individual sellers.

2016 Upcoming Events

Please note that these are subject to change. For most accurate information, please visit our events page!

JANUARY

• Winter Bike to Work Day on Friday, January 22, 2016, 6:30-9:00 a.m., at Daley Plaza – Event by Active Transportation Alliance – we’ll see you there!

 

FEBRUARY

• Movie Night at GreenLine Wheels, Oak Park, Feb 16, 6.30 PM- 8.30 PM.  See three favorite short documentaries by women about women on bicycles.  

• Chicago Winter Bike SwapFebruary 20 at Jak's Tap,  WBC is co-hosting this year!

• Women Bike Chicago Volunteer Meet-up – learn about more opportunities to help us out! Sunday, February 21, REI Lincoln Park Community Room, 3 PM 

 

SPRING

• April 16 &17 – A trio of our most popular sessions – a modified version of our annual Day of Dialogue and Demos – Ride, Learn and Network! 

• April, Practical Fashion and Style for Biking at Green Line Wheels

• How to shop by bike

• Bike education classes – safety, maintenance or commuting by bike – watch for details

• Deaf Velo Alliance: Ride from Chicago to Geneva www.deafvelo.org

 

SUMMER

• Tour of Pilsen with Taco Stops

• Coffee hour/Divvy ride

• Learn to Shop By Bike

• Bike the Drive, Sunday May 29 www.bikethedrive.org

• Venus de Miles, Sunday, July 23 www.venusdemiles.com

 

FALL

 September, Frances Willard House Tour, Evanston

 October, Make It Reflective Workshop

• Open House Chicago ride, weekend of October 15–16

• Book discussion – watch for the topic!

• Winterize your bike and yourself

Women Bike Chicago Launch Party - Success!

Women Bike Chicago would like to extend a HUGE thank you to all of the people that came out to our launch party over at BFF Bikes. Also, the lovely ladies at BFF & all of our sponsors who helped make the event possible: Keating Law, Justin Haugens, Illinois Bicycle Law, Clif Bar, Trader Joe's, & BFF Bikes.

Photography by Lura Meisch
  Our raffle winner of one of the first Women Bike Chicago t-shirts!

Our raffle winner of one of the first Women Bike Chicago t-shirts!

  Our raffle winner of the custom Justin Haugen's Women Bike Chicago Glass art!

Our raffle winner of the custom Justin Haugen's Women Bike Chicago Glass art!

January 2016 Newsletter - What's Spinning

WHAT'S SPINNING: A LETTER FROM THE LEADERSHIP TEAM

Last month we announced Women Bike Chicago’s new website and leadership team. As we welcome a new calendar year, we invite you to meet our new look and the women behind Women Bike Chicago – at our Launch/Party on Thursday, January 14, 2016, at BFF Bikes. We’ll be kicking things off at 6:30PM and celebrating, meeting and greeting until 8:30PM and we hope you join our festive kickoff of 2016.

This Launch/Party will

  • Introduce you to the leadership team of Women Bike Chicago

  • Offer you a way as to get involved with us

  • Be a great way to meet other women who ride bikes in and around Chicago

  • Debut our 2016 Calendar of Events and Rides

  • Be your chance to win a raffle prize of an exclusive one-of-a-kind handmade Women Bike Chicago Framed Window. Be sure to bring some cash to participate! ($5 dollars per raffle ticket)

  • Premiere offering of Women Bike Chicago T-shirts

  • And so much more…

So MARK YOUR CALENDARS and RSVP here today! We’ll see you on January 14 at the Launch/Party!

Ride On,

Elizabeth, Lisa, Melissa, Susan and Kristen

WBC Leadership Team

 


UPCOMING EVENTS

WOMEN BIKE CHICAGO LAUNCH / PARTY
Women Bike Chicago is hosting a gathering to celebrate our new website launch and new initiatives and plans for the future. Our mission is to educate, encourage and empower every woman in the Chicago region to enjoy biking for transportation and recreation.  With four years under our belt, we are excited to share our new look and ideas.  

We invite anyone who is interested or curious to join us on Thursday, January14, 2016 at BFF Bikes (Address: 2113 W. Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL) from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. We will show off our website reboot, introduce our leadership team, and showcase our upcoming events for the next year. We are also looking for volunteers interested in helping us achieve our goals, so stop by to talk to our representatives!  The event will be family-friendly, and there will be refreshments and prize drawings! Please register viaEvent Brite and Facebook so we know how many to expect.


_________________________

And these events from our
friends and partners:


Slow Roll Chicago's Big Marsh Freedom Ride
January 18, 2016, starting and ending at the National A.Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum  http://www.slowrollchicago.org/freedomride


Chicago Winter Bike Swap
January 31, 2016

The 2016 Chicago Winter Bike Swap will take place on Sunday, January 31st  at Harper College from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Click here for more information

Save the Date for the
Chicago Winter Bike Swap

Save the Date for the Chicago Winter BikeSwap presented by the Chicagoland Bicycle Coalition and Women BikeChicago.   Saturday, February 20, 2016 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Jaks Tap, 901 West Jackson Blvd, Chicago.  Bikes,bike stuff, bike pieces and parts, and bikefriends all in a friendly location!


WHAT WE'VE BEEN UP TO

Women Bike Chicago Lincoln Park Zoo Meet Up Thank you all for attending!

Other events from our friends and partners:

Slow Roll Chicago The 2nd Annual Slow & Good: Holiday Toy & Coat Drive

BFF Bikes Indoor training: "Pedaling with a Purpose"  Click here for more information

BFF Bike Book Club!  Please RSVP by emailing Annie.
 

The Amlings Toys for Tots Ride

The Chicago Cycling Club "Weather be Damned" New Year's Day ride

 


BIKE TIPS | NEWS

  • Divvy is increasing membership February 1st! Be sure to get yours before then! Read More

  • PeopleForBikes announces the 10 best new bike lanes of 2015. Chicago made the list! Read More

  • "The body stops moving because you decide to stop moving. Everybody's system works better when they ride."Read More

  • "I love how cycling feels. Today it was great to ride so far around the park. Soon I want to ride Berlin's streets like the locals." Syrian refugee Shiraz, who is learning to ride, says." Read More

  • SCVA is throwing a New Year's Social Fundraiser! Check out the event and support them! Read More


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • Read this article to learn about the science of being seen while riding in the dark.

  • Want to bike in the winter, but don't know how? Momentum Mag covers great tips for those who want to try

  • Why should you bike in the rain? Momentum Mag answers the why and the how. Just remember to dry off your bike and lube your chain after the wet ride. 

  • Cycling can help beat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Read this and this to learn more about this topic.

  • The Recyclery in Rogers Park is fundraising to upgrade their workshop.

  • The cycling community is suffering a significant loss as Rapid Transit Cycleshop is closing. Justyna and Chris have always been strong supporters of women in cycling.


VOLUNTEER WITH US

Click here to help us with upcoming events in 2016! We will contact you to invite you to a February meeting for volunteers and to ask what you might be interested in helping with.

Clothing Swap and Social

 

Women Bike Chicago is teaming up with

Dash Me

for a fun event:  a clothing swap and social get-together.

Never been to a swap?  Here's how it works:  bring your clothes in good condition- the things that don't fit or you just have not worn and don't plan to wear.  They can be tops, jeans, dresses, skirts, sweaters - also shoes, jewelry and accessories - and leave with other clothes that are new-to-you.

While you are browsing, chat and network with other women who bike, and enjoy some snacks, because what WBC event would not have snacks?

Note, this is not about bike Lycra and racing kits.  It is, however, a chance to refresh your wardrobe while saving money and the planet.

The event will be Saturday October 24, from 3-5 PM. 

For more details, visit

http://www.dashmeswap.com/

To RSVP, click here

fallswap2015.eventbrite.com

Photo: Adaeze Okorafor

Rides, Rides, Rides

On May 2 we ride with members of the community in East Garfield Park. The ride is led and managed by women, but open to all.  Participation by children of the community is encouraged and welcome, so bring your children, too.  We will have some coffee and snacks to get us started, and pizza when we return.  It is a Saturday and you can take your bike on the train all day.  Take the Green Line to Conservatory where there is an elevator.  Breakthrough is just a couple of blocks north. Or, if you want to drive, there is almost always parking on the street. 

And if you are interested in helping with ride marshaling, e-mail lisa@womenbikechicago.org

On May 17, Ruth Rosas will lead us on a tour of the murals of Pilsen beginning at 2:00 p.m.  Meet at the National Museum of Mexican Art.  After the ride we will go to a local restaurant to enjoy local cocina.

June 7 brings us to BFF Bikes at 2113 W. Armitage where we will begin our ride to the Chicago Women's Park and Gardens.  Gather at 9:30 a.m.  We will stop at the park and eat at The Spoke and Bird which is a bicycle friendly cafe.  We will return to BFF by 1:30 p.m.

Do you have ideas for rides or gatherings?  We would be happy to help you plan and organize. Email info@womenbikechicago.org

Rides, Rides, Rides

To all who joined us on Saturday, April 18, thank you.  You came, you learned, you made friends,  you renewed friendships, now let's ride!


On May 2 we ride with members of the community in East Garfield Park. The ride is led and managed by women, but open to all.  Participation by children of the community is encouraged and welcome, so bring your children, too.  We will have some coffee and snacks to get us started, and pizza when we return.  It is a Saturday and you can take your bike on the train all day.  Take the Green Line to Conservatory where there is an elevator.  Breakthrough is just a couple of blocks north. Or, if you want to drive, there is almost always parking on the street.

And if you are interested in helping with ride marshaling, e-mail lisa@womenbikechicago.org

On May 17, Ruth Rosas will lead us on a tour of the murals of Pilsen beginning at 2:00 p.m.  Meet at the National Museum of Mexican Art.  After the ride we will go to a local restaurant to enjoy local cocina.

June 7 brings us to BFF Bikes at 2113 W. Armitage where we will begin our ride to the Chicago Women's Park and Gardens.  Gather at 9:30 a.m.  We will stop at the park and eat at The Spoke and Bird which is a bicycle friendly cafe.  We will return to BFF by 1:30 p.m.

Do you have ideas for rides or gatherings?  We would be happy to help you plan and organize. Email info@womenbikechicago.org