WBC was founded in 2012 by four cyclists who were frustrated by the lack of women in the Chicago cycling community.
Our founders attended a panel discussion about cycling in the city that was “by men and for men”, despite the fact that there were many active female city cyclists who were well known in Chicago cycling circles.
The one-sided nature of that event was the catalyst for those ladies to get together to try to find ways to empower women to ride in the city. An idea was formed to have a workshop type event “by women and for women” to address women’s concerns like safety, comfort, finding good routes, riding with children/for errands, and getting them more comfortable going to bike shops & getting the right bikes for their bodies. Soon, the core group was joined by several more who ranged from cycling newbies to experienced cyclists.
In the summer of 2012, we partnered with the League of American Bicyclists to promote their WomenBike campaign. We hosted a series of talks on everything from dressing for your commute to biking with kids. The success of this inspired our annual spring event, Day of Dialogue and Demonstration, which aims to remove the barriers for women cyclists through education and inspiration. The excitement generated by that day led us to organize bike rides, social hours, and fix-a-flat workshops–in addition to the annual Day of Dialogue and Demonstrations–with the goal of showing women from all over the Chicago area that any woman who wants to can ride a bike.
Our group has grown. We continue to work to close the cycling gender gap in our city by reaching out to even more Chicago women from new cyclists; to commuters; to moms who want to run errands or ride with kids; to women who want to race or ride long distances. We are a supportive and ever-growing community of commuters, serious cyclists, and new riders.
We look forward to meeting you and to having you join us on the streets of Chicago!
Women Bike Chicago is a women-run organization that educates, encourages and empowers every woman in the Chicago region to enjoy biking for transportation and recreation.