Feminism

Pat Robertson, I’m so glad you have such a nuanced understanding of feminism.

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Support the First Annual Journal of Bicycle Feminism

Go check out Elly Blue’s First Annual Journal of Bicycle Feminism on Kickstarter! The first theme is grief and healing, and I’m sure that it will be a must-have read.

Please consider backing the project and pre-ordering your journal today!

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People’s Climate March

Last weekend I marched in the People’s Climate March with a group from Bikes Not Bombs. It was a crazy experience to be part of a march of over 400,000 people. And by march I really mean that I stood around in the same few blocks for 5 hours before the back of the march got moving.

Anyways. The best part of the march for me was seeing all the creative signs, puppets and performances that people created for the event. Here is a picture of my favorite sign from the march. So simple. To the point. And could apply to just about everything.

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Babes in Bikeland 8: The Bike Revolution is Happening

I went into Babes In Bikeland 8 with one goal: to not flip over my handlebars. Which really wasn’t a very hard goal to set. The only other time I had participated in Babes in Bikeland, the largest WTF (women/trans/femme) alley-cat in the world started in Minneapolis (unverified claim, but I’m 99% sure is accurate), I broke the chain on my fixie and flipped over my handlebars in the first three blocks of the race. Afterward I slowly rode to a few stops and stopped by the after party, but left quickly because I felt pretty shaken up. So my goal of Babes being better than the last time was a pretty easy goal to achieve. I also had other goals: have fun, ride hard, finish all the stops, cheer for everyone I passed on the roads, but not flipping over my handlebars was pretty high on the list.

And let me tell you, it was beyond great. It’s hard to find the words to describe how wonderful, empowering, and rad Babes in Bikeland is.

One of my favorite things about Babes is that it isn’t just about the race – it’s a whole weekend of events. The night before there is a pre-ride, the morning of there is a brunch, then there is the race and the after party, and the next day Open Streets essentially acts as the Babes cool down.

The weekend kicked off Friday night with the Pre-Babes Wanderabout. My friend Low with a team of other rad folks have been organizing the Wanderabout for 3 years. Its a ride meant for new people who have never raced an alley-cat before and are looking for an introduction as to what to expect, want to meet some people so that they’ll see some familiar faces at the start line, and want to familiarize themselves with at least two stops of the race (the beginning and the end). I wanted to attend the Wanderabout because although I like to think of myself as a seasoned racer, I am always looking to attend events that are advertised as an inclusive environment for new cyclists, and I’m constantly trying to learn from these events as to how to bring this back to my own community. Anyways – the wanderabout was awesome. We casually rode for 10 miles, stopped by the beautiful Minnehaha Falls, and ended at SPOKES with beer and pizza. It sets off the Babes weekend on the perfect note saying that this is a race that is welcome to everyone and encouraging new folks to come out.

Then the big day arrived. Babes in Bikeland. It’s hard to describe what its like to see 400+ WTF riders converging in this one park, some dressed in crazy costumes, others in full kits with their game faces on, and everyone super pumped to be there. I wasn’t really sure what my race plan was as I arrived at registration. I hadn’t decided if I wanted to really race, ride casually, or somewhere in between. I didn’t have a ride partner, and I wasn’t entirely sure if I wanted one. And then I saw her. My old co-worker Janne was in line for registration. And I thought ‘Perfect. She is the perfect ride partner.’ After hugs and such we agreed to ride together with the motto ‘fun before fast.’ We wanted to ride fast, but still use the time to chat, catch up, and, most importantly, have fun.

Geez I love this lady.

Geez I love this lady.

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Friday Link Love

September is turning out to be a crazy month, so I apologize that I haven’t been blogging as much. Last week I was in Minneapolis for Babes in Bikeland (hopefully I’ll have a write-up this weekend because it’s basically the greatest thing ever), I’m currently sitting in a cafe in Brooklyn where I’m in town for the People’s Climate March and next week I’m taking a road trip down to Lexington Kentucky for the NAH Bike Polo Bench Championships. So let’s just say it’s a busy month.

But enough with the excuses – here’s your weekly round-up (or really – things I’ve read over the last few weeks…).

5 Issues in Women’s Cycling that are more important than THAT kit. We’ve all seen it. THAT kit. The one of the women’s Colombian cycling team that makes it look like a panel of their kit is intentionally nude. Apparently it’s gold. Whatever. It is NOT the most important thing happening in women’s cycling. And who is surprised that the image of the Colombian cycling team is the most re-posted thing I’ve ever seen of professional women’s cycling? It’s so predictably frustrating.

Next, Elly Blue wrote ‘Closing the Gap‘ about a month ago, but it is still important/this is the first Link Love since it was published. It’s a lot of basic advice for how to close the gender gap in cycling. For me the most important point she brings up is the following:

Think about dishes and day care drop-off
Are you in a heterosexual relationship? If so, do you equally divide child care and chores? I’m afraid that statistically speaking, you probably don’t and this unequal division affects both you and your spouse’s transportation habits,  not to mention your participation in cycling sports. If this sounds familiar, have a conversation about leveling the playing field at home. Trying something new might just put new fire in your relationship and inspire you both to go out and advocate for safer streets where anyone at all can take the kids to day care on the way to picking up some groceries without majorly fearing for their lives.

Domestic labor is so important! In my travels around the world, the uneven distribution of domestic labor is one of the few universal things I’ve seen that prevent women from cycling from the US to China to Sierra Leone. It’s a hell of a lot harder to bike when you are the one responsible for traveling with children and picking up groceries from the store or market, not to mention that you also have less time for those activities as is because you’re also responsible for cooking and cleaning. This is why we need to simultaneously revolutionize the home/domestic space (which includes mixed use zoning in order to facilitate domestic labor) in order to also achieve the bike revolution.

Lastly, 21 Photos of Real Women Who Bike. It’s not the first compilation of photos I’ve seen of women holding up signs and trying to break the stereotype of female cyclists, but it is a good one. And of course – my fav: (someone commented that they thought this person looked like me – I’ll take it as a compliment!)

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