Kristina Walker answered questions for the Post Defiance:
We’re not an official organization but we gathered this spring and became VeloFemmes official a couple weeks ago. The City of Tacoma (Tacoma Mobility) and Downtown On the Go have long talked about getting a women’s group together because of the disparity between women and men on bicycles (only 24% women). I gathered the group together (just ladies I knew who biked) and it grew from there. There has been an obvious need and interest in the community based on the enthusiasm we’ve had from even our initial gatherings.
(We realize that’s more of a tag line than a mission but we didn’t want to complicate it. That’s it. Simple. So much can fit under that umbrella.)
There was an obvious need and a huge interest. Women and men have been coming out of the woodwork to say what a great idea it is and participate. The Tacoma Wheelmen’s Bicycle Club (our oldest cycling club in Tacoma!) have stepped up to sponsor and participate. The Harmon Tap Room is an enthusiastic partner.
We spent a lot of time kicking around names from the silly to the outrageous and shocking. There was a ride in NYC called Skirts on Bikes last year. We started with that name but felt like it was important not to feel like you had to wear a skirt (really, come in whatever you feel comfortable in!). In the end, we wanted it to be female but not too girly and have some reference to cycling. Tina McGregor did our beautiful logo which also carries through those features. Again, we want to be accessible to everyone.
This is our first event. We’re planning group rides (at every level), workshops, forums, discussions, socials, etc. etc. etc.
An accessible, fun place for people to try cycling and a positive, supportive cycling community for women who are already cycling. Ultimately, more cyclists on the road means less congestion, healthier people and a more livable community (not to mention stronger local businesses and local economy). We want to see more women on bikes. We want to share the joy of cycling with more people.
More people on bikes also means more demand for bike facilities (bike lanes) so if we can make a positive impact on that, it would be great!
Getting more women on bikes.
We purposely did this on Third Thursday to capture the energy of the events that are already going on. The art museum is doing chalk art in Tollefson, the art bus is out. We’re adding to that with the focus on cycling. Our map is posted (just 3.7 miles) – anyone can do it! Look for teaser photos coming soon (all of us women on bikes. . .. )