Women Bike KC is an initiative of BikeWalkKC that provides education, resources and encouragement to get more women on bicycles and ultimately participate in our community as riders and leaders.
One of our main goals is to promote healthy, active lifestyles and community engagement through bicycling for women and their families. We support women and girls in all stages of riding, from the new rider to the seasoned tourer, and we work to break down the barriers that prevent more women and girls from riding.
Women Bike KC provides the encouragement needed to take that next step through creating a supportive network of likeminded individuals. We accomplish this through providing online resources, the “Women Bike Buddy Mentor” program, and various classes, clinics and events throughout the year that culminate with the annual Women’s Bike Summit.
Women Bike KC is made possible in part by the hard working Women Bike KC committee- a group of diverse and vibrant women, committed to making Kansas City a more inclusive and accessible place to ride your bike. Women Bike KC is also supported through membership, donation based classes and events and grant funding.
We envision a Kansas City where girls and women feel confident to ride their bikes, where there is a supportive and inclusive network of women who ride, and where there are facilities that are accessible to every rider. Specifically, Women Bike KC has the following long-term vision:
- Advocate for public support of bicycling infrastructure that considers the safety and accessibility for all women and children
- Increase women’s ridership in Greater Kansas City through the awareness of different types and levels of cycling
- Create a network of women who support each other and bicycling as a means of transportation, recreation, socialization, and fitness
- Encourage women to set the precedent for healthy, active lifestyles in their families through cycling
- Create programming and outreach activities that are inclusive of all cultures, ages, socioeconomic backgrounds
The Women Bike KC initiative was first launched on May 10, 2014, when BikeWalkKC hosted the first Kansas City Women’s Bike Summit. The event was a huge success with more than 150 women in attendance. At our first summit, we asked each of the women to identify what was the biggest obstacle for women to get into bicycling. 34% said safety and lack of confidence stopped them from riding their bikes. 24% said they didn’t bike because of a lack of a network. The Women Bike KC Initiative provides solutions to these barriers and is a result of the momentum from the first summit and demand for further work around women and bicycles. Since our first summit we’ve been hard at work:
- Passed an anti-harassment ordinance in KCMO that protects all vulnerable road users (fall 2014)
- Partnered with WIN for KC and Family Bicycles to conduct a bicycling unit at Camp WIN (summer 2015)
- Hosted the second annual Women’s Bike Summit in 2015 with over 200 attendees, 30 speakers and 20 topics ranging from bike advocacy to bike maintenance
- Held a Women’s Only Confident City Cycling class where one middle-aged woman learned how to ride a bike for the first time (fall 2015)
- Taught the first “girls only” youth Earn-a-Bike class comprised of twelve 4th-6th grade girls (fall 2015)
- Taught bicycle safety to three different Girl Scout troops across Kansas City (fall 2015)