BikePGH’s 8th Annual Women & Non-Binary Bike Summit was a success!
BikePGH’s held its 8th Annual Women & Non-binary Bike Summit presented by Dollar Bank on Saturday, June 26. This year’s Summit included expanded accessibility with pay-what-you-can registration and a hybrid event format.
Proceeds from the Summit will support BikePGH’s Women and Non-Binary program (WMNBikePGH). The goal of WMNBikePGH is to empower cis and trans women, non-binary, genderqueer, agender and gender variant people of all ages and abilities to feel comfortable and confident riding bikes around the city.
Keynote Speech by Ann Nguyen
The Summit kicked off with a Keynote speech by Ann Nguyen on using the power of bicycling to drive change in social justice, environmental justice and transportation infrastructure, and how to help people see themselves in cycling and be a voice when policies are being made.
ANN NGUYEN (SHE/HER) is a landscape architect and urban designer who leads public interest-based projects and develops accessible and sustainable open spaces and streetscapes. As an avid bicyclist and car-free for almost a decade, she is committed to providing safer streets and building awareness in her community through her lifestyle, work, and leadership roles. Ann leads the Equity and Inclusion effort in her regional office and sits on the Bicycle Colorado RIDE (short for Respect, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity) Advisory Board and LEAP To Education Advisory Board. She understands that planning and design have the power to instigate positive change when deeply rooted in the stories of people and places.
Fat Biking – Creating a More Inclusive Community
Our first workshop was led by Marley Blonsky and Kailey Kornhauser of the Shimano film “All Bodies on Bikes,” which follows them on a bikepacking trip and dives into issues of body size, being a fat woman in an image-conscious society, and the work they’re doing to break down these barriers. They led an approachable, honest workshop on how we can better create more inclusive communities, especially for people in larger bodies. Marley and Kailey covered various topics, including community building, best practices for marketing and group rides, and practical advice about gear selection, clothing that works for people living in larger bodies, and real-life examples. The workshop was open to people of all body sizes, and participants were invited to examine their own relationship to their bodies.
MARLEY BLONSKY (SHE/HER) is a fat adventure cyclist, advocate, and community organizer working to make the bike industry more inclusive, especially to people in larger bodies. She enjoys all kinds of bike riding – commuting, recreational riding, bike camping – but has lately been enjoying riding around town with her senior rescue dogs in her cargo bike.
KAILEY KORNHAUSER (SHE/HER) is a Ph.D. Candidate in Forest Ecosystems and Society at Oregon State University, the Coordinator of the Oregon Central Coast Forest Collaborative, and an advocate for body size inclusivity in bicycling. Her writing has previously been featured in Bicycling Magazine, Bikepacking.com, and Get Rad Be Radical Magazine. Marley was recently featured in the Shimano film “All Bodies on Bikes” where she shared her story of being a fat person who rides bikes in Oregon.
Breaking Down Gendered Barriers to Biking
In the U.S., ridership skews more heavily male, in stark contrast to countries like Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands, where the split is 50-50 or skews female. Kiran Herbert of People for Bikes led a workshop that offering a glimpse into why that is, highlighting the myriad of barriers to bicycling for American womxn, some physical, others societal, or cultural. Through personal stories and several research studies, we took a closer look at factors preventing American womxn and girls from embracing bicycling.
KIRAN HERBERT (SHE/HER) is a storyteller, giving voice to PeopleForBikes’ Better Bike Share Partnership and PlacesForBikes programming while maintaining a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Prior to joining the PeopleForBikes team, Kiran worked at various magazines and websites as a writer, editor, and social media coordinator, covering the outdoor industry, live music, and organic food.
Ice Cream Group Ride, Free Swag, and More!
After wrapping up the live components of the Summit, participants were invited to join the BikePGH team in person for a celebratory bike ride to Millie’s Ice Cream!
The no-drop, party pace group ride highlighted bike-friendly connections that were recently installed as part of the MoveForwardPGH initiative. MoveForwardPGH is an initiative of the City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure to implement their new Bike(+) Plan. Check out the route below!
All Summit participants received a free copy of the Bike Girl Magic ebook and were entered to win prizes from Machines for Freedom, Superfit Hero, Po Campo, and Terry Bicycles. Those who attended packet pickup received a swag bag featuring: bike lights, tire levers, a patch kit, a WMNBikePGH water bottle, the 8th Edition Pittsburgh Bike Map, Biking 101 Guide, rider-friendly snacks, and more.