Join Team Luna Chix Madison and pro Luna sponsored rider, Georgia Gould for an exclusive women’s cyclocross clinic!
The clinic takes place this Friday, Sept. 19th @ 6p.m. at the Trek World HQ in Waterloo, Wisconsin.
Attendees get a first peak at the Trek CXC race course as well as some free Luna swag!
RSVP by e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org!
Women & Bicycles is a new program coordinated through the Wisconsin Bike Fed and supported by Mayo Clinic Health System, in an effort to bring more women to bicycling as riders, leaders, and advocates.
We’ve reached out to our network of women and ask for volunteers to serve as Roll Models to encourage women to try riding who may not be riding for one reason or another. Women across Wisconsin are volunteering as Roll Models, offering gatherings in the formats of meetups, workshops, and group rides.
In La Crosse, rides, social conversations, and workshops have been successful. We have focused on new riders, creating events that will encourage everyone to feel welcome. Women enjoy learning from each other. The Fix a Flat Clinics have been very fruitful. We look forward to offering a basic maintenance clinic soon.
Cassandra Habel shares her enthusiasm in Madison and talks about her adventures.
The Women & Bicycles program has been off to a wonderful start in Madison! When approached to be a representative, I wanted to develop a cohesive way to bring together all of these fabulous resources we have in our city for women to get involved with cycling. Team Luna Chix have been around for roughly 6 years hosting no drop bike rides, clinics, and special events for women in Madison. I of course wanted to enlist their help and as well as the help of the existing Bike Fed staffers in the Madison office. My website/company, Spoke Haven, has also been a big part of promoting the program.
Together we have put together a monthly, hands on fix a flat clinic that is hosted at the Bike Fed’s office here in town. We’ve also promoted a monthly Taco Tuesday ride that happens the first Tuesday of the month. It’s a wonderful social ride for all levels of riders and allows us to not only get to know each other, but we also discuss ways for us to branch out, reach new riders, and talk about issues such as infrastructure projects that affect us as local cyclists.
We’ve recently launched a Facebook page dedicated to the Madison division of Women & Bicycles that allows us to share upcoming events, photos, and allows for women to openly discuss all aspects of cycling.
For our rides and events, we utilize the website Meetup.com. This allows us to keep track of event attendance, announce upcoming events that get automatically e-mail blasted to members, and allows us to have more control over who is attending rides. Our job is to great a safe, healthy, and positive riding experience for women. Having the ability to control who gains ride info for our events is key in making sure we can maintain that environment. Not that we don’t love the special men in our lives, we just want to make sure all women identified individuals know they can be a part of this unique group and just be themselves.
Another added benefit to the Women & Bicycles program is offering ride buddies for ladies who have interest in events such as charity rides or special ride events. So far this year we’ve had a group at the Bike for Boys & Girls Club ride, Ride 2 Recovery, Bike MS, the ACT Ride, Ride the Drive, and we’ll also have some ladies at the upcoming Chocolate Chase as well as the famed Tyranena Oktoberfest bike ride. So many women have said they would participate in these events more if they actually had a friend to ride with!
So far my work with the program has been really fun and fulfilling. I can’t wait to offer more workshops, training clinics, and special events for the ladies this winter. We’re also looking to continue to grow next year reaching more riders and offering up more ride options and opportunities for women to get on bikes!
In Oceola,The St. Croix Valley Region, Wendi Lindenmuth has enjoyed the network of women she has created. She has inspired women to ride together on mountain bikes, road bikes, share social conversations, join workshops, and inspired women to work on advocacy efforts. Wendi is overwhelmed by the number of women who appreciate been connected to other women who ride bicycles.
If you are looking for a group to join, check and see if there is a group close to you. Stay tuned, we will be expanding our program next year.
Women & Bicycles is a statewide program from the Wisconsin Bike Fed, empowering women across the state to ride.
Read more about the program »
Last night the Mad City Velo club hosted a viewing of “Half the Road”, a documentary by Kathryn Bertine. Kathryn is a seasoned professional cyclist who spent many months, if not years, traveling around the world to participate in women’s cycling races sanctioned by the UCI in hopes of qualifying for the Olympics.
Not only does the documentary tell Kathryn’s story, but also stories of many seasoned pro women cyclists and how the world of competitive cycling is still in the dark ages when it comes to equality in the sport.
The documentary showcases additional interviews with supporters and advocates of women’s cycling including coaches, trainers, shop owners, sponsors, celebrities, and the famous Bob Roll (Tour de France announcer).
On the opposite side of the spectrum, we have representatives from the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) who defend their archaic stances on women’s cycling as a competitive sport. They cite lack of sponsorship dollars, lack of spectator interest, and lack of elite level athletes as the root cause of having no equal platform of stage racing for women’s cycling. All falsehoods promoted by the figureheads of the UCI to create epic gender inequalities in the sport of cycling.
If you see the film, you should definitely pay attention to the “Pentagram of Blame”. It all starts and ends with the UCI blaming other outlets such as sponsors, riders, and media for their lack of commitment to women riders.
Fun facts we learned from the documentary include:
-Women can only ride 8 day stage races. (The men’s Tour de France spans 21 days)
-There are limitation on distances of any UCI women’s race.
-There was a median age rule that stated teams must have a certain percentage of riders under the age of 28 (this has since been lifted).
-At one point the UCI considered telling women who were menstruating that they couldn’t compete!
(We’re glad to say this never ended up becoming a rule!)
-Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s there was a shorter version of the Tour de France stage race for women that occurred on the same days and courses as the men’s race. Spoiler Alert: The spectators LOVED it!
There’s lots of other unsettling information “Half the Road” covers in the documentary, but we’ll leave that up to you to watch. While the film is hard hitting with seemingly depressing information, Bertine and the other subjects are able to present the information with some comic relief. Parodies of the UCI rules and racing circumstances had filled the theater with laughter on many occasions.
Overall the film was a great watch and we would recommend it for any sports fan.
Since we are on the subject, we also want to plug LA COURSE! It’s a one day race for women during the 2014 Tour de France. It’s not quite the awesome version of the stage races of the 80’s, but it’s at least one way the UCI can make up for their lackluster support of women racers.
NBC sports is offering coverage of the race, so check with your local cable provider or bike shop if you’d like to watch the race! Coverage starts around 7:30AM (not sure what time zone, which is a little frustrating), but if you don’t mind being an early bird, you can watch it LIVE!
It’s been awhile since we’ve posted an update. Our summer has been jam packed with cycling events around Madison. Everything from Cyclofemme to Fix A Flat Clinics to Sunday morning brunch rides has kept us busy!
We’re still in the planning process of trying to get an awesome and unique women’s only shop in Madison, but part of our planning is getting our name out to the world. Spoke Haven has been working with key partners such as the Wisconsin Bike Fed, Team Luna Chix, Wheels & Reels, the City of Madison, and other community leaders to make this all happen. So far we’ve received great feedback and support from every person we’ve worked with up to this point and it’s all very exciting.
Our goal is to continue to help not only offer fun cycling events for women in our community, but to also support others who want to help promote cycling for fun, for sport, and as a mode of transport. We want more butts on bikes and we can’t make that happen unless we all support one another.
Spoke Haven will continue to provide support and educational resources through the end of the year. We’ll continue with workshops through the winter, indoor training opportunities, and planning of events for next year’s riding season. We also plan on continue to change and mold our business plan to provide the best possible scenario for us to thrive. There’s still plans of running a crowd funding campaign to offer up fun and unique incentives for those who want to support us. We’re also selling our awesome jerseys (seen in the photos above) in our online store for those who want to show their support. They were made for us by Borah Teamware (aka Mt. Borah) right here in Wisconsin. Full zip, fully custom jerseys with a club cut for comfort. Men’s and women’s sizes available!
We’re looking into getting some other fun Spoke Haven branded gear made up that’s a little more pocket book friendly, but in the meantime continue to keep an eye on our online store and check us out on social media or Meetup.com for info on upcoming events.
Thank you to all of you who have been supportive and have come out to all of our events. We cannot express how amazing it feels to be able to provide women a place to be social, have fun, and ride bikes!
See you on the road 🙂