Eventbrite - Third Annual Day of Dialogue and Demonstrations Women Bike Chicago: 2013

Anna Schwinn - bikes for women and engineering

Who's seen the current issue of Bicycle Times?  They have a cool Q&A with Anna Schwinn, daughter of Richard Schwinn. She speaks her mind on designing bikes for smaller women, life as an engineer, and how she got where she is now.

Style File

Velojoy's Style File features a selection of sources for women's cycling wear and other gear.

Barbara McCann at Women & Children First book store 11/1

While this isn't a Women Bike Chicago-organized event, it may be of interest to many of you.

Barbara McCann will be at Women & Children First this Friday 11/1 at 7:30 p.m. speaking about the Complete Streets movement.

Completing Our Streets: The Transition to Safe and Inclusive Transportation Networks  begins with the story of how the complete streets movement united bicycle riders, transportation practitioners and agencies, public health leaders, older Americans, and smart growth advocates to dramatically reframe the discussion of transportation safety.

The complete streets movement is based around a simple idea: streets should be safe for pedestrians and commuters of all ages and abilities. Completing Our Streets provides the strategies, tools, and inspiration needed to translate this idea into real and lasting change in their communities.

McCann served as the founding executive director of the National Complete Streets Coalition. Previously, she was director of information and research at Smart Growth America (SGA). She worked at CNN as a writer and producer for 13 years during her first career as a journalist. She lives in Washington, DC.

Women & Children First is located at 5233 N. Clark St.

Going South bike tour - Sunday 10/13

Are you curious about bike lanes on the far south side?  Or have you ridden them in the past but been turned off by difficult conditions?  Some of our major routes now sport fresh pavement and improved bike lanes, and conditions are much better than they’ve been in years.  Here’s your chance to check it out, with an optional stop for a special yearly treat: the Pullman House Tour. Info about the house tour is available online. 
Our tour starts  at 10:00 a.m. at Avalon Park, 1200 E. 83rd St. (between Cottage Grove and Stony Island).  Please arrive early so we can start on time.  We will meet by the northeast corner of the fieldhouse.  There is parking available on the east side of the fieldhouse. 
Here’s a map link for the start location.
Note that Sunday is Chicago Marathon day.  Please allow extra travel time if you're starting from a location north of Hyde Park.  Here's a map of the marathon route.

The route is about 20 miles and includes South Shore, Jackson Park, Vincennes, Major Taylor Trail and more – easier and more pleasant to ride, thanks to smooth pavement and bike lanes.   If you are doing the ride but not the house tour, allow at least 2 hours, as we would like to get photos in a few locations.  

If you intend to do the house tour, allow 2-3 additional hours, depending on how long you spend visiting each house and walking.  Please bring a lock if you are doing the house tour, since it is easiest to lock up your bike near the visitors’ center or the Hotel Florence.  Food and drink will be available for purchase at the house tour, whether you are doing the tour or not.
For more information, contact Anne Alt at s4c.south@gmail.com or 312.520.1641.

material from 10/2 presentation

If you weren't able to attend the 10/2 presentation on bike commuting and bikes on transit, the material presented is available here in PDF format.  I've also included additional links: bikes on Metra, the location of CTA's bus demo rack, and the Chicago online bike map.

Bike commuting tips

Gear for weather

Bikes on CTA-Pace

10 rules for urban commuting


Bikes on Metra

Location for CTA bus demo rack - accessible 24/7 - If you want to practice putting your bike on a CTA bus rack, this is the place to go.

Chicago online bike map - click on a section of the map to explore.  Also note buttons on left side of page linked to additional informational pages.  It hasn't yet been updated to include all of this year's bike lane improvements, so there are new bike lanes in some locations not yet indicated on the map.

presentation tonight on bike commuting and bikes on transit

Are you looking to use your bicycle for more than just recreation? Then come to a presentation Wednesday 10/2 - TONIGHT - at Women & Children First book store, 5233 N. Clark St. at 7:30 p.m.

Learn how to commute on your bike: We'll show you what to wear, how to carry things, and what to do about the weather. We'll even go over getting your bike on a bus or train to shorten the ride. Anne Alt, a lifelong cyclist and longtime bike commuter, grew up riding in several neighborhoods and nearby suburbs of Chicago. A member of Chicago Cycling Club and volunteer with Active Transportation Alliance, she has ridden thousands of miles on Chicago streets and learned the ins and outs of taking her bike on all our local transit systems. Women Bike Chicago is a grass-roots organization founded in 2012 made up of women who love to bicycle and to encourage other women to bicycle. Refreshments will be served. 

Presentation on bike commuting and bikes on transit Wed. 10/2

Are you looking to use your bicycle for more than just recreation? Then come to a presentation this Wednesday 10/2 at Women & Children First book store, 5233 N. Clark St. at 7:30 p.m.

Learn how to commute on your bike: We'll show you what to wear, how to carry things, and what to do about the weather. We'll even go over getting your bike on a bus or train to shorten the ride. Anne Alt, a lifelong cyclist and longtime bike commuter, grew up riding in several neighborhoods and nearby suburbs of Chicago. A member of Chicago Cycling Club and volunteer with Active Transportation Alliance, she has ridden thousands of miles on Chicago streets and learned the ins and outs of taking her bike on all our local transit systems. Women Bike Chicago is a grass-roots organization founded in 2012 made up of women who love to bicycle and to encourage other women to bicycle. Refreshments will be served. 

How to design a city for women

The Atlantic Cities published an interesting blog piece examining how a study from Vienna, Austria revealed differences in how men and women use transit, and how that influenced policy and design to create equal access for women. 

If a similar study were done here, what kind of changes would you like to make transit and streets safer and more accessible for you?

Sept 4 Ride: Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles at Millennium Park

Mariachi on September 4 

 Another Women Bike Chicago mini event! Mariachi Fest featuring Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles

Ladies, let's get together before summer is over!  Leave from the Picasso at Daley Plaza at 5:30 p.m.  Ride to Trader Joe's at 1147 S. Wabash to pick up some picnic type food and then ride to Millennium Park to gather on the Great Lawn south of the Jay Pritzker Pavillion for the music and festivities.  For heading home, we can "buddy up" again.

If anyone wants to ride Divvy, there is, of course, the Divvy station at Daley Plaza.  There is a Divvy station at Wabash and Roosevelt, so easy to dock near Trader Joes and then get back on Divvy to ride to Millennium Park.  Near the park, there are Divvy stations on the east side of Michigan north of Monroe and on the west side of Michigan south of Randolph.

Cannot make it to Daley Plaza that early?  Meet us on the Great Lawn.  There are food vendors around in the park, and, if one is so inclined, beer and wine are allowed on the Great Lawn.

Looking forward to another great evening. 


Wednesday, September 4, 6:30pm

National Museum of Mexican Art
Mariachi Fest featuring Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles and Mariachi Perla de Mexico
Join us for National Museum of Mexican Art’s Mariachi Fest featuring: Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles, the first all-female mariachi of the United States, accompanied by Mariachis Perla de Mexico and Real Guadalajara. Last year, the Museum packed Millennium Park with a similar event. This year, they’ll surely repeat that magic. Bring the entire family and experience Mariachi Fest! Part of the 2013 Del Coraz√≥n Festival. nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org.

Tour de Divvy

Women Bike Chicago is conducting a Tour de Divvy on Thursday, July 25, 2013 starting at 6:00 p.m. at the Divvy Station on Randolph between Clark and LaSalle.  Connect with other women cyclists on a casual ride to learn about Chicago's new bike share program.  Divvy is providing free passes and an ambassador to help us all figure it out.

We will check out a few stations, and end at the always wonderful Simone's at 18th and Morgan.  Even Divvy knows how wonderful Simone's is--there is a station right there!

Sunday ride to Chinatown

Join us for a casual Sunday ride to Chinatown on 6/23.  We'll meet at 31st St. Beach at 4 p.m.

Jane Healy (708-308-8662) will lead a casual-paced ride to IIT, Bridgeport, Stearns Quarry/Palmisano Park, Ping Tom Park, and Little Village - about 15 miles, some hills.

Bring $ and your lock for a dinner stop in Chinatown.

Crash Recovery Stories

By  popular demand (really - you said so in the survey from our March 23 event), we're presenting an expanded version of the "Getting Back On a Bike" session, where Susan told of her experience getting back on her bike after a serious crash.  She'll be joined by Leah Jones, who also suffered a crash - coincidentally at the same intersection - about a year later.

Susan and Leah will share their stories - what happened on their respective fateful days and how they got riding again.  Remember, every story is different:  everyone heals at her own pace.   Learn how they did it.

Please come to Women and Children First,  5233 N. Clark St. in Andersonville on June 13, 7.30 PM

Refreshments will be served, and you'll have a chance to talk to the presenters as well.
The event is Free!


Ask your questions in the comments section!

Celebrate Mothers' Day on your Bike!

Looking for a way to enjoy the outdoors on Mothers' Day?  How about a little ride along the Lakefront Trail and a visit to the Flower Show at the Lincoln Park Conservatory?  Details in this event posting on The Chainlink:


Bring the family!

It's beginning to look like spring!

FINALLY we are getting some weather breaks and Women Bike Chicago is planning some "mini-events".  Consider this a "Save The Date" notice and put these on your calendar:

Sunday, May 19:  Anne Alt will lead a Welcome Spring Nature Ride.  Time, location, and route to come.

Date TBD:  Susan Levin will lead a discussion about How to get back on your bike after a Crash from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  Location to come.

Sunday, June 23: Jane Healy will lead a Food & Fun ride.  Time 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. from 31st Street Harbor to Chinatown.

Check back for details!

new book: Women on Wheels

I noticed something online about a new book: Women on Wheels.  I'd be curious to know if any of you have read it and what your impressions were.

Are there any notable books or articles on bicycling women among your recent reads?

      - Anne

Yes, today's ride is on!

In case you have some doubts about the weather, it doesn't look like we'll have significant rain, so today's Cherry Blossom ride is on!

Cherry blossom ride

On the subject of staying in touch, I'd like to propose a casual social ride for this Sunday, 4/14.  We'll meet at 31st St. beach house at 10:00 a.m. for a ride of approx. 15 miles to visit Osaka Garden in Jackson Park. After this week's rain and warmer weather, I'm hoping that we'll get to see cherry blossoms.

Osaka Garden
Bikes aren't allowed in the garden, so it's a good idea to bring a lock.  There's a bike rack right outside. 

There are plenty of lunch options in Hyde Park if you want to stop for a bite after visiting the garden.  If you want to get lunch, make sure you bring lock(s)/cable to secure your bike.

If you need transit info to get to the start, click here for CTA map, get CTA route/schedule info here (red line or green line to 35th St., or one of several buses - NOT Lake Shore Dr. express routes) or here for Metra (Rock Island to 35th St.).  If you take Metra, don't forget to bring a bungee cord to secure your bike on board the train.  (18-24" will work.)

Got questions? Give me a call.  312-520-1641

    -- Anne Alt

webinar tomorrow - getting more moms and families on bikes

If you're interested, the League of American Bicyclists is offering an online webinar tomorrow afternoon (Thurs. 4/11). Click here for details and to register for access.

Bike traffic skills class

Do you have a friend or family member who would like to ride more places but lacks confidence in traffic? A Traffic Skills 101 class might be just the thing.  There's a class starting Monday night 4/15.  Click here for more info.

How can we stay connected?

Many of the women who participated in the First Annual Women Bike Chicago event expressed an interest in staying in touch with new-found cycling friends and also in making new connections.  Cycling together--whether it be to work, to run errands, with the kids, or just for fun--helps expand our horizons in many ways.  It can feel safer to be with someone else, especially on the streets.  Having encouragement from a sister cyclist might make one pedal the extra mile or two.  Another cyclist might know routes you might not have even thought of.

So I ask:  How can we stay connected and make new connections?  Will you share your thoughts in the comments here as a start?

See you on the streets, on the paths, and on the trails!

a few memories from today

I just wanted to share some photos from today's event.

    - Anne Alt

Who else has photos to share?

A big THANK YOU!!!

Our planning team would like to extend a big THANK YOU - actually  three thank yous.

The first is to all our attendees today.  We really enjoyed talking with all of you, hearing your stories, taking so many good questions and getting some excellent suggestions.

The second is to all our fine volunteers.  The event wouldn't have been nearly as good without the time and energy and superb team effort that you all put into it.

And last but not least, thank you to our partners and sponsors - all listed on the right.  Your contributions helped make our event possible.

Visiting Simone's afterwards was a great way to relax.  Now we can all put our feet up - at least for a little while - until we start planning for the next event.

Come back soon.  We'll have pictures to share.  If you took pictures and would like to share them on this blog, please send email with a link (if they're on Flickr or another online photo sharing site) or send photos (if the photo files aren't too huge) and we'll post them here, with your photo credit, of course.

See you today!

We're looking forward to seeing you all today - attendees and volunteers.  If you're not pre-registered, please be aware that our indoor space is limited.

We'll have outdoor activities, too.  Feel free to check those out if indoor space if full.  Thank you!

Women Bike Chicago Schedule

Looking forward to seeing everyone!  Here's our schedule of presentations.

9:00 a.m to 9:30 a.m.  Check-in and meet and greet

9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.  Opening presentation

10:15 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  Family Biking OR
                 Commuting by bike and bikes on transit
                 (same time slot, different rooms)

11:15 a.m. to 12:00 noon  How to get the most out of your bike shop visit OR
                 Biking safety, comfort, and style
                 (same time slot, different rooms)

12:15 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Community building by bicycling
                 Connect with other cyclists
                 Prize drawing

OUTSIDE all morning:
Bike repair basics                                         Traffic safety skills
Alta Bike Share                                            Bike corral--try out different bikes

Many of our partners have donated gifts.  There will be a drawing to give them away.
You must be present to win.

Join us afterward at Simone's at 18th and Morgan for more talk about cycling and to connect with more women who bike.


P. S.  This is a free event, but if you can afford to make a donation the funds will be used to cover the expenses of putting it on.

Getting To The Event

By Bus

  • We suggest taking the number #60 Blue Island, stopping at Harrison+Halsted or 900 W Harrison
  • or the #8 Halsted, stopping at UIC campus at Halsted+Polk
  • NOTE: The #7 Harrison bus does NOT run on Saturdays.

By "L"

  • Take the Blue Line, exit at UIC-Halsted, and head south

On Foot

  • Enter the UIC campus and head to the African-American Cultural Center, Addams Hall - see the above map
By Bike

        Enter the UIC campus from Harrison, Halsted or Taylor and head to the African-American Cultural Center, Addams Hall - see the above map.  There's bike parking available near the entrance to Addams Hall.

By Car

  • Parking is available on street or at the parking garage on Halsted and Polk

Where Would You Go On A Bike?

On a family picnic?

Take your kids to school?

Out with friends?

Grocery shopping?

Tell us where you'd like to go, or add your photos of yourself in your favorite and practical places you would like to ride to.  We can help get you there!

Sign up at https://wbikechi2013.eventbrite.com/# - space is limited

What's in it for me?

Hey, Women of Chicagoland,
  • Are you interested in getting around the city in a safe, convenient and FUN way?
  • Do you watch your friends and co-workers on a bicycle and think you can't do it?
  • Are you wondering how to get your kids to school without having to wait in the loooong drop off lanes?
  • Do you want to save money, get fit, and do errands the easiest way possible?
  • Have you been told that bicycles are only for racers?
  • Do you think you're too old to learn to ride a bike?
Join other women who want to learn how to travel by bike, in sessions led by women who ride bicycles.   Sessions like:  *How to ride with children.  *How to buy a bike - don't let the bike shop scare you!  *How to commute to work and look good when you get there.  *How to plan a safe route.

Do errands!
Visit friends!
Save money!
Be safe!
Have fun!

All this is possible - Learn how at the first annual Women Bike Chicago event on March 23, at UIC.

Sign up at https://wbikechi2013.eventbrite.com/# - space is limited!

PASS IT ON - Pass this link on to your friends who tell you they wish they could ride too.


A loosely organized grass roots federation of women in Chicago from every organization and none is planning an event entitled:

Women Biking in Chicago:  a Day of Dialogue and Demonstrations

on Saturday, March 23, 2013 from 9 am - 1 pm.  on UIC campus  

This is by women and for women.  (Sorry, guys, but please tell your wife, girlfriend, significant other, Mom, sisters, aunts, and all of your female friends about it.)

Topics will include discussions about biking for fun, biking to work, personal safety, what to wear for the weather (no fashion shows!), riding with kids, getting back in the saddle after a long hiatus, and shopping by bike.  We will be having hands-on sessions teaching such as how to do easy, quick checks of your bike, how to fix a flat, and how to clean and lube your bike.  Local women who are certified cycling instructors will teach basic on-bike traffic skills.  There will also be a large bike corral with lots of bike options for women to try out for recreation, commuting, moving kids, and shopping.

There will be childcare available from 8:30 am until 1:30 pm.  RSVP strongly encouraged for childcare.

Date:  March 23
Time:  9 am to 1 pm
Place:  on UIC campus
Cost:  Free, but donations will be gladly accepted.

Contact information to follow, or comment below.