Launch of: Let’s Double the Number of Women & Girls on Bikes

Women on Bikes SoCal Launches “Let’s Double the Number of Women & Girls Riding Bikes” Campaign in Response

to the Dramatic Rise in Sedentary Diseases on Wednesday Feb 8th in Long Beach with the First Female Only

League Certified Bike Safety Instructors Program in the U.S!

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On February 8, 2012 at 9:00 am at the state-of-the art Bikestation at 223 E. 1st Street in downtown Long Beach CA 90802

(1st Street Transit Mall at Promenade Park) the Women On Bikes SoCal (WoBSoCal) initiative “celebrating the joy, benefits and

beauty of bicycling for women” will be joined by the California Bicycle Coalition, Bikeable CommunitiesLong Beach Vice

Mayor Suja Lowenthal, Andréa White-Kjoss of BikestationBike Long Beachthe Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition for

the launch of the “Let’s Double the Number of Women & Girls Riding Bikes” campaign. Phase I of the campaign is the hosting

of the first League Certified Bike Safety Instructor (LCI) scholarship program accredited by the League of American Bicyclists

this summer for women only in the United States – the gold standard of bicycle safety training programs in the nation. Vice Mayor

Suja Lowenthal will give a brief overview of the campaign and announce the details of the “Moving Long Beach: Why Style Matters to

Active Living Advocacy” fundraising event March 24th in support of the campaign prior to the photo opportunity and media briefings.

To reserve your media briefing between 9:45 and 11:00 am please contact Melissa Balmer at (562) 221-9672 or email her at

wobsocal@gmail.com.

 

Currently, women are dramatically underrepresented among bicyclists in the United States. According to a new report from the Alliance

for Biking & Walking released 01/23/12 — Bicycling and Walking in the United States: 2012 Benchmarking Report —women

represent just 24 percent of bicycle trips in the U.S. This under representation is particularly striking in Southern California: In Long

Beach, just 15 percent of bike-to-work commuters are women and in Los Angeles just 20 percent are women. (To download a free e-copy

or purchase a hardcopy visit: PeoplePoweredMovement.org/benchmarking).

 

Why do female trainers matter? According to the Benchmarking Report, bicycling and walking dropped 66 percent between 1960

and 2009, while obesity levels rose 156 percent. Engaging and encouraging more women to ride is a critical step in reversing this

dangerous trend. Andréa White-Kjoss, spokeswomen for WoBSocal and the COO & President of Bikestation/Mobis Transportation

Alternatives, says empowering female instructors is key to closing the bicycling gender gap:

 

Bicycling is intensely personal, and it follows (and studies have confirmed) that though there is overlap, the needs and desires of bicyclists

differ by gender.  Women trainers have a distinct connection to what it takes to cycle as a woman—and they will create a curriculum

that addresses the needs of women cyclists and will teach in ways that resonate with other women.  It’s called targeted marketing, and it works.”

 

There are currently fewer than twenty women in all of Southern California who hold LCI accreditation with the League of American Bicyclists,

creator of the LCI program. Fewer than five women hold this accreditation in the greater Long Beach, South Bay, South/East L.A. and

714 Orange County areas – which are the regions this first “women only” training will focus on. Twelve women will be chosen to receive

the scholarships for this program and in return will donate 25 hours of bike safety training back to their communities. Among the candidates is

Long Beach resident and bike advocate Elizabeth Williams of Cali Bike Tours, who will give a brief statement at the photo opportunity about

the importance of this scholarship program for women and the community.

 

The target date for this first LCI program is June of 2012 to allow for fundraising, time for candidates to take the pre-requisite Traffic 101

bike safety class, and the selection process. Top LCI Chris Quint, whose traffic video Cyclists’ Eye View is included with all training

materials provided to LCI’s by the League of American Bicyclists, has been retained as lead trainer for the program. He will be

supported by three female LCI’s. Details for scholarship applications will be released on February 15, 2011 at

www.womenonbikessocal.org.

 

 

We welcomed the opportunity to be the first sponsor for this campaign. Having female certified cycling instructors is an important

part of the solution to close the gender gap in cycling participation.” Dave Snyder, Executive Director of the California Bicycle Coalition.

 

“As an LCI, a coach, and a longtime observer of the gender gap among bicyclists, I’m proud to be part of this very beginning of a

program with great promise. This is an unprecedented opportunity for women interested in the growing bicycle culture to really

be on the forefront of social change, by earning the certification and then contributing to a regional campaign aimed at getting

more women on bikes. Kudos to Women on Bikes SoCal for kicking this off!” Jen Klausner, Executive Director of the Los Angeles

County Bicycle Coalition.

 

Phase I of “Let’s Double the Number of Women & Girls Riding Bikes” is the first step in a comprehensive plan to reach WoBSoCal’s

goal to help double the number of women and girls actively riding bikes in Southern California by 2017. Phase II of the “Let’s Double

the Women & Girls Riding Bikes” campaign is an innovative pilot program working with the new female LCI’s selected for Long Beach

to create cost and time effective bike safety workshops as part of broader “active living” advocacy utilizing the bike as a smart and

cost effective urban transit tool for mobility independence for Long Beach’s under served neighborhoods. Target date to launch

Phase II is winter 2012. To learn more go to www.womenonbikessocal.org.

 

On Wednesday morning February 8th there will be a photo opportunity from 9:00 to 9:30 am in front of Bikestation immediately followed

by media briefings on the campaign by appointment. Dave Snyder, Executive Director of the California Bicycle Coalition, Vice Mayor

Suja Lowenthal of Long Beach, Andréa White-Kjoss of Bikestation, Allan Crawford of Bike Long Beach, Jennifer Klausner, Executive

Director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, Charlie Gandy special adviser for Bikeable Communities, and both Melissa Balmer

Editor/Initiative Director and Kerri Zane “Health by Bike” columnist of Women On Bikes SoCal will be at the briefing and available for

individual appointments as well. To reserve your briefing appointment please email Melissa Balmer at wobsocal@gmail.com or call

(562) 221-9672.

#End#

 

 

About Women On Bikes SoCal

The mission of WoBSoCal is to encourage, engage and empower women and girls of all ages, races and walks of life in the

Southern California region by demonstrating the beauty and benefits of bicycling, engaging them in bicycling related

activities, and doubling the number of women and girls actively riding bikes in the south coast region of Southern California

within the next five years.

 

Launched in November of 2012, WoBSoCal is collaboration between the 501(c)3 bicycle advocacy organization Bikeable

Communities, Bikestation, Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal of Long Beach and the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

Both Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal and Andréa White-Kjoss, President & COO of Bikestation serve as spokeswomen

for WoBSoCal. WoBSoCal is a unique blend of bicycle advocacy focused at women and families in under-served p

opulations in need of transit alternatives, and a dynamic digital communications piece through it’s website at

www.womenonbikessocal.org.

 

About Bikeable Communities

Bikeable Communities is a 501(c) 3 established to promote bicycling safety and foster the ideal of bicycle networked

communities throughout the Southern California coastal region. Bikeable Communities works at the local, regional a

nd state level to advance safer bicycle infrastructure, create more collaborative bike-friendly communities, promote

bike safety knowledge for riders, and safe access for bike riders of all skill levels and interest. Bikeable Communities

has had an active leadership role in inspiring Long Beach to set the goal to be “the most bike friendly

city in the nation.” Learn more at www.bikeablecommunities.org.

 

About Andréa White-Kjoss & Bikestation

Andréa White-Kjoss is president and chief operations officer of Mobis Transportation/Bikestation. Bikestation is

the leading brand of Mobis and creates the only complete operational ecosystem for bicyclists and bicycling at t

ransit, and in developments, universities and colleges, and corporate campuses. Andréa was named the

Association of Bicycle and Pedestrian Professionals’ (APBP) 2010” Private Sector Professional of the Year”

and a Business Week 2010 Top 25 Social Entrepreneur. Andréa created the original Women On Bikes bike safety

scholarship program in 2007. Learn more at www.bikestation.com.

 

About Dr. Suja Lowenthal

Dr. Suja Lowenthal, Vice Mayor and Second District Councilmember, has been serving on the Long Beach City

Council since June of 2006.  Suja combines her experience in the community and on the school board with her

education in business and urban planning to address issues such as parking, public safety, air & water

quality and commercial development through sustainable, long-term policies.  She has provided the political

will and leadership to advance the City’s award-winning bicycle-friendly agenda; progressive strategies in animal

care services and green policies.

 

About the California Bicycle Coalition

Our mission is to create safer, healthier and more livable communities throughout California by promoting

bicycling for transportation and recreation. Our vision is a California where we all live in communities where s

afe streets and bike paths and trails take us wherever we want to go. By uniting California’s bicyclists — local a

dvocates, commuters, recreational riders, and the bicycle industry — with everyone else who wants healthier, m

ore livable communities, we can transform California. Learn more at http://calbike.org/.

 

About the Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition

Founded in 1998, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) works to build a better, more bike-able Los

Angeles County. LACBC is the only nonprofit, membership-based organization working exclusively for the

millions of bicyclists in Los Angeles County. Through advocacy, education and outreach, Los Angeles County

Bicycle Coalition brings together the diverse bicycling community in a united mission to make the entire L.A.

region a safe and enjoyable place to ride http://la-bike.org/.

 

 

About the Alliance for Biking and Walking

The Alliance for Biking & Walking is the coalition of 200 state and local bicycle and pedestrian organizations

working together to promote bicycling and walking in North American communities. The Alliance strengthens

and unites state and local organizations through research, sharing best practices, training, resources,

and grants. For more information or to find a local organization visit www.PeoplePoweredMovement.org.

 

Bicycling and Walking in the United States: 2012 Benchmarking Report was funded by the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention and made possible through additional support from AARP and Planet Bike.
To view rankings of the 50 states and 51 largest U.S. cities, and to download or purchase a hard copy of the
report visit www.PeoplePoweredMovement.org/benchmarking.