Looking out over the growing group of women and women-identified folks gathering on the grassy knoll behind Olvera St. for the Ovarian Pscyo-Cycles 4th Annual Clitoral Mass ride, I realized that, despite having attended the previous three events, I only recognized a handful of the riders.
Considering there were probably more than 200 cyclists on the green, and more were arriving all the time, that was saying something.
I mentioned this to Maryann Aguirre, one of the women that had been instrumental in organizing the first Clitoral Mass in 2012.
Nodding, she took a minute to survey the crowd.
The event now seemed to have a momentum of its own, we agreed, attracting long-time cyclists, novices, and everyone of every age, race, make, and mold in between.
And it was clearly meeting a need, given all the new faces and excited exclamations of, “We need this!” and “I have been waiting all year for this!” I was hearing.
When the Ovas first decided to launch the event four years ago, it was because they had felt there was a need to carve out space on the streets for those women and women-identified folks — particularly those of color — who didn’t feel their experiences were validated or welcome in other cycling spaces.
It is not a concept that is terribly controversial right now. But back then, conversations around equity, inclusion, and the mobility of those on the margins had yet to really take root in the livable streets and cycling communities. So, the idea of a female (identified)-centric ride caused a bit of a stir. Read more…