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Dear Community Members:

We are excited to announce a new chapter for this community. With the help of an advisory group made up of seven amazing community members, the Bicycle Coalition is relaunching our initiative to bring more gender diversity to local cycling under a new name. 

What precipitated this change?

Some of you may be wondering why there was a renaming process, as the group was renamed previously in September 2019. When the new name announcement was made, WE Bike NYC, an organization with similar goals to ours based in New York, came to the Bicycle Coalition with their concerns. WE Bike NYC leadership had given a lot of labor in incubating and sharing resources with Women Bike PHL’s founder. At the time of the group’s founding, there had been discussion about using the name WE Bike PHL, and it was conveyed by WE Bike NYC that they didn’t want to share a similar name unless the groups were going to be formally connected.

Unfortunately, with time and leadership transitions, that knowledge was lost. Unaware of the history, the Bicycle Coalition prioritized community feedback in the renaming process, so the favored name, We Bike PHL, was chosen.

We believe it is important to respect WE Bike NYC’s wishes, as they are aligned with our movement, their leaders gave a lot of their energy in helping get our community off the ground, and the name is important to them.

We regret that the relationship was dropped with WE Bike NYC in staff transitions and that we didn’t engage in a dialogue with them before the name change. We hope that this can be the start of a renewed relationship with WE Bike NYC and the amazing work they do.

What’s in a new name? Why we’re excited about this change

Going through this second round of change made us take a deeper dive into what we’re trying to achieve through this community. We convened a group of seven community members from diverse backgrounds with connections to biking to help develop the new vision for this initiative.

Whereas the previous rename was a subtle shift to move toward inclusivity, this rename indicates a bigger shift. And this shift is one for which we’re very ready and excited.

So what’s the new name? Well, there’s actually two!

FOLX N SPOKES PHL is an initiative to create a more inclusive local cycling scene in the Greater Philadelphia region. We recognize that there are many groups underrepresented in cycling and bike advocacy. We advocate for the inclusion of the following groups in product development, marketing, race promotion, advocacy, and street design:

  • People of color, especially black folx in a majority-black city
  • Women, trans, and/or non-binary people
  • People with disabilities and chronic illnesses
  • Immigrants
  • Fat and non-“straight sized” people
  • LGBTQIA people

We advocate for the inclusion of cyclists of color, women, trans, and nonbinary cyclists, disabled cyclists, immigrant cyclists, LGBTQIA cyclists, and cyclists of diverse sizes in product development, marketing, race promotion, advocacy, and street design. Together, we are working to break down barriers to participation and build a cycling culture that denounces racism, harassment, sexism, ableism, and sizeism.

THE 51% BIKE PROJECT is a sub-initiative of Folx n Spokes PHL focused on gender diversity in the local cycling community. Women, trans, and nonbinary folx make up over half the population. It’s time we are represented in cycling. We are 100% committed to getting at least 51% representation.

The 51% Bike Project community is only open to cyclists, both experienced and prospective, who are women, trans, and/or nonbinary. We welcome allies to advocate for gender diversity in the cycling community.

We invite you to learn more about these initiatives here.

We are looking for these communities to be participatory and collaborative, and look forward to hearing any feedback or ideas you may have. Please let us know what you think by taking this survey.

Amanda Ruffner

Author

As Communications Coordinator for the Bicycle Coalition, Amanda is constantly thinking about all the interesting, gorgeous, varied ways we can share what we're learning and making with each other.Send her the audio/visuals/articles that move you, she promises she will spend time with them.

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