Women Bike PHL

In Philadelphia, only one third of all bicyclists are women. This is better than the national average, but still shows that barriers exist to women bicycling. Women Bike PHL aims to shrink the gender gap in bicycling, making riding a bicycle more fun and feasible for Philadelphia women of all ages and backgrounds.

The hub of the program is the extremely vibrant Women Bike PHL Facebook group.

Women Bike PHL also holds rides, classes, and social events throughout the year, aimed at women bicyclists of all ability levels. Some of our events are just for women, while others are open to everyone.

Women Bike PHL events include, but are not limited to:

  • Off-bike Urban Riding Basics classes sponsored by Piscitello Law
  • Learn-to-Ride classes at Lloyd Hall
  • Social bike rides highlighting local eateries or parks
  • Basic mechanics classes hosted by local bike shops
  • Visits from women bike leaders like Jacquie Phelan and Elly Blue
  • Meetups for women bicyclists at bike-friendly bars and coffee shops

The Women Bike PHL community is growing rapidly. Here are resources to get involved. Wondering if bicycling is for you? Women of all backgrounds ride for all sorts of reasons in and around Philly. Meet some of them in our profiles series at the bottom and learn what got them into bicycling and how it fits into, and enriches, their lives.

Origin and Goals

According to the Bicycle Coalition’s annual bike counts, only one third of Philadelphia bicyclists are women. Possible explanations for this gender gap:

  • Higher risk-aversion among women
  • Inadequate bikes/gear designed for women
  • Unwelcoming bike shops and clubs
  • Street harassment
  • Sweating, helmet hair, clothing concerns
  • Parenting and errand-running logistics
  • …and more!

We created Women Bike PHL in 2013 to address some of these barriers to biking among women. Through rides, classes, and social events, we directly educate and encourage women in Philadelphia who are interested in biking, but concerned for any number of reasons.

Women Bike PHL works to highlight and celebrate the stories of Philadelphia’s women bicyclists. Both online and in person, we create spaces for people to connect, building much-needed community among Philadelphia’s female bicyclists. 

Get Involved: Rides, Classes, and Social Events

The hub of the program is the extremely vibrant Women Bike PHL Facebook group.

Women Bike PHL also holds rides, classes, and social events throughout the year, aimed at women bicyclists of all ability levels. Some of our events are just for women, while others are open to everyone.

Women Bike PHL events include, but are not limited to:

  • Off-bike Urban Riding Basics classes
  • Learn-to-Ride classes at Lloyd Hall
  • Social bike rides highlighting local eateries or parks
  • Basic mechanics classes hosted by local bike shops
  • Visits from women bike leaders like Jacquie Phelan and Elly Blue
  • Meetups for women bicyclists at bike-friendly bars and coffee shops

To see our upcoming events, visit the Bicycle Coalition events calendar.

Girl Scouts on Wheels
girlscoutpatch

In an effort to serve women of all ages, Women Bike PHL developed “Girl Scouts on Wheels,” a scouting patch program to help Philadelphia-area girls build confidence, skills, and knowledge on their bicycles. (The patch we had originally created for this effort is pictured here, but any commercially-available bicycle patch will do!) The program requirements take girls through the basics of bike mechanics, bike safety, choosing safe routes, and exploring the diverse world of bicycling. The program is aimed at Junior Girl Scouts, but could be adapted for younger or older girls.

More Resources

Some other great programs getting more women on bicycles:

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