This weekend, amidst the excitement at the tenth annual Philly Bike Expo, an all-women panel of bike advocates presented on their grassroots efforts to make cycling accessible for all in the region. WHYY was on hand to cover the panel, organized by the Bicycle Coalition. Among the panelists was the founder of the Narberth Cycling Club Kimberley Bezak, founder of Bike Kennett Josie Marsh, Rebecca Kreck of Bike Gloucester County, Hammonton Kickstand Crew’s Alicia Fields-Murphy, and former regional chair of Bike Montgomery County, Alexandria Schneider. The panel was moderated by long-time Bicycle Coalition supporter Anne Gordon.
The panelists discussed issues surrounding bicycle infrastructure, climate change, and sentiments about bicycles for more than just recreational use. Several of the advocates focus their efforts on child safety and engagement. Alicia Fields-Murphy has focused on kid-friendly rides and is working on purchasing bike lights for children.
Building community around biking has been a success— just ask Schneider about the 3,000 people who turned out unexpectedly for a group ride she organized during the 2015 Pope Francis visit to Philadelphia. As for the Narbeth Cycling Club, the first group ride brought out 100 people. Bezak stated, “We are tapping into something in our community that people are begging for.” As with several of the other cycling groups, biking for many of the over 400 adult members in Narberth has become more than a time of leisure. Trips include recreation time with children and grocery store shopping.
Advocacy efforts around biking in the region have been expansive—in part thanks to these women who have been relentless in their work to highlight the ways in which biking can be an integrated part of everyday life in our distinct and ever-evolving communities!
Interested in becoming a part of the conversation? Join us at the 2019 Active Transportation Forum on Saturday November 16.