Women on Bikes SoCal Launches “Let’s Double the Women & Girls Riding Bikes” Campaign On 2/8/12 with the First Female Only LCI Bike Safety Program in the U.S!
For Immediate Release
Date: February 2, 2012
From: Melissa Balmer – Editor/Initiative Director Women On Bikes SoCal
Tel. (562) 221-9672 email: email@example.com
Re: Women on Bikes SoCal Launches “Let’s Double the Women & Girls Riding Bikes” Campaign On 2/8 with the First Female Only LCI Bike Safety Program in the U.S!
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 underrepresentation 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.
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 underserved 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call (562) 221-9672.
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 underserved populations 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 and 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 transit, 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 safe streets and bike paths and trails take us wherever we want to go. By uniting California’s bicyclists — local advocates, commuters, recreational riders, and the bicycle industry — with everyone else who wants healthier, more livable communities, we can transform California. Learn more at http://calbike.org/.
About the Los Angeles Bicycle CoalitionFounded 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.