WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — A group of 10 women from five East Coast advocacy organizations came together to ride from New York City to the National Bike Summit, happening this week in Washington, D.C. The goal of the ride, called WE Bike to DC, was to encourage a larger female presence at the Summit—in particular those who would not otherwise be able to afford to attend. An Indiegogo campaign and sponsorships provided funds for entries to the Summit as well as hotels and food, and WomanTours provided SAG support.
Challenging weather didn’t hold the riders back. The group left from New York on Thursday morning and braved subfreezing temperatures, stiff headwinds and piles of old snow to make it to Philadelphia that day. The rest of the trip got a bit easier, with sunshine and less wind, although temperatures dropped into the low teens at times. Supporters came out to ride with the group as they left Philadelphia and on the approach to Washington. A party at a local pub greeted the riders in Baltimore. The group rolled into D.C. for pictures in front of the Capitol just ahead of another winter weather system.
At the Summit, the women’s purple jackets stood out and many speakers acknowledged their achievement. Kristina Sepulveda, WE Bike NY project manager, said, “The biggest impact for me on this ride was seeing the smiles on the women who saw us as we passed through their town, stopped us in diners to ask where we were going, used their cars to block traffic so we could safely go by. When they hit the road themselves, the mission of this ride will be fully realized.”
The group included members of WE Bike NYC, Black Women Bike DC, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia: Women Bike PHL, Gearing Up and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association: Women and Bicycles.
Editor's note: Writer Karen Brooks accompanied the 10 women on the ride.