A group of women cyclists have set up their own UK Women’s Cycle Forum with its first meeting on June 14th.
Inspired by the US National Women’s Bicycling Forum, Suzanne Forup of the CTC and Sally Hinchcliffe of Pedal on Parliament and the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain have joined forces with the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling to put on an evening of networking and debate with a panel of inspirational women speakers from across the world of cycling.
Described as “all the best bits of a cycling conference without the part where someone in a suit reads their PowerPoint slides at you”, the forum will combine short presentations with round-table debates and discussion – helped along with a glass or two of wine.
Panellists include Rachel Aldred, Senior Lecturer in Transport at the University of Westminster, Sara Dorman, one of the core organisers of Pedal on Parliament, Jo Holtan, blogger and founder of Cycle Hack, a worldwide initiative to investigate ways to make cities more cycle friendly; and Jayne Rodgers, CTC inclusive cycling development officer.
Sally Hinchcliffe said, “I floated the idea of a UK women’s forum on Twitter a few months ago and there was a huge response.
“If you look around at what’s actually going on in cycling – from sports to campaigning – women are there behind a lot of the really interesting stuff, but you’d hardly know that from the conferences and panels I was attending, where at best there would be one or two token women speakers.
“I wanted an event where these women could step out of the backrooms and into the limelight, but more than that, where people would come away ready to change their own corner of the world in some small way.
“We’re hoping that if this year’s event is a success, that it can become an annual event, transforming the way we talk about cycling not just for women but for everyone.”
Suzanne Forup said, “I wanted to move on from the tired discussions about 'why don't more women cycle?' and into a place where we can all be inspired by the positive impact women are making in the cycling world.
“I want this event to start building a community that inspires more women to become advocates and leaders in the cycling movement”
The event will be on Saturday 14th June at 6-8pm at the Ukrainian Club, 14 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh.
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After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.