Group wants Tacoma women to ride bicycles

Staff writerJune 19, 2013 

A new group in Tacoma hopes to get more women biking.

The National Household Travel Survey reported in 2009 – its most recent report – that 24 percent of bike trips are made by women. VeloFemmes, a loosely knit group of Tacoma women who enjoy cycling, wants to increase the number of female cyclists riding for recreation, competition or commuting.

The group got its start in late April when Kristina Walker, manager of Downtown on the Go, brought eight women together to discuss how to get more women to bike as part of the organization’s new goal to reduce the number of single occupancy cars in downtown Tacoma by

11 percent.

There are now 15 women active in planning events for VeloFemmes.

“We’re not doing big advocacy work, we’re just here to make it safe and fun and accessible to ride a bike,” organizer Micaela Cooley said.

To kick-start a series of events, VeloFemmes hopes to put on, it is organizing a free, public event Thursday called “We are VeloFemmes.”

The event starts in Tollefson Plaza at 5 p.m., and will feature giveaways and information on bike maintenance, bicycle commuting and “helmet-friendly hairstyles.” At 6:30 p.m., participants can join a 3.7-mile bike ride to the Harmon Tap Room for food and drinks.

“Anyone can ride their bike, but a commuting bike ride can be really intimidating. We want to make cycling really accessible through our work with VeloFemmes,” Walker said in a news release.

The event is sponsored by the Tacoma Wheelmen’s Bicycle Club and Downtown on the Go, which is a partnership between the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, the city of Tacoma and Pierce Transit to encourage commuting in non-single-occupancy vehicles.

More information about VeloFemmes is available on the group’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Leah Traxel: 253-597-8670

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