West Town Girls Bike Club: A Dollar for Every Mile
Adopt a mile. Get a postcard. Support sustainable neighborhoods. | Adopt a segment of our route by sponsoring outstanding programming for young girls who are amazing bike ambassadors in their neighborhood. 100% of your contribution will support the West Town Girls Bike Club. We’ll write you a postcard from any section of the ride you choose to sponsor! Our goal is to raise a dollar per mile, which means $2320 by the end of our 2,320 mile ride. Be a part of the expedition by contributing to our campaign here.
Empowering neighbors. Inspiring new generations. | We have spent the last several years obsessed with the bike-ability of our neighborhood, Chicago’s West Town. As tireless proponents of increased access to biking in all communities everywhere, we have both been blown away by the outsized impact of a local non-profit bike co-op, West Town Bikes. Bold and effective for over a decade, West Town Bikes offers bicycle mechanics workshops and wildly successful youth programs to members of the community. The overreaching goals of West Town Bikes are to promote bicycling throughout the city by fostering and serving a growing cycling community. They educate youth with a focus on under-served populations.
Think globally. | We have decided to fundraise for one of West Town Bikes’ youth programs in particular: the Girls Bike Club. The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that only 26% of bike rides are made by women, compared to 50% in many parts of Europe. We are convinced that in order to get more Americans on bikes, it is critical to encourage those members of your community that may not always feel welcome to start riding.
“Girls Bike Club was founded in 2011 because girls in the shop were intimidated by all of the experienced guys in Bike Club.” Emily Leidenfrost, Program Coordinator
About West Town Girls Bike Club | The program is dedicated to encouraging and empowering girls to ride beyond what they thought was possible. For some, this could mean biking around the neighborhood. For others, bikes can bring new levels of access to Museum Campus on Lake Michigan, or outside of the Chicagoland area. The program provides girls with a safe space to explore bike mechanics and cycling as a sport. Ages in the group range from 8 to 20, and the group goes on around twenty rides every year. Most recently, the group went on an ambitious 100-mile ride over 2 days to go camping together in Illinois Beach State Park. They are currently saving up to send a group of girls to the 2016 Youth Bike Summit in Minneapolis, a national event, where the girls will present about their club’s strategies and goals. Your contribution, in particular, will give them the opportunity to exchange ideas with other youth bike groups around the country. To support these energetic and effective young activists, click here
“If you want to know if an urban environment supports cycling, you can forget about all the detailed ‘bikeability indexes’—just measure the proportion of cyclists who are female.”-Jan Garrard, Scientific American