Women's Bike Extravaganza! by Deb Janes and Tracey Iglehart (Women On Wheels Productions)

The Women's Bike Extravaganza is brought to you by Women On Wheels Productions. For up-to-date information, check out the Women On Wheels web site at www.sf-now.com or the SFBC's web site, www.sfbike.org.

Join the Fun!

We are a couple of women immersed in the world of bikes. One of us spends her whole work week surrounded by two-wheeled machines in a bike shop; both of us ride bikes in the city, on country roads, and in the woods. And we're both bike activists-pushing for alternatives to car-centric ways of building communities.

But we know most women are not as in love with spokes, handlebars, and tubes as we are. In fact, it can be downright lonely out there. Only 20 percent of bike commuters nationally are women (with a similar figure for San Francisco, according to an SFBC Market Street survey), and only a third of the SFBC's 3,300 members are women. Something's wrong here folks.

So, we've taken it upon ourselves (Women on Wheels Productions, that is - we even gave ourselves a name!) to attempt to change those statistics - and hopefully a few attitudes to boot. We want to show women that biking can be a pleasurable and safe way to recreate, do errands, and travel to work. And what better way to do that than with a month of celebratory and educational rides and events!

The First Annual Women's Bike Extravaganza - corresponding with March's national Women's History Month - will be both instructive and fun. The calendar includes a bike repair class and an urban riding clinic with a follow-up ride on city streets. We'll also be showing the renowned "Freedom Machine" slide show revealing how bikes have been key to women's liberation dating back to the late nineteenth century. (This may be your last chance to see it, so don't miss it!) The slide presentation will be followed by a forum exploring different ways in which women move through the world, including on our bikes.

And don't miss the rides: daughters escorting their moms on a leisurely ride through Golden Gate Park; a trip over the bridge to a quaint Marin County town; and a visit to the forest to scream with glee down hills. And we would be remiss if we didn't celebrate the whimsical (although some would argue quite practical) side of biking with a fashion show. All rides and shows are free of charge.

When we hatched this wild idea for a series of events we quickly realized we were missing a few key components: an action plan (we have one now), a bunch of dedicated volunteers (that would be you!) and hordes of women to show up for the events (again, that's you!). Call us at (415) 242-5469 or (510) 845-9987 or email us at wow@sf-now.com to volunteer to hang posters in your neighborhood, pass out flyers at other events, or help in many other ways. And most importantly, come enjoy the events!

Mountain Bike Ride
Sun., March 3 | 10am American Cyclery 858 Stanyan @ Frederick Hit the trails for a leisurely paced ride around Phoenix and Lagunitas Lakes in the beautiful Marin watershed, complete with redwoods and wildflowers. Bring a sack lunch. Transportation from San Francisco to the trailhead generously provided by Towanda Tours. Reserve a spot in the van by calling (415) 695-2726. Rain date: Saturday, March 9.

Basic Bike Repair Class
Sat., March 9 | 2-4pm
McLaren Lodge, Fell St. @ Stanyan
Get an overview of how your bike works, learn to change a flat tire, and more. Rain date: Sunday, March 17.

Urban Riding Clinic/ City Ride
Sun., March 10 | 1-3:30pm
Justin Herman Plaza
Muni buses, narrow streets, SUVs, Oh my! Learn when and how to "take the lane," how to ride safely, how to avoid potholes without swerving into cars, and more. We'll then put the ideas into practice with a ride on city streets. Rain date: Saturday, March 16.

Biking Fashion Show
Sat., March 16 | 8-10pm
American Cyclery, 858 Stanyan @ Frederick
We'll explore the two competing camps of bike fashion—comfortable riding apparel and hipster everyday wear.

Road Ride
Sun., March 17 | 10am
American Cyclery, 858 Stanyan @ Frederick
A leisurely ride across the Golden Gate Bridge into Tiburon and a ferry ride back to the city. Rain date: Saturday, March 23.

"Freedom Machine" Slide Show/Women on the Move Forum
Sat., March 23 | 4-7pm
Women's Building, 3543 18th St. @ Guerrero
This may be the last chance to see this famous slide show illustrating the intersection of women's history and the bicycle. Also, a panel discussion exploring how women move through the world — including on our bikes.

Mom/Daughter or Young Friend Ride thru Golden Gate Park
Sun., March 24 | 11am
McLaren Lodge, Fell @ Stanyan
Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy with other moms and their daughters as we meander through the park on our bikes. Women with young friends are encouraged to join us. Rain date: Sunday, March 31.