project leader
WEBike
location
106 Ridge Street
City-wide (All 5 Boros!)
latest update rss
Frame-Builder Tour!

the project

 

The goal of WE Bike is to create a social and educational community for women who ride bikes in New York City.

As a bike mechanic and a youth educator, I became aware that there was no organization in New York City specifically for women who ride bicycles.  I was interested most in creating a space for women who didn't consider themselves cyclists, felt intimidated in bike shops and on the street and was looking for a supportive way to ride that didn't involve mandatory spandex.

WE Bike was born. The WE in WE Bike stands for Women's Empowerment because I believe that bicycles have the potential to empower women to take control of the city and their lives.  WE Bike hosts rides, like many ride clubs, but we also are planning mechanics workshops and street safety classes.

WE Bike is an inclusive community for any women or women identifying people who ride, or would like to ride bikes.  Our goal is to increase confidence and community both on and off the road.

Currently WE Bike has over 100 members, a team of 15 riders in the 5 Boro Bike Tour, is a League of American Bicyclists Club and has led 2 training rides and one social ride in the month of March.  Future projects include April training rides for the 5 Boro Bike Tour, fix-a-flat workshops, culinary bike tours of all 5 boros, t-shirts and more!

 

the steps

WE Bike is an ongoing project designed at empowering women to ride and fix bikes in New York City.  

This year, our goal is to entrench WE Bike in the city's bike culture through outreach, rides, classes and meetings.  In order to do this we will:

1.     Lead 3-5 rides per month.  Some of these rides will be training rides and some will be social rides.  Our aim is to provide safe and welcoming environments for all types of riders.

2.     Host basic mechanics and fix a flat workshops. We want to give women the confidence to get home safely no matter how far they ride.

3.     Create a monthly newsletter. In addition to the month’s ride calendar this will include articles about issues important to women cyclists in NYC.

4.     Create a community ride calendar.  This calendar will include WE Bike rides as well as other female friendly bike events and activities.

5.     Host monthly planning meetings. WE Bike is a community and we want imput from everyone!

6.     Host seasonal social events such as movie nights and cookouts. WE Bike is a community of cyclists, sometimes it’s easier to talk not on a bike!

why we're doing it

WE Bike came into being because there was a lack of cycling resources in NYC just for women.  As 20% of the ridership in NYC, there are a lot of women out there on the road.  WE Bike recognizes that women face unique challenges on the streets and that much of the cycling community is male oriented.  By creating a space just for women we hope to break down some of the barriers to cycling while also building supports for women and female identifying riders.  WE Bike is inclusive of all riders regardless of skill and spandex content and aims to create a judgement free environment where people can get together and have fun on bikes!

budget

5 Boro Bike Tour supplemental funds- $600 T-shirts for 5 Boro Ride and Outreach- $300 Ride snacks and supplies (patch kits, first aid kit, extra tubes, etc.)- $300 Off-bike event food and venue- $200 Printing and graphic design- $300 Additional costs and surprises- $300 project total = $2000 credit card processing (3%) = $60 fiscal sponsorship (5%) = $100 ioby fee = $35 total to raise = $2195

updates

Frame-Builder Tour!

 

 Frame-Builder Tour!

Ever wonder where bicycles come from? We met 5 local frame-builders who take raw steel and turn it into what can only be called ridable art!

First Stop: Williamsburg Bridge
14 women, 4 sun-dresses, one pair of spandex shorts, 5 commuter bikes, 3 fixed gears, 1 folding bike, 3 road bikes, 1 touring bike, 1 custom bike and a variety of baskets, bells and whistles (ok, no whistles) gathered to go on a an adventure.

Second Stop: Thomas at Horse Cycles http://www.horsecycles.com/
Thomas does everything from building frames to custom paint jobs in his Brooklyn shop. Thomas had the biggest shop we visited, which he shares with furniture builders, motorcycle men and a very nice cat.  He builds mainly lugged, steel frames. Beautiful.

Third Stop: Seth at Rosko Cycles http://rosko.cc/
Seth’s shop is, no exaggeration, a garage, yet he builds bikes for everyone from professional racers to BMXers.  Seth started his frame building career working with motorcycles, then in production at Brooklyn Machine Works and now works for himself.  As he put it, “I got to make all my mistakes on someone else’s bikes!” It’s perfect from here on out!

Fourth Stop: Johnny at Coast Cycles http://www.johnnycoast.com/
Johnny has a soft spot for steel randonneuring bicycles.  Randonneuring is a sport that is half race, half endurance tour.  It is epitomized by the Brest-Paris-Brest race in France where riders go full-tilt for 750 miles in under 90 hours! Unlike some of the other builders who use a computer program, Johnny draws out his frames, angles and ideas full size on butcher paper.  His final bikes are some pretty amazing lugged frames!

Fifth Stop: Ben at Benjamin Cycles
We liked Ben immediately when he offered us cold beers after a hot ride.  It only got better when he started telling us about tig welding.  While some of the builders use lugs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lug_(bicycle_part)), Ben tig-welds one tube to another. When someone asked why he chose this method, he replied by quoting another builder, “It’s like having the power of the sun.”

Sixth Stop: Lance at SquareBuilt and Bar-B-Que http://www.squarebuilt.com/
Our last stop at SquareBuilt continued to open our eyes to even more new and interesting frame building stories.   After visiting four other shops, we still had one question, “Where do you start?!”  Lance took the time to not only tell, but show us each part of the frame as it goes through the process. (Also he offered us his backyard and was Grill Master during the BBQ, so we think he is pretty great!!)

Thank you to everyone who came out, especially our leader, Emily and the amazing frame builders who let us into their space! It couldn’t have been a better day!

5 Boro Bike Tour!

The 5 Boro Bike Tour!

WE Bike finished the 5 Boro Bike Tour with flying colors! 14 women came out to ride with WE Bike and we couldn't have asked for a better day!  Highlights included whooping and hollering in the tunnel on the FDR, riding on the BQE and onto the Verrazano Bridge and having an overall great time in good company.

A few quotes from happy riders:

  • "I had a great time during the 5 Boro Bike Tour, and, riding on the momentum of that success, I rode my bike to work yesterday!! This is a HUGE deal for me, because I have been wanting to do this for a very long time and haven't had the skill or the nerve until now! Amazing! Thanks Liz, thanks ladies. Go WE BIKE!" - Rebecca
  • "We also want to thank you for a great day - we would not have signed up for this bike tour without you and WE Bike. As corny as it sounds - it was a great mother/daughter adventure. Thanks again!!"
    - Katrina

 

WE Bike's First (FREE) Mechanics Workshop!

On a beautiful Saturday morning WE Bikers got together to learn a few basic, on the road mechanics. Participants learned how to fix a flat from a professional female mechanic and then had the opportunity to try it on their own bikes!

Please donate to help us host more workshops like this one!

photos

This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration

donors

  • Barbara S.
  • Laura S.
  • Douglas J.
  • Emily N.
  • Polly K.
  • Joan G.
  • Morgan B.
  • Eileen M.
  • Molly C.
  • Nathalie F.
  • Alexandra M.
  • Maria Cristina A.
  • Mercy D.
  • Margaret S.
  • Susi W.
  • Jessica S.
  • Jeffrey D.
  • Faatima C.
  • Jessica L.
  • Jessica L.
  • Alexis W.
  • A. Claire M.
  • Floyd H.
  • Laura S.
  • Jocelyn B.
  • April L.
  • Helen M.
  • Karen C.
  • Mackenzie M.
  • Mackenzie M.
  • Candice W.
  • William J.
  • Polly K.
  • Amanda R.
  • Shelley D.
  • Andy S.
  • Susan Hunt Y.
  • Nora G.
  • Lydia K.
  • Kim L.
  • Katherine K.
  • Sarah G.
  • Emilia C.
  • Laura S.
  • Hatuey R.
  • Linda M.
  • Helen H.
  • Lindsey R.
  • Elizabeth J.
  • Shelma J.
  • Kimberly B.
  • Graciela L.
  • Denise C.
  • Dolores S.
  • Katrina M.
  • Elizabeth J.
  • Marcia K.
  • Erin B.
  • .
  • William J.