Learn more about BikingToronto and Singer Kwinter
Explore more posts like this: ,

Guest Post: Organizing Girls Only Rides

Note from Joe: I requested that Hyedie re-post this excellent post here on BikingToronto.

I frankly can not believe that Hyedie is getting flack for organizing a very successful series of bike rides. Yes, they’re only for females, but so what? Almost *everything* in the cycling world is male dominated, and Hyedie is trying to encourage more women to ride their bikes for fun and for utility. Is there anything wrong with that? Hell no. In fact, it should be commended.

If you have a problem with the “girls only” nature of the ride, or just want cupcakes for yourself, then go out and organize rides of your own. What’s stopping you? Only yourself.

Keep on organizing Hyedie. You’ll always have a promo partner in BikingToronto.

Hyedie’s post starts below:

———————————————

Why I Organize Girls Only Rides

Thanks to the Cupcake Rides I’ve met so many awesome women who’s main mode of transportation is a bicycle.

Before I organized these rides and met all these amazing lady bikers, however, I only knew a handful of women who biked in the city. And within my close circle of friends in Toronto, I’m still the only girl who bikes regularly in the city.

When I show up to meet my friends somewhere with my helmet dangling from my arm I am met with comments like, ‘I can’t believe you bike in the city. I’m too scared.’ or ‘No way, drivers in Toronto are too crazy. I don’t know how you do it.’

Sadly, these sentiments aren’t exclusive to my group of friends and they probably represent the main the reason why so many women don’t bike in Toronto and North America.

Statistics show that in Toronto roughly only a third (and only about a quarter in North America) of cyclists are women.

Taken from the City of Toronto 2010 Bicycle Count

This cyclist gender disparity is the reason why I started the Toronto Girls’ Cupcake Ride.

I should really create a FAQ page, but in the meantime hopefully these points shed some understanding on why my rides are for women only.

Why are the Cupcake Rides segregated?

  • To encourage more female cyclists to bike in the city.
  • aka to take some Affirmative Action.
  • To create a special ride just for women, much like there are sporting events just for certain groups of people (a person from Europe can’t compete in the PanAm games, and American athlete can’t compete in the Commonwealth Games).
  • To create a ride that is non-competitive and welcoming.
  • To create a ride that allows first time or newbie cyclists to feel comfortable riding on city streets while being sandwiched by more experienced riders.
  • To build female camaraderie within a bike culture that can sometimes have a chauvinistic side

So those are great reasons, but why do we need to encourage more female cyclists to ride anyway?

  • Our roads are clogged with pollution emitting vehicles and our public transit is bursting at the seams, by getting more people to bike we can alleviate the pressures on traffic and public transit ridership plus help to reduce pollution.
  • Strength in numbers! More cyclists on the roads can help create safer bike trips because drivers become more careful.
  • Strength in numbers! More cyclists can strengthen our voice at City Hall.
  • Modest increases in bike ridership could yield major economic, health benefits
  • If you love riding your bike, why wouldn’t you want other people to enjoy this wonderful activity?

I’m sure over time while I mull this over I’ll have more to add.

These are my reasons for creating a women’s only ride, which I wanted to share to counter some of the, at times nasty, comments that I receive from *ahem* guys who feel left out.

And to be frank, I volunteer my free time to organize these rides. As such, I should be able to organize them in anyway I want.

Upcoming Events on the BikeEvents.TO calendar

RECENTLY ON BIKING TORONTO:

bike-commuter_small

EVENT: Tues, May 5 – Etobicoke South Cycling Committee: May meeting

Date: Tuesday, May 5, 2015 – 19:00 – 21:00 The ESCC is holding its monthly meeting between 7 and 9 PM on May 5 at Among Friends. Below is the agenda. 1. What happened at the April 9 meeting on the Humber Bay Shores trails? 2. The city has released funding for the trail on […]

17951_1175263074351_144887_n

EVENT: Sat, June 20 – Cycle for Sight Toronto

Date: Saturday, June 20, 2015 – 08:00 – 18:00 Cycle for Sight is a fully supported, one-day cycling event in support of the Foundation Fighting Blindness. Whether you’re a cycling enthusiast or leisure rider, riding a single or tandem bike, Cycle for Sight will be the perfect one-day ride! We offer different distance options from […]

17052169538_38881f8808_b

PHOTO OF THE DAY: Making Our Own Power

Source: Original photo – by cookedphotos on Flickr. Ikea celebrates Earth Day at Yonge Dundas Square. This photo was featured as blogTO’s ‘Photo of the Day’ for April 23, 2015: http://ift.tt/1FgtWh3 via Flickr. See this and 7,000+ other amazing bike photos in the Biking Toronto Flickr Group.

DO IT! Take a survey; help Toronto plan cycling infrastructure

We’ve just posted our first survey for the development of Toronto’s Cycling Network Plan for the next 10 years. At this stage we are asking Toronto residents about values, so we can better understand the priorities of residents in different parts of the City. Understanding these priorities will help inform resource allocation. The geocoding and […]

17036745578_be24fd7cab_b

PHOTO OF THE DAY: Dundas x Sterling

Source: Original photo – by Fixed in Silver on Flickr. Morning light on a gorgeous Saturday in Toronto. To our left is the existing southern access point of the West Toronto Railpath. via Flickr. See this and 7,000+ other amazing bike photos in the Biking Toronto Flickr Group.

16919463559_f2b23e1306_b

PHOTO OF THE DAY: On Bike Patrol

Source: Original photo – by WillJaksa on Flickr. Toronto Police Officers on bike patrol near Jarvis Street. #Toronto #TorontoPolice #GeorgeStreetDiner via Flickr. See this and 7,000+ other amazing bike photos in the Biking Toronto Flickr Group.

greatergoods

SHOP: Greater Goods – Green, Delivered by Bike

Great new service here in Toronto – Greater Goods.  Environmental products, delivered by bike. They are delivering using the cool Trio Cargobike – I don’t know if they are available in Toronto, but VeloLifestyle in Montreal carries them (disclosure: VeloLifestyle is an advertiser on BikingToronto) 100% Natural Products We inspect every ingredient of every single […]

SHOP: Top 25 bike stores in Toronto by neighbourhood

Bike stores in Toronto are scattered throughout the city. There’s bound to be a spot near you that will suit your needs, whether you’re looking to pick up a shiny new ride, get repairs done, order a custom build, or even pick up some new skills for yourself. Here are my picks for the top […]

OH YEAH! Cycle Toronto’s #BloorLovesBikes campaign is here and it’s awesome

The biggest OH YEAH! to Cycle Toronto for the start of their “Bloor Loves Bikes” campaign.   Who wants bikelanes bringing lots of people to their stores to spend lots of money not being spent on cars?  Bloor businesses do! Our #BloorLovesBikes window decals are in! Watch for them on Bloor coming soon! via Cycle […]

17200358111_44d310ae2a_z

PHOTO OF THE DAY: Hmmm

Source: Original photo – by Create Sean on Flickr. Kensington Market, Toronto Ontario – Favorite shot from yesterday’s photowalk. via Flickr. See this and 7,000+ other amazing bike photos in the Biking Toronto Flickr Group.

About Hyedie Hashimoto

Hyedie is the founder of the Toronto Girls' Cupcake Ride. When she's not riding her bike around Toronto, she can be found hanging out with her two Beagles.

Recommended Lights

"Frog" Lights

Planet Bike Light Combo

Planet Bike 5 LED Tail Light
Recommended Books
See More Books