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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:

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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.

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Sweet Ride: Cupcake Edition, the Music Video

Sweet Ride: Cupcake Edition - Apr. 22, 2012As I mentioned when I posted photos from the Sweet Ride: Cupcake Edition on Sunday, I also took about 100 short videos during the ride, and have been editing them on my phone.

I’m finally done, and was able to take 11 minutes of video down to 3.5, as well as pairing it with a peppy pop song that has been in my head for a few months (thanks to CBC Radio 3). I give you the Sweet Ride paired with “Big Blue Wave” by Hey Ocean.

 

In addition to the photos I posted on Sunday, be sure and check out the photos Hyedie posted on her Cupcake Ride Blog.

The next Sweet Ride is on Saturday, June 23rd.  We haven’t picked a food theme yet, but will soon.   Stay tuned.

If you are female and can’t wait for June, Hyedie is planning the next Girls Cupcake Ride for Saturday, May 26.

If you want to keep up and informed about future rides, you can also follow BikingToronto and the Cupcake Ride on Facebook and Twitter:

BikingToronto: Facebook | Twitter

Cupcake Ride: Facebook | Twitter

 

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Photos from the Sunday Sweet Ride: Cupcake Edition

Yesterday, we had our first Sweet Ride (co-ed food based group ride planned with Hyedie of the Cupcake Ride) of 2012.  It had a cupcake theme, and we started up at Bathurst and Eglinton at Flour Studio and went all the way to Bobbette & Belle in Leslieville almost completely car-free via the Beltline, Moore Park Ravine and the Don Valley.

I ended up taking 149 photos and videos along the way.  Most of those (about 100) are short little videos I’m currently editing into one for you (it’s taking a while), but here are the better photos I took.

Details about the next ride are after the photos.

 

 

 

The next Sweet Ride is on Saturday, June 23rd.  We haven’t picked a food theme yet, but will soon.   Stay tuned.

If you are female and can’t wait for June, Hyedie is planning the next Girls Cupcake Ride for Saturday, May 26.

If you want to keep up and informed about future rides, you can also follow BikingToronto and the Cupcake Ride on Facebook and Twitter:

BikingToronto: Facebook | Twitter

Cupcake Ride: Facebook | Twitter

 

I’ll have the video edited and posted as soon as I can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Winter Rider Profiles

Winter Riders

It’s April, spring is (almost) here, but I want to take a blog post to highlight a very good series of posts done by Hyedie over at the Cupcake Ride blog… the Winter Rider  interview series with Cupcake Riders who ride all year long. She chatted with them about why they love riding and what keeps them riding through the winter.

Be sure and check out all four lovely winter riders - Andrea • Denise • Kathleen • Amanda

I have met all 4 of them via the Sweet Rides that Hyedie and I organize, and they are all fantastic.  They didn’t even pay me to say that. haha.

Click their photos below to read their interviews.

 

 

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2012 Sweet Ride and Cupcake Ride Schedule

We’re gearing up for the 2012 Sweet Ride and Cupcake Ride season and Joe and I thought we’d be proactive this year and set dates for the whole season before hand.

While this is a tentative schedule, we’re hoping that nothing will come up and we can stick to the dates below. We’ll be setting up Facebook events for each ride, just like last year, closer to the each of the dates.

Hopefully you can pencil in some of these dates and we can see you out on a ride this year!

April
Cupcake Ride (Women Only)
Saturday, April 7

Sweet Ride (Co-ed)
Sunday, April 22 <- Earth Day!

May
Cupcake Ride (Women Only)
Saturday, May 26

June (bike month!)
Cupcake Ride (Women Only)
Sunday, June 10

Sweet Ride (Co-ed)
Saturday, June 23

July
Cupcake Ride (Women Only)
Saturday, July 21

August
Sweet Ride (Co-ed)
Saturday, August 18

September
Cupcake Ride (Women Only)
Saturday, September 22

October
Sweet Ride (Co-ed)
Saturday, October 13

* Dates are not final and may change!

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