CHICAGO — Women Bike Chicago's leaders want to see more female cyclists on city and suburban streets.
The organization, founded in 2012, revamped its website last week to add more information and details about the group and serve as a recruitment tool for more female cyclists.
Women Bike Chicago is "giving women a place to lead and develop as confident riders and has helped amplify women's voices in the discussion of where we belong on the streets in Chicago," said Jennifer James of Pilsen, a volunteer with the group. "We have nurtured new riders in every part of the city, given community to new and experienced riders and given women who are developing leaders in cycling a great place to grow."
The group's highlights include an outdoor movie night featuring documentaries about women who bike, a mentoring program, group rides and annual Day of Dialogue and Discussion, according to chairwoman Elizabeth Adamczyk of West Lakeview. Through those events, the group has helped female riders choose commuting routes, taught them how to dress for different types of riding, enabled moms to ride with their children, proven it's not hard to run errands by bike — and that it can be fun.
Mini-workshops, which will be detailed on the new website, teach things like basic bike maintenance, how to lock a bike and repair a flat tire, and how to use maps to plan a route, according to volunteer Jane Healey of Blue Island.
"The new website focuses more attention on the recruiting of women and providing a hub for all information and events that we do work with," said volunteer Lura Meisch of Lakeview.
Melissa Manak of Rogers Park, head of communications for the group, said it covers the city and suburbs but focuses on neighborhoods that historically have a low number of cyclists. Last year, the group held a ride for Garfield Park residents, and it's always looking for new riders.
"We want to be far-reaching, especially to the underserved communities," Adamczyk said.
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