Long Beach Hosts First National Women’s Bicycling Summit

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National Women’s Bicycling SummitOn September 13, 2012 the first-ever “National Women’s Bicycling Summit” will be held in partnership with the “Cycle Chic: Past, Present & Future” urban bike fashion in downtown Long Beach California on the last day of the National Pro Walk/Pro Bike: Pro Place 2012 conference. Tickets for the two women-focused events combined are just $35.00! Click here to sign up!

Illustrating how the bicycle can inspire both personal and cultural revolutions, Leah Missbach Day, co-founder of World Bicycle Relief, will be the keynote speaker at the Women’s Bicycling Summit. Day will set the stage for these two events aimed at increasing the number of women riding bikes and empowering female leadership at all levels of the bicycling movement.

This collaboration couldn’t be more-timely. With rising gas prices, increased traffic congestion and the dire warnings about the cost and harmful impact of sedentary diseases, the bike can be a tool for urban optimism. But as of 2009, women accounted for just 24 percent of all U.S. bike trips. Hosted by the League of American Bicyclists and the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, the National Women’s Bicycling Summit will provide a unique opportunity to network, share best practices and develop action steps to close the gender gap in American bicycling.

The Cycle Chic: Past, Present & Future urban bike fashion show, hosted by the Long Beach-based Women on Bikes SoCal initiative, is dedicated to celebrating the joy, beauty and benefits of bicycling for women. The initiative’s goal is to help double the number of women and girls actively riding bikes in Southern California over the next five years by harnessing the power of style and fashion to engage and empower women to embrace the bike as a smart, cost-effective and healthy mobility tool.

“These events will provide a powerful opportunity to learn from each other, build a network of female leaders from coast to coast, and work toward a bike future where women don’t account for just 24 percent of bike trips, but are equally represented on the streets and in the movement,” said Carolyn Szczepanski, communications director for the League of American Bicyclists.

The Cycle Chic: Past, Present & Future urban bike fashion show will pay homage to Mikael Colville-Andersen who will be a special guest of the fashion show. Colville-Andersen coined the term “Cycle Chic” in 2006 and launched a world-wide mostly female “Cycle Chic” blog movement via his own website Copenhagenize.com.

“We’re so delighted to honor to Mikael, and the influential place the bike holds right now as a design and fashion darling,” said Melissa Balmer, Editor/Initiative Director for Women On Bikes SoCal. “We hope both the summit and the fashion show will inspire more women to become active living participants in a crucial time in bicycle advocacy.”

The Women’s Bicycling Summit will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on September 13, 2012. The Cycle Chic: Past, Present & Future urban bike fashion show will take place right across the street at The Promenade in downtown Long Beach from 6:30 to 9:30 pm. After party events will continue until 11:30 pm. Tickets for the Summit (open to both women and men) including the Cycle Chic fashion show are $35 and registration is now live. Click here to sign up!

Sponsors for these events include: Jamis Bicycles, TeamEstrogen.com, Gail Copus Spann and Jimm Spann, Liv/Giant, Momentum Magazine, Velojoy.com, Alliance for Biking & Walking, New Belgium Brewing, Choura Events, the Downtown Long Beach Business Association, the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, Primal Alchemy Catering, interTrend Communications, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Joen Garnica Interiors, Violet Love Headbands and more.

Limited scholarships are available for women with financial need: For more information, contact Carolyn Szczepanski at carolyn@bikeleague.org. Visit www.bikeleague.org/conferences/women for additional details and updates.

Learn more about the Cycle Chic urban bike fashion show at www.womenonbikessocal.org. For more information about the fashion show contact Melissa Balmer at wobsocal@gmail.com or via tel. at (562) 221-9672. VIP tickets for the fashion show are also available on the website for $50.00 per person.

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