I want to help create a more bike-friendly country, especially for women and girls. There are a ton of reasons why this matters, and many of them are weaved throughout my book, Traveling at the Speed of Bike. Here is a Book Club Discussion Guide for it.
I’m happy to share the following additional bonus resources with you. Also, see my classes and custom content offerings as well. (For local women, see upcoming classes here.) Please feel free to contact me if there is a particular impediment to bike riding that you are experiencing anywhere in the United States, and I would be happy to try to help you find a solution.
The View from the Handlebars: View over 1,000 photos of bike infrastructure, and more, while Traveling at the Speed of Bike. These may be helpful if you need to show examples at your local city hall or elsewhere where you are trying to encourage positive change. Please feel free to use my photos, with photo credit: © Pattie Baker 2018.
#BikeNoodle Sticker: I road-tested a three-foot pool noodle sticking out from the side of my bike for two years (so far!) to track its effect on motor vehicle driver aggression and illegal passing. It reduced aggression completely and increased safe passing to about double the required distance. In short, it was 100% effective for me and enabled me to access roads in my suburb-city and four neighboring ones that were previously unsafe to ride. You can buy the sticker I used here and customize it to meet your needs. Read more about #BikeNoodle in Traveling at the Speed of Bike (specifically Chapter 6: Noodle Lady).
Seniors-on-Trikes Course Recommendations: I created the concise document below for you to use where you live, developed as a result of my year spent teaching the Silver Spokes seniors-on-adult-tricycles class in the Bicycle Friendly Community of Decatur, Georgia. There are some stories about these classes in Traveling at the Speed of Bike.
“I’m Routing for You!” Maps: Below are routes in the City of Atlanta that I’ve put together through trial and error that I consider to be safe for a woman riding alone* (since I ride them all the time) during the daytime that are also perfect for families, friends, tourists and business visitors, and corporate groups out for a fun spin. I mention specific helpful details such as hills, bathrooms, bike racks, nearby train stations, and more.
The Art of Bike Riding: Here are some of the amazing murals around metro-Atlanta that you may pass while Traveling at the Speed of Bike. I offer these merely as inspiration to get out there to enjoy the ride wherever you live, especially since old murals don’t last forever (and you don’t want to miss them) and new ones are constantly being added (which is fun). Check out #ArtOfBikeRiding on Instagram for more, and why not add your own?
Today”s Nice Stranger: I meet a ton of strangers (many of whom go on to become friends) while Traveling at the Speed of Bike. I tell their stories in lots of ways. Here are some portraits I took of them that I posted on an Instagram page named TodaysNiceStranger. May these serve as a reminder that there are so many friendly, interesting people out there just waiting for you to connect with them.
Below is my free 30-minute basic bike skills class sampler, which you can enjoy from the comfort of your home. (My two-hour proprietary Pedal Power with Pattie Basic Bike Skills Class is entirely hands-on, with no classroom time.) This may give you enough to get going.
Additionally, tap into your local bike advocacy organization. These groups all over the United States are doing astounding things to make a measurable difference in accessibility and safety for everyone sharing our public spaces known as streets. Many offer free classes and other local resources. Also, local bike tour companies offer interesting ways to see your city by bike and are worth every penny. (Fun fact: In Atlanta, the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, Bicycle Tours of Atlanta, and Civil Bikes are all led —and owned, in the case of the last two—by women. The City of Atlanta also has a full-time Chief Bicycle Officer, who is also a woman.) By the way, I’m a big fan of bikeshare systems but I have some caveats with that. Stay tuned and I’ll develop a resource about bikeshares soon.
Finally, I’m going state-by-state in the United States to find out what’s great for women on bikes. I’m hoping to do about one a week over the next year, and will link here to my blog posts about each one. I will probably do a summary of my findings at the end, with recommendations about where we go next.
What’s Great in Each State for Women on Bikes
*This is what has worked for me. I assume no liability for any outcomes of actions you may take as a result of my recommendations. I regret that I have to add this disclaimer, but in our litigious country, this is unfortunately necessary.