Women & girls ride in Tacoma

Photo courtesy of Liz Kaster.

By Cindy Schaarschmidt & T'wina Franklin, Guest Contributors 

Two Tacoma groups are partnering to inspire more girls in Tacoma to ride bikes. 

We're VeloFemmes, a women-focused bike group, and Ladies First, a school-based program dedicated to empowering young women. We recognized a shared interest in promoting healthy and empowering life choices, and this commonality brought us together for a bike ride, a film screening and general bicycling enthusiasm.

Since some of the young ladies didn’t have access to bikes, our groups connected with Bikes for Kids, a group of local volunteers who fix and donate used bicycles. They donated a total of 15 bikes to members of Ladies First. The Puyallup Watershed Initiative in Tacoma graciously donated helmets, locks and lights, so everyone was equipped to ride safely!

Helmet fitting before the ride. Photo courtesy of T’wina Franklin.

We led a big group ride on Tacoma’s Eastside on a Saturday in May, and about 30 girls and women from all over Tacoma participated and rode a six-mile loop through the neighborhood. We even stopped in a grocery store for some (healthy) treats.

We stopped at a grocery store to grab some (healthy) treats. Photo courtesy of T’wina Franklin.

Leading up to the ride, we showed Wind in Our Hair, an inspiring documentary about women and girls on bikes by Portland-based filmmaker Jennifer Hardacker, at two different Ladies First meetings. After watching the short film, we talked about biking, addressed safety concerns and discussed the best bike routes in Tacoma.

Since the ride was such a success, we’re planning additional outings this summer, as part of two upcoming Ladies First summer camps. Follow us on social media for outing detail announcemets! 

About Ladies First

Ladies First is a school-based program dedicated to empowering young women and connecting them to women leaders and mentors. We offer weekly programming in a middle school on Tacoma’s Eastside and in a high school in the Stadium District.To find more information or get involved, find us on Facebook and on Twitter @Ladies1stOrg

About VeloFemmes

Velofemmes is an all-volunteer group of women dedicated to getting more women on bikes. Our mission is “Tacoma women. Riding bikes. Having fun.” To find more information or get involved, find us on Facebook and on Twitter @VF253.