Women and Cycling Conference 2016
The WACC2016 aim is for gender parity in cycling by 2020 - and that's an ambitious target. I was curious to hear about what was happening so I signed up and jetted off to sunny Hereford.
It was a follow up to a previous conference held in York, and this time round I'm told the slant was more cycling activists and less council and public sector staff. It was a great opportunity to hear about projects involving women and girls from all over the country. Plus a brilliant meet up for those of us who had only ever met on Twitter.
Discussion on policy was mixed with practical projects and workshops. We heard from the Breeze champions - unapologetically for recreational cycling and with a huge national impact. And at the other end of the scale, very small but intense projects such as an analysis of older women who have given up riding bikes - fascinating work. This included interviews, life stories mapped on a timeline, and bespoke feedback to find a cycling solution. Some of the stories were very moving- someone who had been doored didn't ride a bike again for 10 years.
The project that gained a standing ovation was a youth worker from Bradford and young women from the BME community. Four of the women proudly told us how they learned to ride bikes and finally cycled 10k. Brilliant and a fantastic video recorded their achievement.
We made friends and shared stories, got inspiration and came home determined to make a difference for women. Who wants to come with me in 2017?