Look around on the street – more and more women are on bikes everyday, looking stylish. Cycling is becoming normalised – yep, in NZ! Frocks On Bikes is catalysing a revolution. And the world wants to know about it: we’ve been accepted to present at a prestigious international conference: Velo-City 2013 in Vienna!
We want to give a big shout out to our wonderful pledgers who helped us raise the funds to send Christina to Velo-City!
What the flock?
Frocks On Bikes has been asked to present a lecture to Velo-City 2013 about how we’re normalising cycling in NZ – a country that’s a uniquely tough gig for everyday, urban cycling. Frocks’ presentation listing is:
‘Frocks on Bikes’ is making cycling in cities mainstream, especially for women, by empowering them to cycle in their everyday clothes to enjoy everyday activities, [dissolving] the sport-centric perception of cycling in New Zealand.
We’ve set up a Pledge Me page to make it super easy and rewarding for you to donate!
Rumour has it, that Christina will also be baking her super-yummy homemade lemon meringue pie for two lucky pledgers… get in!
What is Frocks on Bikes?
Frocks on Bikes is a New Zealand cycling phenomena that sprung up in 2008 in Wellington. It has since spread to over 13 towns and cities throughout the country and in Australia. Frocks is first and foremost, but not exclusively, about women. It supports women to get out on their bikes, in their everyday clothes – even a frock – to live their everyday lives; be it a trip to work, a party, cafe or the shop. Frocks does this by holding fun social events, cycle skills training, and sharing ideas and inspiration.
Frocks understands that there are more barriers for women than men to ride bikes. Two of those barriers are confidence and handling skills. Frocks arranges discounted cycle skills training and ‘Road Rights and Responsibilities’ discussion evenings provided by women in a supportive learning environment.
In the five years since conception, Frocks on Bikes has gained widespread media attention in local and national newspapers, magazines, and national TV. The various Frocks facebook groups reach an audience of over 1000 frockers, with twitter reaching another 600 (and growing). Regular events can attract over 200 frockers, with dozens of events held around the country every year.
Frocks has become a positive, apolitical force in the cycling advocacy world. We have deliberately chosen not to focus on any particular benefit of cycling (such as health, or the environment), in order to focus on the sheer enjoyment of cycling from a social perspective.
Over the past 5 years there has been clear growth in cycling numbers (in Wellington alone numbers have doubled since 2006). Anecdotal evidence suggests that there are more and more women, (and more people riding in everyday clothes,) doing everyday things, on European style or retro bikes. We’d like to think that Frocks on BIkes has been a major contributor!
What is Velo-City?
The Velo-city conference series
Velo-city conferences serve as a global communication and information platform aiming to address decision makers in order to improve the planning and provision of infrastructure for the everyday use of bicycles in urban environments. Velo-city conferences typically bring together more than 1,000 delegates such as engineers, planners, architects, social marketers, academic researchers, environmentalists, businessmen/women, and industry representatives who join forces with government at all levels in order to build effective transnational partnerships to deliver benefits to cycling worldwide.
Objectives of Velo-city conferences are:
Spreading high quality knowledge about cycling and transport planning internationally.
Showcasing through conference publicity the benefits that cities with good cycling policies provide to their citizens, businesses and others.
Encouraging the recognition of cycling as an efficient, healthy, environmentally friendly mode of transport, and promoting its widespread use.
Integrating cycle planning into transport, land-use planning and other policy sectors related to cycling.
Seeking involvement from all relevant stakeholders.