Rolling Through Women’s Bike Month


When you log on to Facebook, you see a myriad of posts. Another high school acquaintance had her baby, another old friend got engaged, someone snapped a shot of her bagel sandwich from some obscure breakfast spot you’ve never heard of. And sometimes, you read things that just make you a little peeved. At least, it happens to me…and it happens often.

Today, I read a post about the Divvy bike system. If you don’t know about the bikes of which I speak, you’ve either been living under a rock or don’t get out in the city that much. But I digress… Here’s the post:

Let it be said that I am a HUGE fan of Divvy but this campaign makes my skin crawl. What, now we don’t bike? I’m getting a bit tired of being targeted for marketing campaigns solely for being a woman. Maybe if they grounded this in some statistics a “woman’s bike month” would make more sense. Without that it feels a bit forced.

As I read this, my skin started to crawl as well. Divvy’s latest marketing campaign, Women’s Bike Month, might not seem offensive, but I feel it is (at the moment). “But Carrie,” you say. “Aren’t you being a bit to harsh since there are other celebratory months like Women’s History Month in March?” My answer is, “Absolutely not.”

That’s not why I’m upset. I’m all for promoting women – anytime, anywhere. I just think Divvy went about this the wrong way. Here’s the gist of it, straight from Divvy:

We designed Women’s Bike Month to raise the profile of women who bike and encourage more women to consider biking both for recreation and transportation. So whether you’re an experienced biker or just getting back on a bike for the first time in years, we just want to say “Yes!”

I’m just the sort of woman Divvy would want to target with this marketing campaign since I drive into the city every day. If I leave the office, I usually walk unless my destination is more than three to five miles away or across town. Then, I cab it. So, while I appreciate Divvy’s attempt to get more women out there biking (especially me), again, I just think they went about it the wrong way.

The page (at this point) doesn’t really explain why this movement is important. As another person said on Facebook, “It’s missing the because.” The post makes it seem as though there are barely any women cyclists in Chicago, and there’s no real research included to explain why this movement is important. Check out this read for more info and some good stats.

In the end, my point is that I like the idea of Women’s Bike Month. I just wish there was a little more to the campaign than simply (and subtly) encouraging women to get to a Divvy station and rent a bike.


About Carrie Williams

Carrie Williams is TCW's managing/digital editor. She manages day-to-day editorial operations of the monthly print publication, website and social media outlets, contributes to a variety of feature articles and directs a team of interns, freelance writers and bloggers. In early 2013, she led the redesign of of TCW's brand strategy. Her blog, "Carrie On," is a blog of reflection and discovery, discussing how to push through life when you’re handed one too many curveballs. And finally, Ms. Williams is also executive director of the TCW Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit supporting underfunded women's and children's organizations.