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With free workshops Boston Bikes looks to get more women riding

Posted by Patrick Rosso  September 26, 2012 12:35 PM

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(Patrick D. Rosso/Bosotn.com/2012)

By Patrick D. Rosso, Town Correspondent

As Hubway expands and the city of Boston works to get more of its residents riding, Boston Bikes the city’s cycling program, wants to get more women riding.

A group of 10 women and their bikes met at the Ruggles MBTA Station Tuesday evening to take part in the city’s first women’s specific on-bike workshop.

The free workshop aims to not only get the women familiar with their bikes, but with the laws of the road and safe riding practices, from proper signals to how to take a left turn in heavy traffic.

In Boston, 30 percent of cyclists are female, which is above the national average of 24 percent, according to the city of Boston.

Lead by Samantha Herr, program manager for Boston Bikes, and Dylan Johnstone, a cycling instructor with the city of Boston, the two women coached the group through the basics, from how to fit a bike to tackling some of the hairiest of Boston intersections.

“Women face more barriers to cycling, from learning how to cycle to feeling secure on the streets,” said Herr. “So there a number of different things that we can do to help women and families cycling with children feel more comfortable.”

The women who turned out Tuesday hailed from all over the city and represented a broad swath of female riders, from young novices to older more experienced riders who were looking for a safety refresher.

“All my friends learned how to ride bikes when they were kids so it’s hard for them to kind of explain to me the ins and outs of biking on the road and logistical issues and this is a really nice, safe feeling way to learn about that stuff,” said Stephanie Kulaga, a 26-year-old Jamaica Plain resident.

Although Tuesday’s workshop was filled to capacity a number of free women-specific workshops will be happening over the coming months.

For more information about the program and upcoming workshops, click here.

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Email Patrick D. Rosso, patrick.d.rosso@gmail.com. Follow him @PDRosso, or friend him on Facebook.

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