According to Transportation Alternatives member Jessame Hannus, the goal was to encourage more women to bike, whether it’s for recreational use or for transportation.
Participating organizations included Make Queens Safer, Bike New York, Queens Bike, Trips for Kids, New York Cycling Club, NYC Youth Cycling, Families for Safe Streets, and the Jackson Heights Beautification Group, to name a few.
The group traveled a seven-mile route from Long Island City to Kew Gardens before holding a rally in front of Borough Hall.
Two Forest Hills High School students took the two-hour trek on bicyles they received through participation in Bike New York’s Recycle-A-Bicycle program, which salvages old bicycles.
Director Karen Overton said the organization will ask the Department of Education to introduce more bicycle education into their program so more youth are aware at a younger age.
“Women can build and work on bikes too,” Overton said.
Bike-lane advocate Lizi Rahman met the group at the rally. In 2008, her 22-year-old son Asif was killed on Queens Boulevard near 55th Road by a truck while he biked home from his first full-time job.
“He loved to ride his bike, he was free like a bird,” Rahman said. “After he died, I said I didn’t know how I would do it, but I am going to get a bike lane on Queens Boulevard.”
She hopes to have a big celebration for her son once additional bike lanes are installed, particularly on the stretch from Yellowstone Boulevard and Union Turnpike.
Claudia Hernandez, a member of Ciclistas Latinoamericanos de New York, said the event shows that women from all backgrounds can use cycling as a mode of transportation.
“We belong to different cultures, we speak different languages and we have different religions, but today we unite for the common good,” Hernandez said. “We explore this new bike lane which is not just for recreational use, but for invaluable transportation