Anne-Marije Rook
Dozens of women came out to participate in the first ever Critical Lass ride on Sunday, May 13, in support of the CycloFemme movement. CLICK ON IMAGE ABOVE TO START SLIDESHOW

The Riding Reporter: Dozens come out for the first Seattle Critical Lass/CycloFemme ride SLIDESHOW

CLICK ON IMAGE ABOVE TO START SLIDESHOW

On Sunday, May 13, dozens of women met at the Ballard location of the Seattle Public Library for the first ever Seattle Critical Lass ride.

The ride wasn't in honor of Mother's Day, but rather part of an international movement called CycloFemme.

Presented by Girl Bike Love, CycloFemme is a Global Women's Cycling Day "To honor the past and the emancipation of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers, for the freedom to choose and the chance to wear pants. To celebrate the present and the riders who keep it rolling, bringing women's racing to the forefront, pushing the limits, breaking down barriers and sharing the love of the bike with everyone along the way. To empower the future of women in cycling and the opportunity for positive social change.Teach women to ride and they will change the world", according to their website.

With a mission to bring more women to the world of cycling, CycloFemme creates a unified voice for women in cycling, and encourages and empowers more riders.

With the CycloFemme movement growing, Jenn Litowksi from Ballard Greenways, bike-blogger Madeleine Carlson, and Cascade Bicycle Club's Robin Randels jumped at the opportunity to make May 13 Seattle's first Critical Lass ride as well.

Critical Lass rides were started in Edmonton, Alberta by Litowski's friend, Debb Merriam, and have since been happening in Chicago as well. The Critical Lass rides focus on bikable communities and takes participants along routes that include the city's new and future neighborhood greenways.

Sunday's route followed the future Ballard greenways (along NW 57th and NW 58th street) to the Burke-Gilman trail, over the Fremont Bridge, and onto South Lake Union Park.

"I'm really, really pleased with the turnout," said Litowski. "We'd like to do it again."

Carlson added that the turnout exceeded her expectations and she would like to see Critical Lass rides become a monthly event.

Critical Lass joins a growing list of regular (non-spandex) women's social rides in Seattle that welcome riders of all biking abilities.

Follow Critical Lass on Twitter (@CriticalLassSEA) at or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SeattleCriticalLass.

This year's CycloFemme holiday was greatly successful as 163 rides were held in 14 countries.

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