[col14 style=”margin-top: 20px;”]
Biker. Revolutionary. Changemaker.
Women make things happen. They talk about experiences, encourage and support one another, and share. They share their passions and empower one another to reach their goals. Ms. Mathews’ passion: to empower and encourage women and girls to ride bikes. She wants our streets to be bountiful with women and girls riding bikes. Why is this so important? Women are known as ‘indicator species.’ When they collectively support a cause or get behind a product, it usually becomes a success. The more women there are who bike, the more women there will be who bike. Simple as that.
Two of Jessica Mathews’s passions are women and bicycles. For the past four years, Jessica has chosen to live a car-free life. As the Outreach Program Coordinator for the local bicycle non-profit, Consider biking, she eats, sleeps, and breathes to create a safer, more convenient, and more accessible ‘multimodal’ city for everyone (anyone that knows her can attest to this). Jess obsessively believes that streets must be shifted back to ‘people-priority’ instead of ‘auto-priority’.
Jessica’s focus has recently turned specifically towards empowering and educating women and girls about the benefits of the bicycle. She strongly believes that when there are more women and girls riding bikes on a regular basis, the more ‘normal’ the bicycle will be viewed here in America. As such, Jess created a girls-specific youth empowerment program: ‘Girls in Gear’ which empowers adolescent girls to develop unique skills that help build their independence and self-esteem so that they begin a pattern of confident, healthy decision making throughout their lives. Areas of focus include: bicycle mechanics, nutrition education, and community urban design.
This past May, Jess led the effort to organize the first statewide ‘Ohio Women’s Bicycling Summit’, which brought in speakers and attendees from all around Ohio. Jess also organizes a monthly women’s ride, ‘2 Wheels & Heels’ that has attracted attention from two national magazines and local media.