Meet Renée Yvonne Moore of Bicycling and the City

Image by Rakiya Moore, Yvone's daughter.

Image by Rakiya Moore, Yvone's daughter.

Renée Yvonne Moore is a former nuclear chemist and pharmacy marketer turned bicycle advocate. She started with her Meetup group Bicycling and the City in Temple Hills, Maryland. The goal is to get women riding by creating bike rides to fun events. Six months later she was hired to be a Bike Safety Instructor for Bike Maryland and the next month hired to be the Women & Bicycles Coordinator for Washington Area Bicyclists Association. She gets to use her marketing skills in bike advocacy and for the bike events. The future is to create experience rides, retreats and tours in other states and countries.

MB: You learned to ride a bike at the age of 25. Can you share with us the first time you truly felt empowered by riding your bike?

RYM: I did learn at 25! I must say that first ride without my friend/ date Randy running behind me was quite exhilarating. But I really felt empowered when I first rode to the hospital to see my mother after her stroke. I did it to save money because parking was $22. I just couln’t pay that every day. So I biked there. It was therapeutic for me. And empowering.

MB: You began your own "bike love" with a Meetup group called "Bicycling + the City" which now has over 200 people in its network. Will you share a few of your favorite outings over the years with us?

RYM: I have two: my first favorite outing was Bike and Kayak. I love biking and although I'm not really good at kayaking, I enjoy it a lot so those two together make a great day for me. My second favorite was Bikes, Books and Brunch. We rode over to a restaurant had brunch and discussed Brené Brown's  book Daring Greatly. It was fun, different and the women loved it.

MB: Love this! I love Brené Brown and the book Daring Greatly. It's one of those books I've tried to get all of my friends and family to read.

Your first "advocacy" adventure was attending the special Women Bike event at the League of American Bicyclist's National Bicycle Summit last year. How did you find out about the event and what was it about the event that sparked your interest so much?

RYM: At the time, I was running my pharmacy marketing business and I had absolutely no reason to go to this summit.  I believe I saw it in Momentum magazine so I looked it up and saw they had a women's day and a pop up shop. I decided to sign up because I thought it might give me ideas for my group Bicycling and the City. It was a great decision. I met some amazing people. I ended up meeting Mia Kohout and Tania Lo from Momentum Magazine who did a spread on me in the magazine. And I bought a lot of goodies at the pop up shop!

MB: You're someone who's been able to launch a new career in bike advocacy. Will you share with us what you do both at Washington Area Bicycle Associates and Bike Maryland?

RYM: I am the Coordinator for Women & Bicycles. My role is to train mentors to encourage more women to ride Bicycles, lead rides, host workshops and plan social events for the 4500+ members of the Women & Bicycles Facebook group. At Bike Maryland, I am a Bike Safety Instructor. We teach bike safety to 3rd - 5th graders. They are so much fun.

MB: You have an extensive background in marketing which is a very different realm than non profit. Which of your marketing skills and best practices would you really like to bring front and center into mindful mobility advocacy.

RYM: I'd like to use social media and more stories to share about bicycling. As I look at bicycling it is perfect for video, Instagram, and Twitter. I think we post a lot of events but more stories and testimonials can be used to encourage a wider variety of people to start biking or get them biking again.

MB: Equity is a hot topic right now, but how do we avoid tokenism and take steps to truly become an equitable and engaged movement? You have some marvelous language and ideas around this "like being invited to the dance vs...."

RYM: The way to avoid tokenism is to treat people of color or LGBT people as people. Sometimes it feels like people are trying to meet a quota as in when a picture is taken you can see at least one minority. But true diversity or better yet inclusion involves hearing what those minorities have to say and understanding we may have a different perspective on a situation and include that when making decisions. To me the (difference between diversity and inclusion is..) diversity is being invited to the party and inclusion is being asked to dance. I believe we should be striving for inclusion.

MB: What's giving you your "Permission Slip from God" right now to be one of the mindful mobility goddesses that we need to help other women see themselves in this, to know that they to can bike, walk and take public transit, can be active no matter their age, their race, their financial situation?  How are you overcoming your own gremlin of "I'm not Special Sasha?" (which I love how you named her).

Yvonne rides a Biria with panniers by Basil and front basket by Sunlite.

Yvonne rides a Biria with panniers by Basil and front basket by Sunlite.

RYM: You did in our phone conversation! Lol! I've never really felt like I fit in in most places. I've always felt different but I realize that my differences make the difference. I hope to make bicycling approachable for men and women who want to ride but don't want to wear a kit. Who don't want to buy an expensive bike. Who don't want to ride 100 miles. Who don't want to ride 25mph uphill. There is nothing wrong with any of that. I've done it. But to get more people riding we need to meet people where they are.

When you see me show up on my sky blue upright Dutch bike with front and rear basket decorated  with  flowers, in a skirt and heels, you know you can ride with me and it'll be fun, light easy ride- with food!

MB: I'm down with fun, easy and food. Sounds like my kind of ride! What are some upcoming events that you're excited about? You mix biking and fun in some really interesting ways.

RYM: Ooh I'm excited about a bunch of events! My first big one for Bicycling and the City is Bike + Belly dance. I'm also excited about Bike, Beverage and BBQ and the Progressive Dinner Bike Ride.  Also planning Bikes and Biz for stay at home entrepreneurs to get out network and ride. And finally Bikes, Brunch and Books.

MB: I'm so jealous! These sound like so much fun! I especially love the idea of getting stay at home entrepreneurs out on bikes. Here's something I'd like to have an ongoing conversation with you about - new kinds of inspirational and leadership trainings for women working in/advocating for more mindful mobility. Wave your magic wand and create a two-day summit or training retreat for women in mindful mobility. What does it include? What are we learning?

RYM: My two day summit would include a pop up shop! Lol! I would create it like a retreat at a relaxing venue with a gorgeous view. And it wouldn't include much on biking.  I would make it more self help or on relationships then create rides to locations within the retreat.I  just went through a life coaching course that was life changing. It was all about how we show up in life. I'd have them host the workshops for us and build in bike excursions. They will get a ton from it.

MB: How do we learn more about what Renee's up to?Your first "advocacy" adventure was attending the special Women Bike event at the League of American Bicyclist's National Bicycle Summit last year. How did you find out about the event and what was it about the event that sparked your interest so much?

RYM: At the time, I was running my pharmacy marketing business and I had absolutely no reason to go to this summit.  I believe I saw it in Momentum magazine so I looked it up and aww they had a women's day and a pop up shop. I decided to sign up because I thought it might give me ideas on my group Bicycling and the City. It was a great decision. I met some amazing people. I ended up meeting Mia Kohout and Tania Lo from Momentum Magazine who did a spread on me in the magazine. And I bought a lot of goodies at the pop up shop!

MB: Renee thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us. I hope this will be one of many conversations! How do we learn more about what Renee's up to?

RYM: You can find our rides at Bicycling and the City on Meetup and the website will be up in late March thanks to your nudging me about it. Go to . And if you're in the DC area join the Women & Bicycles  Facebook group.