Jessica Mathews loves biking. The 33-year-old German Village resident is the Safe Routes to School Coordinator for Consider Biking. She also wants to empower women to bike, especially in their regular clothing. "One reason women don't ride is clothing," Mathews said. "For the month of May, I thought, 'Let me photograph my outfit every day.' It's going really well. People really like the idea and the project." This month, Mathews is documenting her outfits on her blog and personal Facebook page. We chatted with her about the endeavor and what she hopes to achieve. -Heather Weekley
Why did you want to start the May project?
I am really, really into normalizing every day wear when you are riding a bike. I did a presentation in February at the main library about the importance of women in bike culture. It's getting the vision out of people's minds that it isn't just a recreational sport. I want to get more women familiar. That's what we need, to reinforce and normalize riding.
What do you hope to achieve with it?
I'd like to have ore stories of "Hey, this is what I rode in today," and people send me pictures. Women should feel more empowered to go out and ride. I was able to bike with a teacher from Clintonville for the first time last week. Her school is in the Hilltop, and she rides an old one speed. She wants to try to inspire other teachers at the school. These are the kinds of things that I want.
May is National Bike Month. Why is it important to promote it?
I think in the beginning a lot of people still thought bicycling was a phase. A lot more people are accessorizing their bikes and making them utilitarian so they can do all kinds of things.