They ride their bikes like there’s no tomorrow, driven by their mission to break menstrual taboos and advocating for sustainable menstrual products. Meet the bike babes from Sustainably Cycles!
Since 2011, Sustainable Cycles have travelled over 16,000 miles in 30+ states in the US, all the while breaking menstrual taboos and distributing reusable products – and Ruby Cup has been their companion along the way.
This coming spring, they will sponsor 6 female cyclists to ride their bicycles thousands of miles to The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research (SMCR) conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Along the way, they will gather with locals to discuss the intersection of menstruation and mobility and demand space on public roads for sustainable transportation, as well as promote reusable menstrual products as agents for social change.
We envision a future where people are healthy, the earth is healthy, our communities are healthy. We are of a mind to use less and to think about what we’re using.
Rachel, why are you advocating for sustainable menstrual products?
Disposable menstrual products are wasteful, toxic, expensive, and chained to an industrial system that is not good for our communities. In using them, people who menstruate spend thousands of dollars, create hundreds of pounds of trash, and expose their vaginas to harmful chemicals throughout their lifetimes.
The 15 billion dollar menstrual product industry will never admit that the alternatives to their expensive and wasteful products are simple and healthy. We have to do it ourselves.
Further, it reinforces dominant culture’s demand that menstruation remains unspoken, wrapped up, and thrown out. Sustainable Cycles allows us to start conversations about menstruation by starting with bicycling!
So knowing how to fix my own machine and knowing my own body and how it menstruates so I don’t have to use products that are harmful – it’s empowering!
What’s 2017’s ride going to look like?
2017’s tour will be our second pilgrimage to the SMCR conference and our first time riding internationally. The Period Posse is growing. With #HappyPeriod, The Fifth Vital Sign, and several bicycle communities along the route, our workshops will be full of people working toward gender equality and women’s rights through menstrual activism.
WE BIKE NYC and Sustainable Cycles in 2015.
A global women’s health movement is emerging, and Sustainable Cycles is excited to be a part of it! Current US politics are galvanizing young women to gain more body literacy and reproductive autonomy as access to contraceptives and abortion becomes uncertain. Sustainable Cycles emphasizes the connection between conscious consumerism and women’s empowerment by de-stigmatizing menstruation and encouraging women to learn about their cycle through switching to sustainable supplies.
We thank The Ruby Cup for donating cups to our cause! Our trips lead us through very diverse political landscapes, and through their support, we are able to distribute options that locals have never heard of before. Buying disposable products endorses negative externalities from cradle to grave. It has been an incredible tool for our cause.
#HappyPeriod and Sustainable Cycles made and distributed 200 menstrual health kits for people experiencing homelessness in 2016.
How can people support you?
Donate to help us provide travel scholarships to our riders! Also be sure to join us on our upcoming events. We will celebrate Menstrual Hygiene Day on May 28th in Austin, Texas and in New York City before departing for the SMCR conference.
Be sure to check out, share and support their campaign. Visit www.sustainablecycles.org to follow along!