Ride Like A Girl Cycling

Learn ~ Laugh ~ Love it!


1 Comment

This is What Girlfriends Do.

IMG_4403 (1)

Julia (left) atop Council Crest last summer, celebrating her victorious climb (buoyed and encouraged by two RLAG cyclists)

You may think it’s a no-brainer; helping a friend to adjust her helmet or add an accessory to her bike; or hanging back to ride with her when she’s struggling to keep pace with the rest of the group. Unfortunately, we don’t always find this girlfriend spirit in a cycling group. Sometimes Strava goals, destination timetables and competitive spirits win over lending a helping hand. But last Friday I witnessed the blessing and beauty of a bicyclist stepping up to befriend a newcomer.

Gathering pre-ride in a local coffee shop, a group of Ride Like a Girl women were welcoming first-timers and reconnecting with old friends. It was in those first moments I witnessed one of our women offer to help another she had just met. I inwardly smiled and watched, thinking, “This is a Ride Like a Girl  moment.”

Jamie was trying to attach a new mirror to her helmet. With instructions in one hand and supplies in the other, she was organizing her thoughts to tackle the task when the cyclist sitting beside her spoke up, “Do you want to see how I mounted my mirror? I have the same one.” Julia left the coffee chatter to retrieve her helmet from the car and returned to coach her peer on how to quickly mount the device. In minutes, the task was done and conversation continued seamlessly.

Fast-forward eight miles into our ride and another rider was struggling to keep pace with the group. Julia (our ‘helmet helper’) elected to ride alongside her, later explaining, “My jacket is brighter than hers, and I wanted to make sure she was visible to vehicles when she fell behind the group.”

The struggling cyclist had become overheated and felt nauseous as she slowly rolled up to the group, dismounted her bike and planted herself on the pavement. Julia was the first to say, “You all go ahead, and I’ll stay with her so she can have a break.” Knowing that the group would be circling back after two more miles, I thought it was the perfect option for our tired rider. But Julia’s offer meant she would personally miss a portion of the ride and the social time during our rest stop. I asked her, “Are you sure?” to which she replied, “This is what girlfriends do.”

IMG_7902

The Friday group benefited by being able to ride on to Pumpkin Ridge Golf Course

Speaking with Julia after the event, I learned her motivation was simply to pass it forward, citing how several other women have supported and encouraged her in moments of fatigue and discouragement.

Julia had just met the women she assisted that Friday. Her kindness served not only strangers but also the larger group, as they could continue their ride uninterrupted. No doubt, Julia made two new friends that day. And in a time when our world seems to be trending towards cold-heartedness, she countered the culture with class and kindness, giving life to one of our mantras, “Be a girlfriend.”

RLAG_color_logo

http://www.Meetup.com/RLAGcycling


Leave a comment

Woot! Women’s Bike Camp 8/22-26

Join us August 22-26, 2018 in Ashland, Oregon for Ride Like a Girl’s Bike Training Camp. Led by Bart Bowen, former professional cyclist, cycling coach for 18+ years and owner of Bowen Sports Performance, we will learn together in a fully-supported on-bike training experience. Expect four days of road cycling, skill-building drills and night time coaching chats with a team of three Bowen Sports Performance coaches. This camp includes meals, accommodations in a lodge-style home on Howard Prairie Lake, top-notch instruction & coaching – all in the company of girlfriends!

Who is bike camp designed for? We inviting experienced road cyclists who are comfortable biking 40-50 miles* and climbing hills. You don’t have to be good at it, but this should not be your first 50-mile bike ride. Simply put, it’s not a beginner’s camp for learning how to road bike, but an intermediate (and above) cyclists’ opportunity to learn, practice and get coached.

Camp objectives include, but are not limited to:

• Improve her endurance and long distance riding skills
• Further develop her climbing ability & descending confidence
• Learn and practice how to ride in a single and double pace line
• Review fundamentals of good bike handling
• Receive one-on-one coaching to improve areas of special interest

Features:

  • 4 days and 4 nights gives you the option for four days of training, or three days plus a rest day
  • One-on-one coaching (in addition to group coaching) from professional coaches
  • Location: Howard Prairie Lake in Ashland, Oregon
  • “Camp Central” is a beautiful lodge-style home on private acreage where we will enjoy accommodations, meals and group gatherings. Ping pong is available for some extra fun!
  • Nightly “Hot Topics” plus Q&A session with our coaches
  • General Schedule (more details will be provided to participants)

Check-in Wednesday evening, 8/22 and we’ll have dinner and an orientation night. Thursday – Sunday: Group & individual coaching, skill building exercises and training rides (options available for varying skill levels). Camp ends Sunday, August 26th at 1:00 PM. Participants must be available for the entire camp. Cost: (includes meals, lodging and coaching)

Cost:

• $700 Double occupancy bed (per person rate) – $175 per day!
• $900 Single occupancy bed – $225 per day!
• $300 deposit required to reserve your spot
• Balance due July 15, 2018
Free Arm Warmers: Refer a friend who has not attended camp previously and receive a free pair of RLAG Arm Wa

rmers.

Does not include:

  • Transportation to camp
  • Meals you choose to purchase outside of camp

Registration: Click Here to Register

Cancelations & Refunds:

  • Please submit cancellation requests to ridelikeapdxgirl@gmail.com. Refunds will be processed through the credit card you used to register when possible or by check. Please allow up to 30 days for processing.
  • 100% refundable before July 15th
  • July 15th: Registration is non-refundable

Are you ready for a 4-day learning experience to take your cycling skills to the next level? Click here register.

* The distance of camp rides will vary each day, be a minimum of 50+ miles and are subject to change based on a variety of conditions and coaches’ judgement.

 

 

 

 

Founder of Ride Like A Girl, “We’re Unique”

1 Comment

On April 5th, 2018 Ride Like A Girl (RLAG) will celebrate five years of helping women fall in love with biking. Today, RLAG has close to two hundred members, fifteen volunteer ride leaders and a continued passion to come alongside women who want to dust off their bike and ride. Listen in on this informal interview with founder and ‘girlfriend in charge’, Carolyn Jen, to learn why she started RLAG, what makes it unique and what surprises it has yielded since that special spring day in 2013.

This video was produced by Melanie Wood, Happy Feet Photography.

To learn more about Ride Like A Girl, check out our Meetup.com schedule or find us on Facebook:


Leave a comment

Enter: Ride Like A Girl

April 5th, 2013, Ride Like A Girl came on the scene in Portland, Oregon. Forty women showed up for our first “Just Coffee” session confirming our hunch that women want to bike. With a passion for helping women get started, we launched with a mission to help women discover the joy of biking; offering coaching, training and social biking opportunities. With the support and help from our friends at Northwest Butts on Bikes Meetup, our sponsor Western Bikeworks, and others, here we are five years later with 170 women, ever-expanding our cycling skills, discovering new horizons and continuing to reach out to newcomers. One way we are celebrating our birthday is with throwback photos to that first year. We hope you’ll follow along and celebrate with us.
Related Links:


1 Comment

Bike Love Changes the World

BikeLove

“True Love” is the first of five in a “Love” series sticker project. Inspired by the fun and naive essence of childhood, Tal (Berlin artist and creator of the series) says, “My bike was my favorite thing in the world!”

Travel is an amazing vehicle to discover new people, places and things, as evidenced today when I met “Tal” in Croatia and fell in love with this “True Love” sticker that she created.  Our bus-train commute from Zagreb to Split provided the opportunity to meet but when she shared her creation, I was instantly curious to know more. Tal (who wishes to be called only by her first name) is a Berlin artist, bike mechanic and community activist with a passion to “change the world!” With a heart for refugees (especially women), at-risk youth and other minorities, Tal generously shares her talents to the underserved in the local community; a unique combination of creativity, open and authentic communication, and heaps of artistic and applied mechanical skills (Tal built her bike from spare parts).

Tal identifies as Jewish and queer which fires a passion to help other minority individuals affirm who they are as a person rather than by the color of their skin, ethnic background, religion or sexual orientation. She teaches workshops on topics such as bike repair, up-cycling (repurposing used parts into usable and functional accessories), offering workshops in graffiti, street art, stop-motion animation and puppet theater. Her joy is palpable as she observes how the transfer of skills result in a sense of empowerment, increased confidence and greater self-reliance among her students.

TalsBike

The bike that Tal built and rides today is the subject for the “True Love” sticker.

“I have the urge to do something to make a difference in the world … I am aware of how difficult it is to be a minority, how things need to change and what support other minorities may need.”  Tal explains that as she works with youngsters, shares her skills and develops a positive relationship with them, the chances are good they will be more inclined to respect and support other minorities they encounter in life.

One 9-year old Sinti Roma (aka, “gypsy”) boy accustomed to hiding his identity in his multinational but highly-biased Berlin neighborhood (for fear of being bullied), echoed the words he had heard Tal use to affirm her own identity. Tal witnessed the event when some children challenged the young boy’s ethnicity (which would inform their view of his social rank). “What are you? Are you Turkish? Arab? – What are you?” The young boy stood tall as he retorted with Tal’s words, “I am human.” The matter-of-fact manner of his response served to shift a paradigm of differences to one of unity and commonality. The conversation moved seamlessly and naturally onto the next, unrelated topic. As Tal’s story culminated with this timid-turned-brave boy redirecting peer bias, Tal expressed great joy and pride, “I smiled for a month!”

If you would like to view or purchase Tal’s artwork, you can find more information online at Cool Tool Facebook page.


Leave a comment

Cycle Oregon Riders, You’ve Got Friends

IMG_0317

Girlfriends connecting at Cycle Oregon

The unexpected. It shows up, uninvited, unprepared and unscheduled. As I write, ten named forest fires are wreaking havoc throughout our beloved state parks and national forests throughout the state of Oregon. Washington and Idaho are also engulfed; and newscasters dispense air quality alerts as regularly as mealtimes. The impacts will be assessed and recovery efforts worked for months and years to come. This post is an effort to reach out to our Cycle Oregon friends who have been impacted by the 2017 CO Classic Week ride that was canceled. Continue reading to learn of some Plan B options for you: lodging discounts at the Oregon Coast and group rides in Portland.

For our cycling friends, the impact hit especially hard when Cycle Oregon (CO) announced that the CO Classic Week ride, scheduled September 9th-16th is cancelled. Over two thousand riders from ten different countries, forty-eight states and Oregon are grappling with this first-ever cancelation in thirty years of Cycle Oregon history. Flights purchased. Hotels booked. Vacations scheduled. Carpools, buses and trains arranged. Ouch!

I experienced much of these events from a beachfront cottage in Pacific City, where the sky has been a beaming blue for most of the past week. I’ve been pedaling to my heart’s content in and around the Oregon Coast as everyone westward gets blanketed in air quality alerts, gray hazy skies and ash.

Girlfriends at the Coast

Girlfriends biking the Oregon Coast

As a five-time Cycle Oregon participant I grieved with my fellow CO riders and felt guilty as if I was rolling amidst a Pacific Northwest oasis of good roads, clear air, rolling hills and amazing vistas; and so I concluded, “We need a Plan B!”

In short, with a little collaboration with Kiwanda Hospitality Group and ride leaders from Ride Like A Girl Cycling, we have lined up a few options for our CO friends:

  1. Hang out in Portland and join Ride Like A Girl Cycling for some Cycle-Oregon type rides in the metro area (air quality permitting, of course). We are a women’s cycling group but for the week of September 9-16 we are welcoming guys to join us. There is no cost to participate, however, we ask that you join the club (just need an email) so you can RSVP. This allows us to communicate with riders and know who to expect. Details here: http://www.Meetup.com/RLAGcycling/events

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  2. Head to the Oregon Coast to bike in, around, north and south of Pacific City and receive a 10% discount on Pacific City lodging and a complimentary beer taster tray from the Pelican Brew Pub. Details here: http://www.yourlittlebeachtown.com/calling-all-cycle-oregon-riders.
    Haystack Rock

Got a question? Post it here! Or feel free to contact Carolyn Jen, Ride Like A Girl Cycling Founder and Girlfriend in Charge, at ridelikeapdxgirl@gmail.com or 503-913-3534.

Let’s hear it for Plan B!