Two years ago I only dreamed about starting a cycling group for women. Last year, with the blessing of an incredibly supportive husband and the luxury of being able to retire early, I started Ride Like A Girl – a beginner cycling group for women who want to improve their cycling and bike safety skills. It is a joy to bring my skills from the workplace (adult learning and development) into the world of cycling, and guess what? I discovered that Portland women want to learn!
Over the course of seven months in 2013, eighty women joined me for one or more bike rides in the Portland-metro area (and a couple more at the Oregon coast) – for a total of over 300 attendees. Women came from all walks of life; in all shapes, ages, and sizes – riding all sorts of bikes: cruisers, mountain and road bikes, hybrids, and really old bikes! Some joined us once or twice but many came faithfully, in spite of their nerves, with hopes of developing skill and confidence. From my viewpoint, I think they got even more than they expected. Courage was exercised, fears were confronted, skills were developed, friendships were forged and it all happened from the saddle of a bike!
As I prepare for the 2014 season which will kick-off in March, I am eager to meet and make new girlfriends, re-connect with some of you from 2013, and continue Ride Like A Girl for a second season.
‘Ride Like A Girl’ Blog! I am starting this blog as part of the 2014 season kick-off, to share stories, resources, and helpful information for my new and current girlfriends. It is my way of trying to encourage women to discover the fun of playing on a bike (and you thought it was exercise). I will try to post at least weekly and touch on the following themes:
- Stories about my girlfriends (with their permission, of course): Be sure to read about Chelsey in “Ready, Set – Knock Knock!” which I posted yesterday.
- Tips and recommendations from “experts in the know”: They may or may not have a title behind their name. It could be advice from other experienced cyclists, or suggestions from a local mechanic.
- How to’s and lessons from our RLAG training time: Every RLAG bike ride includes a lesson of some sort. Sometimes small and sometimes more extensive. Some (not all) of those I will share here.
- Great cycling resources: There are many others in the cycling world with good things to offer. As I find them, I will share them.
- And maybe an occasional random post: It may or may not have anything to do with cycling!
I hope you will consider “following me” – by blog, by bike, or both. I hope you will read along with interest and post comments to keep the conversation going. Let’s roll into 2014 together with girlfriends, old and new. I am confident that if this year is half as good as last year, you will Learn, Laugh, and Love it!