Hi, I am Carolyn Jen. I started Ride Like A Girl in April 2013 because I believe women are missing out on a whole lot of fun. I became an avid cyclist in 2010 and got completely hooked while training for Cycle Oregon (a 7-day bike ride over approximately 450 miles). I have since participated in four CO events and bike about 5,000 miles a year. My husband and I have made many friends, but to my dismay, most of them are men.
Where are the women?
I have come to discover that while many women know how to ride a bike, they face some very real anxieties and barriers. Some feel frustrated that they cannot keep up with their significant other, boyfriend, or friends and do not want to get left behind. Some are fearful of sharing the road with cars and getting hurt. Some simply do not know where to ride.
Where Passion Meets Skill and Opportunity
I pondered this dilemma for months and found myself feeling increasingly passionate about the problem – but also feeling capable of doing something about it. Passionate because I love cycling and want to share that love with girlfriends, and capable because I am a retired instructional designer and training program manager. Helping other women is a natural fit for me – a wonderful training project for this season of my life and a highly satisfying venture for my trainer’s heart.
Girlfriends helping Girlfriends
While I currently lead the majority of RLAG bike rides, other cycling leaders from NW Butts on Bikes and the larger cycling community in Portland occasionally co-lead or serve as “sweeper” (the person who rides at the back so no one is left behind). In 2014 our sweepers came from the girlfriends who participated in the 2013 Ride Like A Girl season. I am excited to see this natural progression of women who want to support and encourage other women by biking alongside them and enthusiastically declaring, “If I can do it, so can you!”
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