Josie is a bike advocate by way of personal experience. What cycling means to her and to her life, her health, her sanity, and her strength (on and off the bike) is what drives her to build her site, Life on Two Wheels, where her story and others’ stories can connect, support, and inspire women to ride. She’s started a series highlighting women from around the U.S. with a question and answer format. I’m honored to be one of the first ones interviewed, and my experience is that Josie is thoughtful and mindful of the power of The Story. She and I shared many emails about our paths to our cycling lives and even on a screen her warmth comes across and you find yourself wanting to have coffee with her and share more. Thank you, Josie. I hope we collaborate again soon.
As more of my blog postings and cycling community activities revolve around supporting women’s cycling on many levels, I’m meeting other women who feel as strongly and do something about it. Below is a link to a great list of female-identified rides and groups/companies that offer support for women’s cycling. Feel free to add to the list, too!
This month, Bike Talk, a KPFK and KillRadio.org podcast, hosted 9 amazing women to discuss women and biking. I was thrilled and honored to be included in this podcast. We discussed issues from safety to cat-calling and everything in between. The group consisted of ride leaders, social justice leaders, and community leaders – read everyone’s short bio on the website. I feel each of these women is forging a new LA that is equal, fair, safe and enjoyed by bicycle.
Give a listen to the podcast here. It’s not long but it’s well worth it.
This June, women from all over the region are taking part in Le Bella Preme cycling challenge, a ride of with three distances for riders of any skill. I first met Raelynn at the Women’s Bike Summit in Long Beach last year and believe in her spirit to get any and every woman on a bike and feeling confidant and empowered for it. Today’s guest post is from Suzanne M., a fundraiser and participant for La Bella Preme. If you decide to join the challenge, come find me there!
I just registered for a cycling event. More specifically, I just registered for La Bella Preme Women’s Cycling Challenge. Here’s the thing though: I don’t own a bike. I know how to ride one, I just don’t own one. And even though I’ve run several marathons over the last few years, this will be my very first cycling event. Ever. But that’s okay at La Bella Preme.
On June 1, 2013, women of all cycling abilities will toe the starting line together at La Bella Preme’s inaugural event in Malibu, California. (Do cyclists even say “Toe the starting line” or do they say “Wheel the starting line”? I guess I’ll find out when I become a cyclist). La Bella Preme was designed for women cyclists, by women cyclists, and welcomes beginners and pros alike.
Riding right alongside me at La Bella Preme will be Sue Fish, a pioneering female motocross racer and cyclist who was recently inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. With a nickname like “The Flying Fish”, Sue is not someone I would typically have any business riding against. But that’s the thing at La Bella Preme – I’m not riding against Sue, I’m riding with Sue. In addition to challenges that level the playing field and give me a flying chance to beat the Flying Fish, cycling professionals like Sue and her B4T9 Women’s Cycling teammates, Jill Gass and RaeLynn Milley, will be on hand to mentor novice riders like me.
As if that wasn’t enough to convince me to register, the event starts and ends at Triunfu Creek Vineyards in the heart of the Santa Monica Mountains. Instead of eating stale bagels and washing them down with tiny cups of sports drink while being rushed out of the post-race area as I’ve experienced at countless marathons, we will celebrate and be celebrated after a long day of riding at La Bella Preme. We will change into clean clothes and relax in real chairs while enjoying good food, fine wine and the company of new friends.
So how did a non-cyclist like me (or rather a “soon-to-be cyclist” like me) hear about La Bella Preme? I heard about it at work. It’s an Event 360 produced event and we are partnering with local non-profits. La Bella Preme participants have the opportunity to fundraise on behalf of I Am That Girl, Little Bellas and Girls on the Run of Los Angeles County; three organizations that are making a difference in the lives of young girls across the country and around the world.
Now you’re probably starting to understand why I signed up for La Bella Preme without even thinking about the fact that I don’t own a bike. Making new friends, making a difference, getting some exercise and following all of that up with good food, fine wine and camaraderie sounds like the perfect way to spend a Saturday (or, really, any day). You, too, can register by clicking here. My new bike and I will see you in Malibu on June 1, 2013. .
Suzanne Mooney is a Fundraising Consultant at Event 360. Please send her a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few months ago I wasn’t a cyclist, but I am now. I bought my first road bike on Friday, January 18, 2013, and I can’t wait to participate in La Bella Preme Women’s Cycling Challenge. I’ve been a runner for years but when I attended Interbike in September, I met some incredible women and found myself becoming increasingly interested in cycling. Now I have a bike, I’m a cyclist and I’m excited about participating in my first event.
My name is Emerald and I have been commuting by bike for about 5 and a half years. I started biking because of convenience (living in a smaller town where many people bike and having a car isn’t practical) and for environmental reasons. All of my small commutes were on bike and I felt great about it. For about 2 years, I even biked to school everyday, which was only a 6 mile ride but up a mountain.
Now I live in Los Angeles and I have a 10 mile commute to work (and 10 back) which I do about 2-3 days of the work week. I try to do my small errands on bike and take it to the red line when going into Hollywood or Downtown. I even sometimes bike in fancy clothes when I am going to an event which calls for it. Being a cyclist in this city is not easy and not always pleasant, but I feel great about it. Commuting by bicycle helps me save money, reduce my stress, increase my physical activity, and perhaps most importantly – be ONE LESS car in Los Angeles. I feel great about being a female cyclist and being able to fix everything on my bike and help other people do the same. Cycling for me is an empowering activity – both physically and mentally.