I’ve heard of CycloFemme for a couple of years, but there wasn’t an event here in Fort Wayne that I could attend. I looked on from afar, thinking maybe someday, someone would do something.
And, then it hit me. I am someone, and I can do something. I talked to my BFFW crew and was met with a resounding and immediate ‘Yes!’ I quickly contacted our friends at the City of Fort Wayne and the FW Parks and Recreation folks to obtain the proper permits and pavilion rental. I even found a caterer (my sister) for post-ride snacks. That gave our fantastic Veep, Vicki, some time to put a poster and other marketing pieces in place so we could get the word out. It all came together in three short days.
Enough of the ‘how’, right? What about the ‘why’? My answer to the question, ‘why I ride’ is probably very different than your answer. And, it started with a different sport altogether.
I’d spent lots of early mornings and lots of miles along our greenway and trail system as a runner. After many races, a couple half marathons even, I fell out of love with running. It just wasn’t fun for me anymore and I decided to let it go. But, I found that I missed the rivers, the green spaces, the camaraderie, the proverbial wind in my hair.
During that time, a friend was competing in her first sprint triathlon. I rallied a cheering squad to show her our support. It was so fun to watch, and my squad had such a good time together. What struck me that day, was the big smiles of competitors as they emerged from the water and ran to the bike stage. Bikes make people happy.
Then, I noticed my bike commuter friend, and the VP that I mentioned above, snapping photos of her way to work – those same beautiful trails that I loved as a runner…
And that pushed me to a local bike shop, to my first bike in many years. An entry level hybrid that I named Goldilocks. That bike takes me to work, to meetings, to coffee shops and yoga. We zip along the paths through the marsh, and down country roads. That bike is freedom for me. Freedom to explore, freedom to go as far, and to wherever I choose. It connects me to the environment in a way that traveling by car simply can’t do.
I was encouraged to ride by my triathlete friend, and my bike commuter friend. Both women, and both, I’m sure, have no idea what an impact they’ve had on me.
Those ladies didn’t even know they were fulfilling the CycloFemme pledge. The pledge pushes us to be part of the movement. To drive the change we want to see.
That’s the spirit of CycloFemme. To encourage women to ride, on Mother’s Day and everyday.