What motivates women to ride? Why don’t more women take up cycling? How can the metropolitan area be improved for cyclists? What role does cycling play in our lives? These are but a few of the themes explored over the last 18 interviews with the women of Women BikeDC. Yes, 18. I finally counted them all. I created this page as a sort of “table of … Continue reading Women BikeDC: The Complete Interviews
My mind is generally moving 100 miles per hour. The squirrels in there never seem to stop spinning. Being on my bike quiets the squirrels and allows my mind to focus on one or two things– avoiding pot holes or other riders, usually. I’ve found that the more I ride, the saner I am. When I have something to work out, I’ll go on a bike ride and allow my brain to quiet down a bit.
On a bike you fully experience everything around you. You catch the small details that you would never notice zooming by in a car. All your senses are heightened. You feel the ground and the weather. You see landscapes. You see people. And you also see yourself. I’ve done some of my best thinking atop a bicycle!
Once I moved to D.C., I began to regularly cycle around town. This city is nice and small, pretty flat, and the public transportation is just good enough to tolerate using, but bad enough that it is frustrating to use every single day. Plus, cycling is so cost effective and efficient. It saves money and is faster than public transportation and cabbing. So, of all the forms of transportation, I prefer cycling.
I’m over 50, and getting back into biking as a significant part of my lifestyle has led me into a whole new area of serving my community and region as an advocate. I’ve learned about infrastructure, Safe Routes to School, bike master plans, and I’ve met a whole new group of people in each arena of interaction that have enriched my life.
Even when I run into a bike-hater, I’m challenged to be the advocate– to win his/her heart and mind– or at least try to defuse the anger. This volunteer advocacy recently turn into a paying job. It’s something I never thought I’d be doing at this point in life, but I’m doing it because it’s fun.
I started riding when I was 7 or 8. On a trip to the county dump with my dad, we found a gem of a purple bike in the heaps of trash and took it home. He fixed it up, my grandpa spray painted it pink, and I was off!
I first met Zoe through the D.C. Randonneurs, I think, or maybe it was Friday Coffee Club. A fellow Iowan, last year I watched virtually as Zoe set out on a solo bike tour from Virginia to Illinois. Never having solo toured, her journey intrigued me. I asked if she would be up for talking about her tour as well as other cycling-related issues. As you can see, she agreed. Thank you so much, Zoe, for being part of the Women BikeDC series. Your solo tour and independent spirit is truly inspiring to me. Continue reading “Joy, Adventure, and Solo Bike Touring: Zoe of Women BikeDC”
There is a feeling you get when you are just relaxing on a ride, maybe as you sit up and glide into your destination, take a deep breath, and feel at home with yourself and the world. I’ve found that– in situations far removed from the bike, such as meetings– I can re-create that feeling and settle into the work. When there’s controversy and drama, I can summon that centered sense of self and be more effective.
Today’s Women BikeDC interview features Lisa, a sport rider and commuter from the Takoma Park area. I’ve known Lisa virtually for quite some time through the Coffeeneuring Challenge and the Errandonnee, but only recently had the pleasure of meeting in person (during this year’s Hilly Billy Roubaix, in fact). Continue reading “Lisa of Women BikeDC”
Mostly, I ride because it’s my favorite way of getting around. I like seeing street life and buildings as well as the landscape and nature at the pace that I can take them in. I also enjoy the chance everyday encounters as I travel around the community. This isn’t to say you won’t find me ferrying teenagers around the suburbs in my mini-van. But I like to arrange my life so that, when I can and as much as I can, I bike instead.
For today’s Women BikeDC interview, we’re going out to the Virginia suburbs to talk with Fionnuala. I’m surprised to note that I’ve never met Fionnuala in person, but have come to know her over the years through the excellent transportation advocacy work she does on behalf of cyclists and pedestrians in our area. Continue reading “Cycling to Get Places: Fionnuala of Women BikeDC”
First and foremost, riding bicycles has brought me closer to the vibrant biking community of D.C. It has heightened my appreciation of nature & my environmental concerns. I also believe it has made me a healthier and much happier individual.
As I began putting together today’s Women BikeDC feature, I realized that I have known Grace for a few years now, but have never heard her cycling story or thoughts on riding in the D.C. area. Continue reading “Freedom on Two Wheels: Grace of Women BikeDC”
I find the bike riding population in D.C. to be eclectic and interesting. I talk to a lot of people, sometimes I don’t get their name or their history, we just share the moment we are in and then ride on. Biking is about being present in the moment you are in and not trying to predict the next day.
The Women BikeDC interviews return this week with Reba, another Friday Coffee Club regular (Swing’s Coffee at 17th and G NW in D.C., every Friday, stop by if you can!) and daily bike commuter. Reba rides a round trip commute of 30+ miles and also makes sure to get her century fix when Fall comes around.
Continue reading “Stop telling the bike commuter it’s going to rain: Reba of Women BikeDC”
My favorite thing about riding in D.C. is the community. These people just rock and make riding a bike fun. I mean, who else is going to think riding around Hains Point countless times during the middle of winter of is a good idea?
I met Cyndi, a year-round cyclist who puts up big miles coming into the city every day from Northern Virginia, at Friday Coffee Club. I was amazed how nothing seemed to deter her from commuting– not even cold gloomy winter days when there was snow on the ground. Continue reading “Addicting, Fun, Rewarding: Cyndi of Women BikeDC”
Women are expected to look pretty and be delicate and dependent, among many other things. Riding a bike requires uprooting at least some of those gender assumptions, forcing ourselves and others to rethink preconceived ideas of what women can or cannot, or should or should not do.
We’re back for the second half of our interview with Linel of BikeDC (Don’t worry if you missed Part 1– just click here). Today we discuss some of the issues women deal with when riding and ways to keep pedaling through it all. Continue reading “Nothing To It But To Do It: Linel of Women BikeDC, Part 2”
I have learned to approach many hurdles in life as if they were a ride on a new road. At first you might feel apprehensive and tentative, but once you do it, it becomes clear that all it takes is committing to that first push of the pedal. You may go slow or even fall at first, but if you keep at it, you will get there.
Today’s Women BikeDC interview features Linel, a daily rider who uses her bike in diverse ways– work commutes, errands, play, coffee, ice cream. Linel does it all by bike, a lot of it on a nicely customized olive green Surly Long Haul Trucker. Continue reading “Nothing To It But To Do It: Linel of Women BikeDC, Part 1”
For me and a lot of women on my team, there is a direct correlation between our development as endurance athletes—-often literally from practically nothing—-and our development as strong, independent, badass women.
I love seeing both journeys, and the interconnection between them is something that should be celebrated and promoted.
That comment comes from Mary P., cyclist and author of the blog IndyFlies. As an endurance sports enthusiast, I was eager to talk with Mary for the Women BikeDC series to learn more about her progression from recreational rider to four-time finisher of Ironmans(!). Continue reading “Mary P. of Women BikeDC: From 12 Miles to an Ironman”
I’m excited to feature one of my favorite bloggers in today’s Women BikeDC interview. Elizabeth, who writes the blog Tin Lizzie Rides Again, lives and rides in the Arlington area.
Some of her recent posts include tips for effective cycling, clothing reviews, as well as highlights of her own bike-friendly and often-reflective sewing projects. I’m always impressed by the clothing that Elizabeth makes. She has so much talent!
I’ll leave it to Elizabeth to tell us more… Continue reading “Women BikeDC with BikeArlington’s Tin Lizzie Rides Again”