Monday night, I hosted a Ladies Only Bike Ride!! The goals for this ride were to encourage more women in endurance sport, help women build confidence in the saddle, learn how to change a flat, build a cycling community with other local ladies, learn local roads that are safer to ride on, and have fun!! I think we successfully achieved all of these goals.
I started the evening talking about safety and the importance of not belittling our achievements. How to ride in a group, the use of hand signals, simple things one can do for personal safety…all of these things are critical when riding with others on the open roads. Our individual achievements are successes no matter how big or small. If I am a slower rider than others I’m riding with, when I ride up to our meeting point, it is important to say, “Thank you for waiting for me.” This shows gratitude and compliments the other riders without bringing negativity to the ride. As women, we often say, “Sorry I’m so slow. You don’t have to wait for me,” which brings a completely different tone to the ride and sends a completely different message to everyone in the group…including myself. Keep it positive and fill your heart with gratitude!
We rode from Ames to Slater and back on a road that has a bike lane (~18 miles round trip). It was SO much fun to see the joy these amazing ladies had when they got to Slater. Some of them had been nervous at the start, but quickly realized how much fun it was to ride on the open roads!!
When we returned to Ames, I instructed a lesson on how to change a flat. Being a teacher, I know most people learn best by doing. As a result, I had them actually change their “flat” so they could experience it first hand and hopefully remember how to do this in the unexpected event that it happens on a ride. Lots of learning, grease, smiling, and questions answered!!
I am so grateful for the support from Coeur Sports and Kyle’s Bikes for the door prizes they contributed to help make this event extra special and further encourage these women in cycling and endurance sport!!
I am planning to host ride #2 on Monday, July 11 at 5:30 pm (location to be determined), so if you are in the Ames area, mark your calendars!!
Have you hosted or attended a women’s only ride? What suggestions do you have to help women build confidence in the saddle? I’m always looking for ways to make this even better! 🙂