Autumn Gear Guide
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Encouraging more women to ride is why Jess Mathews organizes the ‘2 Wheels & Heels” ride.
On Wednesday, July 25, our monthly ‘2 Wheels & Heels’ ride took place.
We met up at the fantastic Brothers Drake Meadery where, if you haven’t been – get your arse there, they just built a patio equipped with nicely welded bike racks. They are ‘everything’ bikes over there and some of the most amazing and inspiring people that I’m happy to call friends.
THIRTY women showed up, dressed in everyday comforts from their closet. I met so many new and lovely women that my heart was over-flowing. We rode a little over seven miles. On next month’s route, we’ll push it to ten. Olivera from Wholly Craft graciously donated a gift card to one lucky lady – ‘thank you, Olivera.’ I’m thinking Pattycake Bakery was a big highlight. Three of the lady riders currently work for Pattycake and when we showed up, they had the most adorable ‘heels and wheels’ shaped and decorated cookies, EVER! Once we got our sugar fix, we rode through the beautiful neighborhoods in Clintonville and eventually ended up back at Brothers Drake.
“This ride gives me the confidence to get out on the roads more and ride.” That was a quote from a woman who couldn’t stop thanking me. I was humbled. “I’ve been waiting for a group ride like this,” another woman told me. Aside from stopping, turning around and looking at thirty beautiful women riding behind me, the best part of the evening was the non-stop smiling. As you’ll see from the pictures in the slideshow, women were smiling and laughing and giving high-fives the whole time.
This ride isn’t just about the clothing, although the continued reinforcement that clothing shouldn’t be a barrier to riding a bike much like it has become here in America does help. If we continue to address that riding a bike can be as normal as getting in your car, then the decision of choosing to use your bike will become less and less of a thought out process and more of a growing habit. This ride opens up conversations about proper and safe riding. Being an LCI, I encourage these women to ask questions about their uncertainties when riding. I plan on showing them basic mechanics of their bikes, what information to obtain should an accident ever happen, commuting tips and techniques and much more. Knowledge is power and that leads to confidence when riding.
Also, as of recently, this riding group has now expanded to seven cities total: Cleveland, Columbus, Austin, Chicago, Minneapolis, Colorado Springs, and Victoria, BC.
To all the ladies from this past ride – YOU ROCK! Keep riding.