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We speak to Renée Moore, Director of the Women and Bicycles Program at the Washington Area Bicyclist Association.
I learned to ride when I was 25! I had a date and he asked me what I wanted to do. I said I wanted to learn to ride a bike. So we went to Georgetown, rented a bike, and he taught me to ride along the trail of the Potomac River near the Watergate. In about 2 hours I was riding by myself. It was such a great feeling. I started riding in the city after my mom had a stroke. She was in George Washington Hospital and the parking was $22. There was no way I could visit daily and pay that parking, so I decided to bike. It was therapeutic and the best way to get there to see her.
I love riding to farmers’ markets, grocery stores, baseball games (Go Nats!), the movies and dinner with my boyfriend, Toastmasters meetings, book club, and belly dance class.
I have a Biria (named Olivia after my grandfather Ollie) that I just bought and love. It’s baby blue with a basket of blue, white, and yellow flowers. It’s the girliest bike ever! I love riding it because it has the swept-back handlebars and sits upright. And it just makes me happy to ride it. I always have a smile on my face when I’m riding my bicycle.
The purpose of this group is to get women thinking about riding as a form of transportation and recreation. Bicycling and the City is designed for women who would love to ride more but need some friends and encouragement to get back in the saddle. We combine Metro with bicycling to go to events, festivals, activities, and restaurants in Washington, DC, and surrounding areas. So far, we have used our bikes to go to see art exhibits, go to paint night, the movies, a pizza crawl to 3 pizza places, a lobster roll (a ride to eat lobster rolls at Luke’s Lobster), go ice skating, and more!
I have it listed as a Meetup Group – Bicycling and the City. There’s a Twitter account @cyclingdc and Instagram @bicyclingandthecity. I’m working on a website as we speak. By the summer, I’ll have a monthly newsletter as well.
It helps people see they don’t always need to get in a car to run errands and that it’s safe to bike in the DC area. My goals are to get people thinking about transportation in a different way, get exercise without having to go to the gym, and see some places/ events in DC they might otherwise not attend.
I’ve learned there are a lot of people who would love to ride more for transportation but want someone to teach them how easy it can be. I also recently won the Washington Area Bicyclist Association’s Roll Model of the Year award.
Having grown up in DC, I think it is amazing! Not perfect but when I grew up here there weren’t bike lanes or bike share and now it is so easy to get around. You can even take your bike on the Metro rail and buses.
I’d love more protected bike lanes and more education for drivers about the 3-foot rule and riding in traffic with bicyclists.