I love clever memes and quotes to live by, and the other day I heard this phrase: “the goal is to get more butts on bikes” and it made me smile - because getting more women on bikes has been a mini mission of mine for the last 3 or 4 years.
See, about 10 years ago, cancer tried to take me down - first physically, then mentally - but I fought it, and won! Yes, its return is always lurking over my shoulder, but I keep pressing forward. Grateful for the awful experience (mine was pretty easy compared to some) and it’s what got me off the couch and on my feet. I literally wanted to run away from cancer ever catching me again.
I saw a Facebook event in late August that said things like: “all ladies ride”, “25 mile distance”, “all skill levels welcome”, “ride speed varies” and “no drop” . . . I figured how hard could it be? I can run ten miles around the lake, surely I can bike a few more miles. I mean come on, I’ll be sitting down!
As you can imagine, it was quite a disaster. I lasted about 7 miles before I felt like I was dying from thirst and pain in my bootie, but I did not quit! I kept going to the halfway point, where the group all had coffee and chatted. I stepped away to get my order, and overheard some ladies making snide remarks under their breath about my weak cycling ability, inexperience, and how I was making the ride “such a drag.” I was humiliated beyond belief, but I knew I had a choice to make. Sit and feel sorry for myself -or- prove to myself that I can do hard things. You guessed it, I hopped right back on that bike and peddled my legs and heart out all the way back.
I cannot remember the ride leader’s name, but I’ll never forget how she made me feel. She stuck with me the whole time - even when I had to walk my bike up the hill from Winfrey Point. I vowed right then and there I would NEVER let any lady rider feel “less than” if she rode with me. It is still one of my greatest joys to accompany a new rider for her first loop around White Rock Lake. And my mission to get more “butts on bikes” continues as a member and an occasional ride leader of “Femme Pedale Dallas”. We are an all ladies group that rides around town on most Thursday nights. If you’re a lady, check us out on FB and come ride with us!
*This blog is the third in our North Texas Giving Day series. Read the others by clicking here: https://www.bikedfw.org/blog. And help BikeDFW reach our goal this NTxGD by donating at this link. <https://www.northtexasgivingday.org/bikedfw>
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