Pants off to DC

It is with great pleasure and wholehearted support that Swift Industries donated touring gear to three amazing ladies involved in this year’s WeBiketoDC ride from New York City to the National Bike Summit in Washington DC to represent a diversity of women’s voices at the summit.

Our third story comes to us from Kristine Sepulvida,  from WE Bike NYC

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There was a moment a few weeks ago that, after months of planning and preparation, I didn’t think I was going to be able to ride with #webiketodc. I was riding back from a training ride with a fellow rider, on my new road bike that I had purchased especially for the trip, when a cab sped up to try to beat me through an intersection and I was unable to steer my bike out of his path in time. I walked away from that collision, but with a concussion and a number of nasty contusions, most achingly on both of my hands and left knee. Days after the accident, my neck, back, and hips joined the painful list.

When I got home from the doctor and a much needed “holy crap, how am I still walking?” dinner, I texted Liz, founder of WE Bike NYC, what had happened and that I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to go on our trip. She told me to rest and see how I felt after a couple of days, which is exactly what my doctor, best friend, and mother said to me. While that was the right decision for my body, my mind was not having it.

I was already aware of my pre-existing limitations as the least experienced and definitely the slowest of the riders, was already insecure about my abilities at 100% strength, health, and effort. Now I was damaged and more than I was concerned about aggravating my injuries by biking through a brutal winter, I was worried about how I was going to hold back the rest of the team even more than I already knew I would.

My training for the rest of the weeks leading up to the ride were limited. I would start to feel better and then do something stupid like slip and fall on a patch of ice or ride my bike 11 miles to work with a heavy backpack. Liz reminding me that we had a sponsored WomanTours SAG wagon if I needed to bail out and that I had a Swift Industries saddle bag that was supported by my rack and not by my shoulders.

But still the panic continued and overcompensation began. My brain switched over from how to get in actual rides around my work schedule to gear craziness. I packed and repacked rain gear, snow pants, three different kinds of energy gels, enough protein bars to build a quinoa fort. 24 hours before we rode out, I installed fenders and an extra bottle cage. My silhouette, swaddled in three layers on top and two below at the meet-up spot on Thursday morning could only be described as Michelin Man-esque.

About twenty miles into the ride, I struggled. Despite the biting wind, I was sweating and everything below the waist hurt. I couldn’t maintain a decent pace. Even with the accident, even with being off my cardio game for three weeks, I shouldn’t have declined that quickly. When my group stopped at an intersection, I took a moment for a deep breath…and to take off my snow pants.

The difference was incredible. My legs felt lighter and my hips stopped aching. It was such an improvement, I would not shut up about it, which I’m sure my ride group appreciated as they tried to figure out where we were. I jammed them into my saddle bag and kept on pedaling. It took another 40 miles before my back acted up, far exceeding my expectations and made better by that evening’s rest. That was the pattern for the rest of the ride. I would go much farther than I thought I could (albeit slower than my 100% speed) and at some point, my back would complain until it was silenced by a pillowtop mattress in a new city.

There are several obvious lessons in this story. There’s definitely a lot of mind over matter, believe in yourself, healing power of goodwill. All of these lessons are important ones, but ones that you know going into this sort of purposeful adventure. But I take away “some times gear will save you, but when in doubt, take off your pants”.

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Voices from the National Bike Summit

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It is with great pleasure and wholehearted support that Swift Industries donated touring gear to three amazing ladies involved in this year’s WeBiketoDC ride from New York City to the National Bike Summit in Washington DC to represent a diversity of women’s voices at the summit.

Our second story comes to us from Katie Monroe,  from the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia: Women Bike PHL

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“Winning in Women’s Bike Advocacy” was the name that the League of American Bicyclists gave to our panel presentation at the National Women’s Bicycling Forum, but none of us really thought it fit. Yes, Nelle Pierson, Liz Jose, and I all do outreach work to get more women riding bikes, and we have been successful in that work in DC, NYC, and Philly, respectively. But we don’t tend to see it in terms of winning and losing. Try sharing, collaborating, building, inspiring.

 

The room was packed when Liz, myself, and Nelle took the stage to talk about our work with WE Bike NYC, the BCGP’s Women Bike PHL, and WABA’s Women & Bicycles. Folks had come to learn how to “win” and we did our best to pass along the organizing ‘rules’ that we’ve each independently discovered doing similar work in three cities. If you want to get more women on bikes, we shared, you have to 1) tap into existing networks (for me, the Girl Scouts of Eastern PA), 2) create events that truly appeal to your specific audience(s), 3) be accountable to your audience — show up, be consistent, listen to feedback!, and 4) recognize how you are both building new communities and connecting existing ones. I shared stories from my “Girl Scouts on Wheels” project, Liz explained how her “Mujeres en Movimiento” program came to be, and Nelle laid out the nuts and bolts of her innovative “Roll Model” program.

 

As we each spoke, I was struck by more than just the present experience of getting to share the work I care so much about with an excited audience. It sounds cheesy, but while I was up on that stage in DC I was also thinking about all the experiences that went into that moment. Liz, Nelle, and I all started our programs based on gut instincts about what the bike world needed — more spaces for women on bicycles — but the insecurities and challenges that plagued us each in the first year(s) of our programming would have been difficult to surmount without a lot of support and encouragement from each other. These women were there for me when I had questions, needed help, had lightbulb moments I wanted to share, etc.

 

That spirit of collaboration culminated in the #WEBiketoDC ride we had just completed together — a ride from NYC to Washington DC for the National Bike Summit that brought together 10 leaders in women’s bike outreach from New York, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. We rode together to raise awareness about our respective programs (the three mentioned, plus Black Women Bike: DC and Gearing Up), and bring attention to the need for a more diverse bike advocacy conversation. We struggled together through sub-freezing conditions, spotty bike infrastructure, navigational challenges, injuries, and more to get to the Summit. Up on stage, we proudly wore the matching purple jackets we had worn on our #WEBiketoDC ride: a symbolic reminder of the spirit of support and collaboration we were trying to convey.

 

Swift Industries generously donated product to the #WEBiketoDC ride, and I couldn’t think of a better match. My favorite quote from the Swift promo video is: “They’re interested in people — not a thing. Their products are meant for empowering you to do something.” The rear panniers that came with me on my #WEBiketoDC journey helped empower me to do this crazy, cold ride. They were the perfect storage place for the layers and layers of wool, the spare tubes (I had the honor of first flat of the trip — less than 2 miles in!), and the bananas that carried me to my destination. And they’re beautiful to boot.

 

Because Liz and I were empowered to ride to DC and to present at the Bike Summit, we were able to empower OTHER folks to get more women on bikes in their communities, too. Here’s the pledge card we handed out at our presentation:

 

[pledge card front and back]

 

Feel free to print it, fill it out, and post your pledge on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram using the hashtag #womenbike. We have a lot more sharing, collaborating, building, and inspiring to do.

*Note: Bike advocate extraordinaire Jess Mathews was slated to be part of this panel discussion as well, but unfortunately couldn’t make it due to bad weather. Learn more about her INCREDIBLY COOL work here:

http://wcbe.org/post/girls-gear-program-more-just-bikes.

Women’s Voices from WeBike NYC

It is with great pleasure and wholehearted support that Swift Industries donated touring gear to three amazing ladies involved in this year’s WeBiketoDC ride from New York City to the National Bike Summit in Washington DC to represent a diversity of women’s voices at the summit.

Our first story came to us from Ayesha, of We Bike NYC

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Before #webiketodc I had never gone on a multi day bike tour. I had no idea what to expect, zero experience on how to prepare. Also, I was generally clueless on what to pack and how to pack it. Thankfully, Swift Industries hooked me up with two super rad mini roll-top panniers to hook onto my front rack. Believe me when I say these saved my life.

The first day was interesting; we met up in Washington Square Park, rode to the ferry terminal and took the ferry from lower west Manhattan to Hoboken. I personally was beyond excited to know that I’d spend the next four days on my bike. What could possibly be more fun to look forward to?

Northern New Jersey met us with mounds of ice and unmelted snow. We did a LOT of walking in Northern Jersey.  After a while, Liz made the call to take the van to a safer spot and ride to Philly from there. We had lunch in Princeton Junction and set out to finish our day. Mentally it was tough. We’d all been awake for a very long time, and were quite frustrated with the unpleasant conditions at the start of our ride. It was about eight degrees farenheight , but luckily I discovered the magic of putting hand warmers directly in the thumb section of my mitten. I worked super hard to keep up with the lead pack. Since my body doesn’t retain heat, I was much too cold to ride at a relaxed pace.

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When we finally made it into Philly, it was amazing to see how different it felt riding in a different city. The sun had gone down, I was hungry and exhausted, but we were less than 13 miles from the hotel when we hit the city limit and we knew that we could work together to pull each other to the finish. When we made it to the hotel, we debriefed, had dinner, and went straight to bed. Delaware awaited, and we needed all of the sleep we could get before our early wake up time.

The bike community of Philly met us in Love Park early the next day. It was amazing to see how much we were inspiring people, we exchanged tales of day one, took pictures, and set out on a escorted group ride out of the city. The ride to Delaware was relatively uneventful, but the highlights of the day were our stops for bladder release and lunch at both locations of The Coffee Station in Pennsylvania! Second runner up would most definitely be the beastly hills. This avid brakeless fixed gear rider appreciated her gears that day!

Day three was the most difficult. I was riding downhill just behind Mary Shyne when I saw her go down. It was one of the most horrifying experiences of my life. Jesus, Joseph, Mary and everybody else was looking out that day because Mary Shyne was okay. She was definitely banged up, and taken to the hospital, but three weeks off the bike was the cure. It was definitely sad to see her head back to Brooklyn unable to finish our ride, but we were so relieved that she was going to be fine. Everyone was a bit shaken up, so we loaded up in the Van and drove the rest of the way to Baltimore.

The route from Baltimore to DC was gorgeous. It was the warmest day of our ride, and by far my favorite. Several members of the DC bike community met us about 13 miles outside of the capitol and escorted us in with a group ride.

The women’s forum and the summit were also an unforgettable experience. Everyone cheered for us, and we were constantly high fiving strangers!  I learned so much and met so many wonderful people. I was even able to experience democracy at it’s finest our by lobbying for safer NYC streets on Capitol Hill.

This trip was the experience of a lifetime. I am so proud to have been a part of such an incredible mission to promote getting more women on bicycles, and bringing more diverse voices to the National Bike Summit.

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To learn more about the We Bike NYC go CLICK

We’re stoked for Oregon Outback

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This is a meet-up for folks already signed up for Oregon Outback, a 360 mile dirt race across Central Oregon.

We want riders from the North Cascades to get together over beer and pizza to look over the route maps and daily profiles, chat about bike set-ups, and geek out about gear and food for the ride. We have already met tons of dope people who are getting excited about this event, and we want to invite everyone to get together at Swift Industries to share goals, gear, and get each other stoked.

Sunday, March 9th at 2pm

1415 NW 49th St. Seattle WA 98107

RSVP cuz we need to order pizza. Kindly kick down $5 for beer and food.

info(at)builtbyswift.com

See you there!

XO

Swift Industries

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Oregon Outback is a VeloDirt Event. For more check out

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*WE Bike NYC* rider: Katie Monroe

 

 

 

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WE Bike NYC is organizing ten women from five organizations to ride 262 miles on bicycles from New York City to Washington, DC to represent their communities at the nation’s largest annual bicycle advocacy event, the National Bike Summit on March 3, 2014. For more about the ride, check out our fundraising page HERE!

It is with great pleasure and wholehearted support that Swift Industries has donated touring gear to three amazing women involved in this adventure.

Over the next week, in anticipation of the group’s departure, we’ll highlight each of these adventurous souls. We hope they’ll inspire you to follow their lead in bicycle advocacy, adventuring, and bringing women’s visibility to the fore of our cycling communities!

 

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Katie Monroe

Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia: Women Bike PHL

Age? 23

Where are you from? Philadelphia, PA

Where do you ride? All around my city! I am constantly traversing the bustling neighborhoods of Philadelphia on my bike. There is no better way to live and love this city.

When and why did you start riding? I have always been riding bikes for fun, but I only got into riding for transportation consistently when I moved to South Philly about a year and a half ago. It’s cheap, convenient, environmentally-friendly, fast (good for impatient folks like me!), but more importantly it is FUN and it has connected me with an incredibly diverse and passionate community of people, in Philadelphia and beyond.

How has WE Bike NYC (or biking with your org, or as a woman) impacted your life? WE Bike NYC has been a tremendous source of inspiration for the program I founded at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia: Women Bike PHL. I love riding and learning about bikes with women because it’s allowed me to share the skills I have, inspire confidence in others, and learn a LOT. I think the confidence I have as a bicyclist carries over into other aspects of life, too. I feel so independent in my transportation choices and that has a ripple effect!

Why do you want to go on the ride? There are some incredible women moving the bicycling movement forward all over the country. We are strong individually, but together we are way more powerful. I want to deepen the connections I already have and form new ones on this ride — it can only mean good things for the bicycling movement to strengthen solidarity among women bicycling leaders!

Anything else you’d like to add? I am a little scared of doing this type of ride! I mostly ride for transportation around Philly, or on pretty cushy tours on vacation with my family (not as much mileage per day). I am always encouraging women to face their own biking challenges — so this will be a good challenge for me. :)

Get Katie through this challenge and into the National Bike Summit by contributing here!

Visit us at Seattle R+E’s annual Bike and Pike Event

February 22nd, 2014

To be held at R+E Cycles

5627 University Way NE, Seattle
Saturday, February 22nd 10am – 5pm

Admission is FREE!


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Come join us for pizza, coffee, beer, bicycles, and a chance to converse one-on-one with some of Seattle’s cycling gurus at The Seattle Bike and Pike Expo of 2014.

At R+E Cycles, we love Seattle, and the small companies that actually produce their products here. In 2008, I asked our friends Charles and Rose Ann at Pike Brewing Company in Downtown Seattle if they would like to put on an event here in Seattle with other Seattle based entrepreneurs (and personalities) and they were just as excited about it as we were.

The flavor of Seattle Small Business is unique, and sometimes gets diluted when an event gets overwhelmed with big firms that have unlimited advertising budgets. We thought it would be great to put on a smaller event that showcased unique Seattle companies and their products, while at the same time raise money for a local charity.

Over the last five years, the Bike and Pike has been a great success! We’ve raisedover $10,000 for Food Lifeline here in Seattle, and had lots of fun doing it.

Want to go to an event this February that’s bicycle oriented and highly focused on Seattle based companies? The 2014 Seattle Bike and Pike Expo is for you! Here’s some of what’s lined up:


Bike and Pike drawing 100% donation
Tickets are just $15 donation each (or get 3 tickets for $40) and it’s all for a great cause! 100% of the proceeds for this drawing benefit Food Lifeline here in Seattle. Thanks to your generosity, we’ve raised over $10,000 for Food Lifeline over the last 5 years.

Prizes you could win:

  • A Rodriguez Competition S3 flyweight Frame with Enve 2.0 Fork ($2,500 value)
  • A Rodriguez Phinney Ridge Reynolds 725 steel Frame ($1,775 value)
  • A 2014 Rodriguez cycling jersey ($80 value)
  • A set of T’s Leatherworkz mud flaps ($30 value)
  • A signed copy of Willie Weir’s book, “Travels With Willie”
  • A signed copy of Bill Thorness’ book, “Biking Puget Sound”
  • A $100 gift card from Seattle’s own Via Tribunali restaurant
  • A 2-year subscription to The Bicycle Paper w/the Touring Guide ($26 value)
  • A Bicycle Paper T-shirt and coffee mug (Priceless!)
  • Pike Brewing Company cycling jersey & cycling cap combo
  • Another Pike Brewing Company cycling jersey & cycling cap combo
  • Something cool from Rubber Revolution (TBD)
  • Something cool from Swift Industries (TBD)
  • A 6 month subscription to Caffe Vita’s Coffee and Chocolate of the month club

Todd welding a bike frameR+E Cycles
You’re invited to tour our entire facility! See where Rodriguez and Erickson bicycles are made, painted, and assembled and meet the folks who build them!

We will also raffle off two Rodriguez frames, as well as other great prizes!

Come by and see all of our new bike models including the Alfine and Rohloff internally geared hub bikes that we’ve built, and pick our brains about your next bike, repaint or upgrade.

 

The proceeds from our frame set drawing will go to benefit Food Lifeline.


Willie Weir with his RodriguezAuthor and Adventure Cyclist Willie Weir
Sign-up Now for your Personal Touring Clinic with Willie Weir!
Willie will be on site donating his time from 10:00am until 3:00pm offering you his personal attention in 30 minute sessions. You can come as an individual, or come as a small group. He can answer all of your questions regarding bicycle traveling in remote areas of the world, or your questions on how to pack, plan (or not plan) etc…. There is no fee for this clinic. Willie asks that if you feel so led, make a donation to Food Lifeline at the event. Heck! while you’ve got your wallet out, you could make an extra $40 donation and get 3 tickets for the Bike and Pike raffle ;-)

We expect slots to fill quickly, so if you would like to reserve a time, email Kara today.

Willie will also donate a signed copy of his book for the raffle to benefit Food Lifeline.


Pike Place Brewery LogoThe Pike Brewing Company
will be on-site to fill you in on some of the finest Seattle beer you’ve ever tasted from noon till 5PM on Saturday.


Caffe Vita LogoCaffe Vita Coffee Roasting Co.
will be serving up FREE samples of their exceptional coffee, and representatives will be on hand to answer questions and recommend the right coffee for you.


Evergreen Tandem Club LogoThe Evergreen Tandem Club
Thinking about one in your future? Members of our local tandem club,ETC, will be on hand all day to answer your tandem questions, tell you why they love tandeming, provide you with details about their upcoming “Tandem 101″ class for those who have never ridden a tandem before, and describe upcoming club rides.


Tarik's Leatherworkz logoTarik from T’s Leatherworkz
will be here showing the latest in Home Grown leather bicycle accessories. His famous mud flaps are seen all over Seattle, and you’ll be able to buy them right here from the guy who makes them! Gotta love Seattle!


Jammer's LogoJenise from Jenise’s Jammers
will also be in attendance offering samples and selling her delicious, healthy energy bars.


Swift Industries
Swift Industries is a four-person bicycle pannier company in Seattle, Washington. They design and build all of their products right here. We welcome them to Bike and Pike and wish them success here in Seattle. Come see some of their great bags during Bike and Pike!


Rubber Revolution
Rubber Revolution LogoEver wonder what happens to our old used inner tubes? Rubber Revolution happens….that’s what. We welcome Miranda with Rubber Revolution to this year’s bike and Pike. Come see some of Miranda’s amazing creations with recycled inner tubes on Feb. 22nd.


Bikelava LogoMeet Bikelava
This year we welcome another new exhibitor, Bikelava. Baklava served from a cart pulled by a Rodriguez Bicycle! It’s delicious, it’s locally made, and Johnny and Frosene are long time members of our Rodriguez family!


redspoke LogoWelcome Redspoke
Come get more information about the 300 mile, 5 day bike tour from Redmond to Spokane! We’ll have Jay on hand to tell you all about his past experiences, and Scott will be around as the ride mechanic the last few years. We’re excited to have them here for 2014!


Food Lifeline
will benefit greatly Food Lifeline Logofrom your donations at the 2014 Bike and Pike Expo. In the past 5 years combined attendees helped us raise enough money for over 40,000 meals to be distributed to local area food banks. We hope to raise a record number this year.

All in all, February 22nd will be a fun gathering of locally owned Seattle businesses showcasing some real (and really unique!) products and services made nearby. We’re happy to be a part of the Northwest, and proud that the proceeds of this event will stay right here in the Northwest through Food Lifeline.

Come and join us for great Seattle bicycles, beer, coffee, pizza, and conversation for an event that will benefit all Seattle!

email me for more information. | R+E Cycles Home

*WE Bike* rider: Kristina Sepúlveda

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WE Bike NYC is organizing ten women from five organizations to ride 262 miles on bicycles from New York City to Washington, DC to represent their communities at the nation’s largest annual bicycle advocacy event, the National Bike Summit on March 3, 2014. For more about the ride, check out our fundraising page HERE!

It is with great pleasure and wholehearted support that Swift Industries has donated touring gear to three amazing women involved in this adventure.

Over the next week, in anticipation of the group’s departure, we’ll highlight each of these adventurous souls. We hope they’ll inspire you to follow their lead in bicycle advocacy, adventuring, and bringing women’s visibility to the fore of our cycling communities!

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Kristina Sepúlveda

WE Bike NYC

Age? 33

Where are you from? New York City (with a 12 year layover in Florida)

When, where, and why did you start riding? I started riding a bike when my family left the Upper West Side of Manhattan for the sandy beaches of Florida when I was 10. I was pretty hardcore about it throughout middle school until I discovered adolescent vices. Fast forward 18 years and on a whim I bought a rusty little beater I affectionately refer to as Triumph the Insult Comic Bike. Since then Triumph and I have ridden all over NYC and New Orleans, LA. She’s lost some parts and I’ve lost some pounds these past few years, but we’ve made it this far.

How has WE Bike NYC (or biking with your org, or as a woman) impacted your life? I got hooked up with WE Bike NYC when I rode with them for the 5 Boro Bike Tour. The year before I had done it alone and while that was a great experience, it did not compare to riding in a supportive group of women who cheered me on as Triumph and I struggled up the bridges.

Why do you want to go on the ride? I’m riding this ride because I believe strongly that “the personal is political”. Investing in efforts to get more Latinas biking throughout New York City is about increasing levels of health and wealth in my community.

Anything else you’d like to add? Triumph is really mad she’s going to have to sit this one out.

Invest a little in your community by supporting Kristina on this ride: Click here!

*WE Bike* tours from NYC to DC to attend the National Bike Summit

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WE Bike NYC is organizing ten women from five organizations to ride 262 miles on bicycles from New York City to Washington, DC to represent their communities at the nation’s largest annual bicycle advocacy event, the National Bike Summit on March 3, 2014. For more about the ride, check out our fundraising page HERE!

It is with great pleasure and wholehearted support that Swift Industries has donated touring gear to three amazing women involved in this adventure. 

Over the next week, in anticipation of the group’s departure, we’ll highlight each of these adventurous souls. We hope they’ll inspire you to follow their lead in bicycle advocacy, adventuring, and bringing women’s visibility to the fore of our cycling communities!

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Ayesha Rosena Anna McGowan

Age? 26

Where are you from? Piscataway, NJ

Where do you ride? Anywhere and Everywhere!

When and why did you start riding? When I moved to Boston for college, it would take me an hour to commute to school. I decided to take my mom’s bike from the basement. When i took it to the shop for a tune-up, it still had the baby carrier she used to tote my sister around attached to it. My sister is 8 years older than me. The bike got an overhaul, and my commute was cut down to twenty minutes!

How has WE Bike NYC impacted your life? It has given me an amazing set of inspiring women to ride with and learn from. I’m not a very social person, but WE Bike NYC has created a social environment where I feel comfortable enough to leave my bubble and be a part of a group!

Why do you want to go on the ride? I think it would be an incredibly challenge and a milestone in my journey as a woman and a cyclist. I love the idea that this band of unusual candidates is going to ride down to DC and break down several barriers that are regularly a part of the National Bike Summit. Women and minorities are depressingly under represented, WE are definitely going to help remedy that this year!

Anything else you’d like to add? Is there a way to textually represent a victory dance? WOOOHOOO!!!!!

Support Ayesha in filling her dance card with advocacy and community building by clicking here!