7 Ways To Gear Up for Cyclofemme 2017

Cyclofemme — the 6th annual, global grassroots celebration of women’s cycling — is fast approaching and we’re celebrating with events, clinics and rides the entire week leading up to a big group ride on Mother’s Day, Sunday May 14th. There’ll be three route options to accommodate a range of riders.  Check here for details and RSVP (required) for all Cyclofemme events.  And read on for 7 ways you can gear up for Cyclofemme, and outdoor group riding season in general:

1) Get Your Bike Ready. Don’t wait until the night before to make sure your bike is running smoothly.  Sign up for our free clinic, May 9th, 7:30 p.m. at Bicycle Habitat Park Slope for basics.  Plus, check out this great blog post for a refresher.  Above all else, do it now and give yourself time to bring your bike in for maintenance if you notice a problem. Details and RSVP here.

2) Gather Ride Day Essentials — Take inventory the day before to make sure you have what you need in your saddle bag and pockets: 2 spare tubes, patch kit, tire levers, C02 cartridges and header (or hand pump), and a mini-tool if you have one. Resealable zip lock bags are great for protecting your phone, ID, cash or credit card inside your jersey pocket. Not sure what to plan? Here’s how to pack for a ride.

3) Prep Nutrition & Apparel– Hydrate and eat enough the day before, plus plan on a proper breakfast the morning of the ride (bonk is a four letter word that can be avoided by properly fueling up). We’ll have extra snacks and nutrition at the shop on ride day, but you might want to stock up on your favorites ahead of time.  Get great nutrition ideas here.  And, the only thing for certain about New York Spring weather is that it will change, so save a jersey pocket to stash extra layers. It’s a good idea to wear a base layer, arm or leg warmers, vest or wind resistant jacket.  It’s far easier to take off a layer than to shiver on the road.

4) Get outside for a warm-up spin before Sunday.  Join us for Central Park loops on Wednesday morning (Boat House, 6:30 a.m.) or check out what mountain biking is all about at Saturday’s clinic (10 a.m. at Cunningham Park).  Check for details and RSVP here.  

5) Brush Up on Proper Ride Etiquette.  Nailing proper ride etiquette not only gets you more riding buddies, it keeps you and your riding group safe.  Here are the basics — they’re mostly familiar signals and ‘audibles’ used worldwide on group rides.

6) Safety first!  Listen to your ride leaders and pass along messages to the riders around you. Ride predictably and smoothly so everyone in the group is clear of your intentions. Always keep pedaling and avoid sudden braking, turning, speeding or stopping. Watch and communicate (with hand signals or by calling out).  And obey all traffic laws! 

7) Pay it forward.  Civil rights leader and women’s rights advocate Mary Church Terrell lived by the motto “Lift while you climb” — the ultimate success is to bring others along with you, and that’s true on the bike and off. You’ll contribute to a stronger cycling community by passing along tips and tricks to new riders. And this year, Cyclofemme is raising money for World Bicycle Relief, specifically to provide bicycles to girls in rural Kenya who need to travel for education. A $10 donation is suggested on or before ride day — you can donate online here (and get a tax receipt) or donate cash (there’ll be a jar in the shop).

We can’t wait for a whole week of meeting new friends, learning, getting inspired, and creating new ride plans the season ahead!

Questions?  Hit us up via email at womenscycling@bicyclehabitat.com.

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