There’s a lot of planning and coordination that goes into putting on a women’s ride event, especially when it’s part of a larger program. In preparing for this day we juggled schedules, scouted routes, wrote descriptions, and planned clinics. We solicited feedback from our ride leaders and regular ride participants. Everything learned to date went into the plan, then we made it happen.
We thought, “What will riders need in order to be prepared for this ride?” That’s why in the weeks leading up to it we taught clinics on Nutrition and Hydration, Bike Fit, Road Bike Handling, and Flat Tire Repair. We also continued to hold weekly rides in Central Park and Prospect Park to teach group riding skills. We outfitted ladies who are new to the sport with Trek Silque demo bikes, and helped women with bikes and gear both inside and outside of the shop.
The labor of love all comes together for rides like this. The weather turned out to be gorgeous and sunny, not a drop of rain in the forecast. We met outside Bicycle Habitat in Soho on the day of the last Summer Streets, which allowed us to enjoy completely closed roads in Manhattan all the way to Central Park. As women arrived we had coffee, snacks, and introductions. We then gathered for a pre-ride yoga stretch which was my favorite part! In preparing to lead this I learned there are a lot of poses that can be done in bike shoes (go figure). After yoga we held a pre-ride meeting, then 65 ladies hit the road!
Two routes were available for riders to choose from. First was the 26-mile “Red Lighthouse” ride which went up Summer Streets to Central Park, over to the West Side bike path, and up to the Little Red Lighthouse underneath the George Washington Bridge. Second was the 43-mile “NYC Adventure Ride” up Summer Streets to Central Park, through Van Cortlandt Park in The Bronx to the Westchester County Trailway system. Our halfway point was a convenience store in Yonkers called Palmer Road Lizzy’s where we enjoyed popsicles as a mid-ride treat.
All in all this day was a big success. We are lucky to have the best ride leaders ever who are patient and experienced and willing to give their time to help the women’s cycling community grow. Big thanks to Trek Bicycles and Amanda Schulze who gave support in a million different ways, including stepping in as a guest ride leader on the NYC Adventure Ride. Thanks to the ladies at WE Bike NYC and Black Girls Do Bike who organized meetups for this ride. And thanks as always goes out to Charlie McCorkell and all the staff and Bicycle Habitat who are ultimately the backbone of this program. Without the support of this incredible, community-focused bike shop none of this would be possible.
This was our last big weekend ride of the season, but it’s not over yet! We will be announcing late August/September clinics soon. Weekly park rides will continue until the end of September. Thanks to everyone who has been a part of this. We hope you are having as much fun as we are!