Dare to Believe in Our Common Humanity
HONOR THE PAST and the emancipation of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers, for the freedom to choose and the chance to wear pants. CELEBRATE THE PRESENT and the riders who keep it rolling, bringing women’s racing to the forefront, pushing the limits, breaking down barriers and sharing the love of the bike with everyone along the way. EMPOWER THE FUTURE of women in cycling and the opportunity for positive social change. Teach women to ride and they will change the world.
Cyclofemme MAY 13th, 2012
Come Ride With Us
Photo by Clif Li
It’s been more than 2 weeks, I kept thinking that I would come up with more words, maybe better words to describe what the Cyclofemme ride meant. But I don’t think I have much to add to what I already wrote for Arkansas Outside.
I was caught up in the excitement of the preparations, the weekend of fun that included a day at the Warrior Dash, an evening making enough food to feed 30 people, and then a morning making sure all the logistics were in place for the ride. I hadn’t given as much thought to what the day would mean not to the 24 ladies who rode the River Trail with me, but to the hundreds involved in 163 other organized rides in 14 countries.
“Empowering positive social change”. That was part of the call of duty included in the Cyclofemme mission statement. While I did pay attention to the fact that the proceeds from the very cool temporary tattoos that everyone loved were going to Mountain2Mountain, it wasn’t at the forefront of my thoughts when I considered what the day was about. “Dare to believe in our common humanity” is on the masthead of the Mountain2Mountain website. While enjoying the day in the sunshine with friends new and old, I wasn’t thinking that I was participating in a movement. I wasn’t thinking about a call to action to speak out for women around the world; women who didn’t get to spend the day riding a bike because they live in a conflict zone where it isn’t safe to be on the streets or in Sub-Saharan Africa where they wouldn’t be allowed to ride a bike. I was thinking about how cool it was that I was riding with a bunch of friends, new and old, on trails built just for pedestrians and cyclists, headed toward ample food and drink for all of us.
Our positive social change that day might have been that we were able to gather a group of women that spanned from twelve years old to over seventy, from pigtailed princesses to silver haired goddesses. Racers, casual riders, mountain bikers and even tall bikes (they should have a bumper sticker that says “my other bike is a unicycle”) all rode together: mothers with their daughters, mothers who have no daughters other than the young women they adopt as their own, daughters who had to rush home to be with mothers too frail to ride. And next year, because there will be a next year, I hope we are able to see past ourselves and contribute something to the greater goal of uniting women across the globe. Whether it’s by giving an organization like Mountain2Mountain a bigger voice in our community or by working with a local agency to provide bikes to girls who need to know the feeling of the wind on their face as they pedal, I hope we find another way to Empower the Future.