GBL-photo-1447871852826-1c11ef907903My first bike was red. It was little and cute. We lived in a tiny house on a gravel road. Our yard was hilly and full of the bluest green grass you have ever seen – perfect for rope swings, water balloon fights, badminton, and intentionally tumbling down the hillside arms and legs flailing in all directions. Not so perfect for learning to ride a bike.

My second bike was pink. It had hand brakes and gears. This was a major jump up that did not come easy. As a matter of fact, the first ride was more like a mini Evil Kenevil stunt gone wrong. I remember taking a few circles on the poorly paved dead end road before boldly pointing my front wheel downhill and pedaling into it. I’ll never forget that first feeling of freedom, standing on the pedals, and flying fast and light.

The feeling was short-lived as I hastily grabbed a fist full of front brake and a face full of gravel. I never forgot how that first real bike ride made me feel and very quickly learned how to use my brakes effectively.

To this day, I choose my bike over my car whenever I can and believe whole-heartedly that bicycles change lives. Recently, despite my best efforts to care for myself, life’s demands, personal tragedy, and the incredible sadness that comes from seeing fellow humans get hurt, killed, and degraded has had an impact on my usual positive spirit and my physical health.

Fortunately, my bicycle and the incredible example of a dozen positive, powerful women riding for positive change has helped to bring a little light back into my eyes, a pep in my step, power in my pedal. While I have always been an energetic and positive force for women’s cycling, the reality is that we all need encouragement sometimes. We all need to hear a good story to renew our faith in humanity, a loving nudge from a friend, and a really great bike ride. So, I’ve been doing just that.

In the coming weeks, we will introduce twelve beautiful bike-riding women to you. These women are stepping up to share how bicycles have changed and continue to change their lives for the better. I feel fortunate to be the first of those to feel the impact of their words.

We hope to bring a little encouragement your way too, a reminder that we are all in this together – a little love from atop a bike seat.

Thank you to our community for being willing to share and support one another. Just like we say with Cyclofemme…

Whenever we ride, we ride together.

As a little teaser, check out this beautiful article from Rachel Werner, one of our ambassadors for Women Ride for Change.

By Sarai Snyder – founder Girl Bike Love, Boulder, CO