Women's Corner - June 2017

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The second annual Women and Wine ride is coming on June 24. We’ll be starting and finishing at Rockland’s Winery in Poolesville with a wine tasting just like last year. Unlike last year, we’re having it earlier in the summer so the weather should be better for biking. Once again, this ride will benefit WABA’s Women and Bike program. Registration for the event will open soon.

Robin SparerThe Ride the Refuge on May 20 was a big hit! There were with 60 people, great food, great weather (always a plus), and tours of the new Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center and the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge. Even Geogena Terry, founder of Terry Bicycles and the original Terry Ride from Blackwater Wildlife Refuge, was in attendance. Many women said they want to do the Ride the Refuge event again as well as more women’s rides and events. We hope to see many of them at the wine and women ride in June. PPTC raised more than $500 for the Harriet Tubman Center and the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge. I’d like to thank Robin Sparer for taking the lead on this event and creating such a wonderful event for our club. The turtles she saved from the road also thank her (see photo)!

On one of my women’s training rides last month, someone asked me why I was doing them as only women’s rides. She answered her own question when she said she felt more comfortable riding just with women, and she felt judged when going out with men. That response, in a nutshell, is why I’ve been coordinating women’s rides. Women also find that our women’s rides focus on encouraging other women in their riding. We’re willing to discuss any issues anyone might have and encourage everyone to improve their riding abilities. As one avenue for encouraging women to bicycle, women’s rides can be an effective method. This is not to say that regular PPTC rides can’t also be effective.

And why do I want more women to ride. Part of my reason is selfish. Sometimes it would be nice to look up during a ride and see other women on the ride. I recently rode Skyline Drive on the day it was closed to cars. After about an hour of riding, I realized I hadn’t seen any other women. Eventually I did start to see other women. But when I realized I hadn’t seen any other female cyclist, it just felt weird. On a less personal level, women say that riding is empowering and builds their confidence. Both of these seem worthwhile goals for the women of the world. I think of my time as the women and bikes coordinator for PPTC as my small contribution to the many women of the world.

- Deborah Turton

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