2016: Mixed Emotions

It was a roller coaster year, starting with a lot of intense highs and really positive experiences and events, and ending with some real lows and feeling pretty lost.

Gravel grinding with my parents in Vermont.

Good things:

  • Went to Kenya and Tanzania and met a bunch of inspiring bike organizations, and hosted a women’s bike forum in Kenya which was successful and rad
  • Got a promotion at work to a fancy title with ‘director’ in it
  • Bought a condo
  • Entered a bunch of mountain bike races for the first time. Won some of them. Quit a race: a first for me. Had a lot of fun. Pushed myself. Got to spend a lot of time riding with friends and getting to know mountain biking trails in Massachusetts. Spent a weekend riding at Kingdom Trails.
Strategic Planning meeting with Cycloville in Kenya.
Selfie after winning my first ever mountain bike race, which was during a snow storm.

Not great things:

  • The World. A criminal, racist, misogynist, every other type of bigot President-Elect. I feel like its hard to talk about why 2016 was a tough year without pointing this out.
  • Stopped playing bike polo. I still have a lot of mixed emotions about this. Even if I play again at some point, I’m glad I took a break for a while.
  • Smashed my face and wrist in the Blue Hills, which was not only expensive , but I felt pretty rattled by the concussion for a while and couldn’t ride my bike for a couple months. Still can’t ride on trails.
  • Lost confidence in where I’m going in life and what I’m doing on this planet. I’ve felt really directionless the last few months, which is a scary thing to me because I’ve always been someone with a lot of direction and momentum moving towards something.
Smashed my face. And let me just say, this was a flattering photo of what my face looked like.

And on that note, I look towards 2017 hoping to build on the many good things about 2016, and to both be more comfortable with feeling a little lost, but also hope to feel a little less lost.

Babes Bike Boston This Weekend!

babessquareBabes Bike Boston is this weekend, and I am beyond excited! Last night the organizing team went to go test out the ride and race routes, and I can now personally guarantee that this will be awesome. As if you didn’t already know that!

We’re also hosting a Pre-Babes Casual Ride on Friday night. Come check it out!

My heart is full when I think about what it will look like to see Copley full of rad FTW folks lined up to ride this awesome event. I CAN’T WAIT.

The Never-Ending Summer Weekend

This last weekend I took 4-days off and had a glorious weekend of summer biking. The weekend was so much fun that I’ve been going through fun withdrawal, and was incredibly grumpy going into work on Tuesday. Although it felt like a never-ending weekend of fun, it did indeed end, but at least I took full advantage while it lasted.

The weather was great – and since this is New England that means that it was humid as hell, with occasional rolling showers. I began the weekend with the goal of doing 4 different types of biking in 4 days. And even though I don’t always consider city biking and polo as different kinds of biking (I just think of them as my daily routine), this time I’ll count it so that I can say I did 4 kinds – road, city, polo and mountain biking.

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 10.39.10 PMFriday, I rode with 3 women down to Providence, Rhode Island, which is one of my absolute favorite rides. I honestly can’t remember the last time I went out on a long road ride with a group of all women. It was awesome! The day started with a flat 3 blocks from where we started, so we went back to our start point, patched the tube and hit the road again, to only get another flat 15 miles out. It was a bit of a rough start, but the ride couldn’t have been more fun. The route is beautiful, but my favorite part is always biking through the Diamond Hill Reservoir, which is just the right downhill grade to feel like you’re flying- plus you get to snap photos like this:

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AND, just like magic, as we crossed from Massachusetts into Rhode Island, there was a DEL’S stand on the side of the road. Now, those of you not from Rhode Island will not understand the depths of my love for Del’s, but suffice to say – Del’s is the most delicious frozen lemonade in existence, and it is the perfect biking treat.

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Continue reading “The Never-Ending Summer Weekend”

Babes Bike Boston!

You might remember last year when I went out to Minnesota for Babes in Bikeland and came back singing it’s praises. Well, I couldn’t just sit back and not bring it to Boston – so I’m excited to announce that Femmechanics is organizing BABES BIKE BOSTON a FTW (femme/trans/women) alleycat ride and race. It’s going to be rad and I couldn’t be more excited to see the amazing energy of a bunch of FTW riders taking over the streets of Boston.

full page babes flyer

Presenting Femmechanics!

I am SO EXCITED to present Femmechanics! Femmechanics is an open-shop time for FTW (femme/trans/women) cyclists to come learn and teach how to work on bikes. Please go check out the site, and if you’re a Boston based FTW cyclist please fill out the survey on the homepage.

Femmechanics will meet the second Monday of every month starting in October from 7-9 PM at the Bikes Not Bombs Bike Shop. Our first open shop time will be October 13th.

Femmechanics Manifesto

(adapted from Riot Grrrl Manifesto)

BECAUSE we crave bike spaces that are welcoming to US where WE feel included.

BECAUSE we want to make it easier for FTWs to see other FTWs working on bikes so that we can share knowledge and strategies.

BECAUSE we want and need to encourage and be encouraged in the face of cis-male bike culture that says we can’t work on our own bikes, we can’t ride fast, and can’t lead the bike revolution.

BECAUSE we don’t want to assimilate to cis-male bike culture, but want to revolutionize bike culture.

BECAUSE we are unwilling to falter under claims that we are reactionary ‘reverse sexist’ and not the true bike wrenching crusaders that we know we really are.

BECAUSE we are interested in creating non-hierarchical ways of being and forms of organizing in the bike scene.

BECAUSE we want to see more FTW cyclists out on the roads, working on their bikes, and being at the forefront of conversations about bike mobility.

BECAUSE we see fostering and supporting FTW spaces and FTW bike mechanics, riders and organizers as integral to wider cultural change.

BECAUSE we believe that by creating a supportive community for FTW cyclists we can create a space to talk and discuss the intersectionality of racism, able-bodieism, ageism, classism, body shaming, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and other forms of oppression within the bike movement and wider society.

BECAUSE we must take the wrenches into our own hands.

D2R2

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Warning on a downhill.

This last weekend I rode the D2R2 with my parents – a gravel ride out in Western Mass, infamous for being one of the hilliest rides in New England. Here are a few things I learned:

1. Biking up endless, gravel hills is WAY more fun than I thought it would be. Seriously. I had a blast. The route was beautiful, the people were great, and the beer was delicious.

2. Charles of ARTCRANK was right that gravel is way more tiring for your arms than you would think. I expected my legs to be exhausted, but at the end of the day my legs felt fine but my arms were wicked tired.

3. I’m stronger than I thought I was. I’ve been pretty nervous about this ride all summer, and so I’ve been putting in miles whenever I could and going out of my way to climb hills on normally flat routes – and the crazy thing is – I think it paid off. Right now my legs feel like they could eat hills for breakfast. I’m proud of myself for how I rode, and I feel good right now. Strange how training can do that…

4. If I thought I loved my Space Horse (my bike) before this ride, I love it even more now. I made a few adjustments in the last few weeks that made a huge difference, and I think I’m finally perfecting the fit. I put on a different crankset, and a third stem, and I think I’m dialing in the fit. Geez, I really love that bike.

5. My parents are cooler than me. But I already knew that.

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