Saturday, May 26, 2012

WABA takes me on a ride -- AND I LOVE IT!

Many thanks to the wonderful people over at the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) for holding a free bike repair clinic in Congress Heights today. For four hours the WABA team helped riders of all ages, skill levels, and economic means get their bikes road worthy. It was very heartwarming to see so many people united through their love of biking. I was particularly touched to see my 65 year old neighbor get so excited to have her bike (which had been sitting unused for over 30 years) repaired. She really can't wait to get back on the road.

WABA's EotR Manager Alex
inflating a little girl's tire
For me,  today was particularly special. After a twenty year hiatus WABA actually got me on a bike! To be honest, at first I was a little terrified but it really was like ... riding a bike! After lending me his wife's bike (thanks!) and literally sizing me up (a bike seat should be at the same level as the top of your fanny). WABA Executive Director Shane Farthing provided me with a helmet (smart man) and some important advice, "This is how you brake."

Terrified but excited

After giggling like a school girl I took a deep breath and pushed off on my toes. Before you know it, I was riding! I may be a 35 year old woman but for those first few minutes I felt like a school girl and let me tell you, it was pretty amazing.

Lance Armstrong has nothing on me!
So after a few practice runs up and down the sidewalk Shane took me on a ride around the block. After I got over my fear of running riding into something I really had a great time. I could see myself doing this. And thanks to the loaner bike provided by Shane's lovely wife (and kick-ass bike mechanic) I can go on more rides and build my confidence. I am happy to say I already started practicing this afternoon. I had a ball riding around my neighborhood. Once I got really confident I even made a U-turn! I am sooooooo bad-ass. :)

I am really looking forward to reacquainting myself with biking and my ultimate goal is to ride a bike from my home in Congress Heights to my office in Anacostia.  Stay tuned while I document my journey to do just that. Already I have made plans to go bike riding with some of my Ward 8 neighbors.  If I can accomplish my bike to work goal I can really see myself investing in a bike of my own.

Until then, introducing The Advocate, another black woman who bikes!

P.S. Please make a donation to WABA to support more programs like the free bike clinic and adult/youth bike education classes (go HERE for a schedule). You can also volunteer. WABA does really great work and can use all of our support. Think of it this way, a small donation is well worth the cost of admission to see me on a bike. I can guarantee you that one day I will fall and it will be hilarious.

P.P.S. To learn more about WABA's efforts East of the River contact the new East of the River Manager, Alex at Tell him The Advoc8te sent you.

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1 comment:

IMGoph said...

glad to finally have you on team bike! i've done the hill on south capitol from congress heights to anacostia. it's a lot of fun. going back up that hill, on the other hand...