Being new to bicycling I am finding whole new social circles I didn’t know were out there. There is a global scene, blog sphere, and local cache of cyclists. When glancing at the local crowd I was seeing a lot of people who were athletic cyclists, college students or commuters. This is great news! So many different people, with far different agendas were riding a bike. Sometimes I would come across children at the park or retirees on a leisurely path. I know there are families in town who bike their children to school, but not the one where my children attend.
There are group rides organized by Jeff’s Bike Shop on 8th Street, but their beginner ride was 20 miles. When I started riding I couldn’t go 20 blocks (on the first week I couldn’t go 20 feet uphill). There is a monthly Critical Mass (see more below) and we have certainly enjoyed this ride, but I was still looking for more. We had a successful launch for our Kidical Mass this weekend. It gave me an opportunity to meet new bicycling families, something I have found difficult to do here. Yet, I have been looking for even more. I just can’t get enough time with my bike and I need more time with friends.
Given I wasn’t finding enough of what I wanted in town, I set out to schedule it myself. Please welcome to Huntington, Cycle Socials. The event and venue will vary at my whim or your request, but it is my intention to meet at least every month and ride together for entertainment, fellowship, education, good food, casual exercise, and just because we can. Some rides will be for women only, others for mothers, those for dads, or couples, or friends, or families, or those with orange hats and green pants. What ever the excuse, there will be a ride for you. Just let me know who you are!
Sounds good doesn’t it? I have been brewing this idea for months trying to scheme the best way to be all inclusive. I hope I have found it. Let me know what you think. Does your town already have Cupcake Rides, Heels on Wheels, Women-Who-Bike-Brunches? How about a Tweed Ride, Bike Party or Bike Prom? There are dozens of great bicycle themed events around the world and perhaps we can get a snippet of all the fun here in West Virginia.
- Fight for the right to pedal: A women’s cycling rally in 1930. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
The first Cycle Social will be a women only ride, Saturday December 17th, 10AM. We are meeting at the Ritter Park fountain and riding together to River and Rail Bakery at Heritage Station. Come join the ride, enjoy a warm drink and meet a few new gals. Consider showing your bike love and tell your roommates, friends and neighbors. It's uber casual, no obligation, and free (unless you make a bakery purchase and I do encourage you to try their fresh breads and coffee). Dust off your saddle or borrow a bell from your grandma. Just do what you must to be there!
Critical Mass, Friday and Cranksgiving, this Saturday
If you are looking for some immediate bicycling action, check out this charitable scavenger hunt on Saturday. Cranksgiving has been around the country for a wee bit and last year it began in Huntington, WV thanks to some people who saw a need and put forth the effort. We are hoping to have family representation and we would love see you show your support for area food banks, local businesses and bicycling, all in one afternoon! Do a search and find the one nearest to you. I hear it is similar to messenger style Alleycat race, only here the focus is on compassion and giving.
Even sooner than that is the monthly Critical Mass, Friday at 6:30PM from the Ritter Park fountain. The weather is looking good. Dress warm and attach lights.