A Renaissance Woman to say the least, Kiera Smalls is the co-founder of City Fit Girls — a training program for women that encompasses bicycling, running, workouts and engagement through social media — and works as the community manager for Indego Bike Share in Philadelphia.
“Building a welcoming and positive atmosphere for women of all fitness levels to feel empowered and able to reach their goals [is City Fit Girls’ goal],” she told Philly Voice in January. “Someone can post on our Facebook group that they’re nervous about completing their first half marathon, and within an hour, you’ll see 20 comments from newbies to experienced runners encouraging and motivating them to go after it.”
Smalls is our Bicycle Coalition member of the week, and we recently spoke to her about her endeavors.
What got you into bicycling in the first place?
I’ve done a lot of indoor cycling and was always curious how it would feel to bike on the roads. I used Indego’s launch as an opportunity to start, with the support from coworkers and Women Bike PHL. I made the commitment to use bike share as a way to commute to and from work and to run errands. I was very nervous in the beginning but got used to it overtime. Now, I bike at least five days a week — and have my own bike!
Since taking up cycling, where has it taken you?
I currently live in North Philly. It makes my day when someone asks me how I feel about “those bikes” — meaning Indego bike share bikes — and biking in the city. I’m able to confidently give my experiences and recommendations. I also save money on transportation and have cut down my commute time tremendously.
How have you incorporated bikes into City Fit Girls?
Last summer, we launched a monthly bike ride series where a crew of 20-plus women met at the Art Museum steps and rode to the East Falls Bridge and back. We have both newbie and experienced cyclists interested in keeping the series going.
We even created a hashtag on Instagram for the biking crew, called, appropriately, #cfgbikecrew.
Considering you’re on the inside at Indego Bike Share, what’s the biggest change you’ve seen in Philly biking since it was unveiled last year?
I’ve had more positive car-bike interactions than negative. When at a red light, someone may ask me how I like the program and how it works, which is cool. It also makes me extremely happy when I see so many different demographics using Indego.
This post is part of our March Member Drive. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, renewing your membership, or making a special donation, please click the link below. We are a people-powered organization and your donations make a real difference.