When Stephanie Ford decided to join a bicycle club a few years back, she assumed it would be a good way to meet people and get some exercise.
And it was. But the group she joined wasn’t for her. For one, she says, she couldn’t keep up. It was her first 25-mile bike ride, and when she was done, the rest of the group was waiting for her at the end.
Ford wanted to find a group that catered to people like her; a group of like-minded people with whom she could improve alongside.
So, what’d she do? Started her own bicycling club: The Pedal Posse Divas. The group is unique in that it specifically caters to women, and predominantly, women of color. We spoke to Ford about how she got into bicycling and how she has fared leading her own cycling club, and working as an Indego bike share ambassador.
So, what got you into bicycling in the first place?
Of course as with most kids you love riding your bike. As an adult I decided to use cycling as a form of exercise and I remembered how much fun it used to be. Once I started, there was no turning back.
There are so many good benefits to cycling outside of it being a great way to exercise.
Why did you decide to start Pedal Posse Divas?
I decided to start Pedal Posse Divas after I joined a group that I thought would be a good fit. On my first ride out with them, they pretty much left me behind … or maybe I should say waited for me at the finish.
It was my first time riding 25 miles. That was my first and last ride with them. I wanted a group that was more started soliciting my friends to ride and decided that we were a group and we decided collectively on the name.
What kind of activities do you take part in with Pedal Posse Divas?
During the cycling season we participate in various charity rides Diabetes, Cancer and other great causes.
We also take what we call “Bike-cations” and travel to different cities to have a mini weekend vacation as well as participate in a bike tour.
Outside of the charity rides, we have weekly morning rides and on the weekend where we will do longer 18-20 mile rides.
Of course, we stop for coffee/tea/pastries along the route. Recently, the ladies who have trainers have been doing virtual rides together by accessing the Google Hangouts app coupled with a YouTube indoor cycling video.
Through Hangouts we can stay in our own homes but still ride together and encourage one another.
What got you interested in Indego Bike Sharing?
When I first learned of the opportunity to be an Ambassador I first thought “I already ride with a group” and that I didn’t need to participate.
But after learning more about the program I decided that it wouldn’t interfere with my group rides. I also realized that it would be a great opportunity to share with my network how bike sharing works and to re-introduce people to the awesomeness of cycling.
What are some memorable experiences you had as a Bike Share Ambassador?
I’ve had several memorable experiences. I think what I am most proud of is encouraging my co-workers (who of course all said “I haven’t been on a bike in years”) to ride weekly at lunch time.
As a result, these rides being the reason why a few of them have since purchased their own bikes.