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The kindness of cycling strangers

August 28, 2009

I’ve started cycling into work lately. I began with the Cycle Fridays initiative last week, and then came in on Monday with Laura, whom I met on the Friday before. Along with an interview with the Guardian (not published to my knowledge), I got a mention on the Real Cycling blog, after I bumped into the editor on route to work on Monday.

It has been really encouraging cycling into work, mainly because when I think about it I only learnt to cycle last summer and I think I’ve done really well to have come this far in such short time. Also I have found that the cycling community are on the whole very supportive and willing to help out novices like me with even the smallest or trivial of things.

For example, on Monday, one cyclist went slightly out of his way to direct  Laura and I to Kennington Park Road after we lost our bearings, for which we were very grateful. On my back home alone, my front mudguard buckled in the wheel and as I was struggling to free it, a cyclist passing stopped to help and set my nicely on my way to the bike shop where I was able to get it fixed properly.

Such kindness of random strangers, the encouragement of the Cycle Fridays crew, the guys down at Bob’s Bikes and not forgetting Vicky at CTUK, who taught me to cycle, have made cycling for me a real pleasure. Not only that, I’ve wanted to pass on that encouragement to others I know who are learning to cycle or wanting to get back on the bike to cycle to work or the park etc.

Furthermore, without wanting to put a racial tinge to this, I feel being a Black British woman, I am one of a few sisters out there on two wheels and as a consequence feel a sense of pride.  A Pakistani friend of mine, Shahina agrees as she too has learnt to cycle and is looking to get her own bike soon. Today we were discussing that there are many activities that seem to be overpopulated by the WMCs (White Middle Classes) but more and more people from ethnic minorities particularly women ae pushing through. An idea that came to us was to perhaps hold a cycling event to encourage the Sistas onto two wheels, whether beginners or seasoned professionals, to basically show that this is an activity that isn’t closed to us culturally or at least doesn’t have to be. Sistas on Wheels. I think there is something in that. You heard it here first!

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From → Life, Women

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