A bicycling boost

October 20, 2005|By SAM SESSA | SAM SESSA,SUN REPORTER

Susan Olson loves the boost bicycling brings her.

Pumping pedals can bring a feeling of freedom that Olson calls unlocking "your inner athletic goddess."

That's one of the reasons Olson and other members of the Baltimore Bicycling Club's Team BBC organized the first She Got Bike festival this Saturday. Team BBC, a racing subset of the Baltimore Bicycling Club, aims to raise women's interest in recreational and competitive biking.

"The festival is to say to women that might have an interest in cycling that there's a whole group of people out here doing this now," Olson said.

"It's a wonderful, freeing activity to be a part of," she said. "You don't have to go out and ride with a bunch of hammerhead boys to enjoy it."

Olson said some women start biking with groups of men because they can't find anyone else to ride with, and "get dropped," which can be discouraging. (When a biker lags behind the pack, it's called getting dropped.)

To avoid this, Team BBC will offer a 20-mile, No-Drop Ride on Saturday, a social ride for women to get to know the team and ask questions.

In addition to the No-Drop Ride, there will also be 12-, 25- and 40-mile rides. All of Saturday's rides, including the no-drop ride, will be women-only.

"A lot of women would like to ride, but they may be concerned about riding on the road or have a lot of other questions about it," Olson said.

When the rides finish, the festival activities begin. They include a fashion show, music, food and vendors. There will also be workshops and discussions on massage, nutrition, yoga for cyclists, bike mechanics and training.

Team BBC consists of a men's and a women's division, each with about 30 members, Olson said. A good number of the women's division will participate in the no-drop ride and festival to answer questions and encourage other women to join, she said.

"We want as many women as possible to come and experience it," Olson said. "Our hope is that the festival really grows and becomes an event that other communities and other states can copy."

The She Got Bike festival is Saturday at Oregon Ridge Park in Hunt Valley. Registration for the bike ride is $20 and starts at 7:30 a.m. The festival, which is free and open to the public, starts at 11 a.m. Call 410-409-7561 or visit bbcracing.org.

sam.sessa@baltsun.com

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