One thing that I really miss about North Carolina was how immersed I was in the bicycling community. I used to be very involved in organizing different bike related activities in my city. The photo above was taken by Lizz Wells at a Bike Festival called Bike Hype that my friends and I in the Be Yr Own Hero collective organized in 2009. The fest included an alley cat race, a bike prom (my bike won prom king!), a screening of the film VEER and awareness for the cycling community in Wilmington. Wilmington is definitely not a bike-friendly town at all, so I often visited Raleigh’s 1304 Bikes/ACRe collective to learn things to bring back to Wilmington. We eventually tried to open up our own recyclery which was short-lived.
When I moved to NYC, I kinda had to start all over again. Honestly, I was really intimidated about riding in NYC, but eventually I got over that and, even though many rides fill me with anxiety about getting hit or killed, I still do it because its one of the constant things in my life that has always made me happy.
I was super stoked to hear about a weekly ladies group ride and went on my first one last night. It’s funny though, because I almost talked myself out of going because I wouldn’t know anyone there and my social anxieties were getting the best of me. But when the time came, I convinced myself that I’m never going to make any progress on the life I want to have here in NYC if I don’t face these fears head on. So I went! It was a small turnout (3 of us) but everyone was super nice and friendly (see, there was nothing for me to worry about!). We started in Williamsburg and biked to the Brooklyn Bridge Park to watch some impromptu fireworks and then headed to Redhook to hang out on a pier and look at lady liberty. It was a nice, chill ride and I am happy to have met 2 new cycling friends!
Moral of the story: Don’t talk yourself out of doing things that you really want to do AND finding your place in a new community takes time, so don’t get frustrated with yourself and make sure you get out there!