You may recall a blog post from January, telling of the fun and festive North Fair Oaks “Chained Together for Freedom” family bike night where several parents were excited to hear that SVBC had plans for bicycling workshops. What we didn’t mention was that the most excited among them were the women!

On March 28, SVBC and the Siena Youth Center presented the first “Wheels For Women” bicycling workshop, where we covered everything from choosing a bike to choosing a route – including tips on how to carry work clothes on a bike and riding with children. Many women juggle numerous tasks during the day and have precious little spare time to add an exercise routine, so the idea that they could get some exercise just by riding to the store or work brought smiles to their faces.

This workshop was a collaborative effort by SVBC and the Siena Youth Center’s staff and students. The Bulldog Riders, under the dynamic leadership of Coach Rafael Avendano, led the outreach effort with flyers, calls, and personal invitations to their neighbors. Coach Diana Hernandez spoke with several of the North Fair Oaks women to find out what they most wanted to learn about bicycling, and SVBC developed a slideshow to address all of their interests and concerns. Coach Diana also recruited a few of her high school students to present the workshop in Spanish, which was a great way for the students to learn more about bicycling through teaching the women in their community.

We were thrilled to see many of the women join the North Fair Oaks Community Ride the following evening, pedaling alongside their children.  Our group of over 30 kids and adults were happily surprised to learn that at the end of the trip, they had biked over three miles! For some, they weren’t quite ready to end their ride – upon leaving the Siena Youth Center that evening, we saw a few moms still riding up and down the road!

We’re looking forward to a summer full of more workshops and rides in North Fair Oaks!