Cycling has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world – Susan B. Anthony
My crack is so full of snow right now – Monika Melnychuk
Cycling was an important tool in the women’s movement. With cycling came freedom, movement outside of small neighborhoods and pants. Bikes it seemed, were a catalyst for change – both in fashion and politics. Although the world has changed since the days of Susan B. Anthony, you only need to look so far as the recent debate on birth control rights to be reminded that the journey may not be over. Today was National Women’s Ride Day – a day to celebrate the bike’s place in feminist history. What better way to honor the bike then by going for an all ladies ride.
I am grateful for many things in my life – but a group of amazing female bike friends is pretty high on the list. Doesn’t matter if we are battling SAD (Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder) with wine and spinning, taking off on the latest bike-cation, or just riding around Whitehorse; we always have a good time. I knew I’d have no trouble convincing the girls to celebrate National Women’s Ride Day, especially if I promised alcohol and potato chips. After a couple weeks of questionable trail quality, I was excited to find out if the other side of town had some better options. Once the champagne was safely stowed in a snowbank, we headed out onto on our ride.
The first section of the trail was awesome, heavily packed by eager Spring Break walkers it was smooth and hard, way faster than anything else I’ve ridden lately. By the time we hit the bottom of Quickie it was big smiles all around.
Unfortunately, within the first 100 m of the Quickie up-track the trail conditions deteriorated significantly. The entire trail was coated in greasy, fresh snow that slid wheels off the path and threw them into deep snow. A normally quick climb was slow, with many unforeseen snowy interruptions. But instead of disintegrating into frustration, the frequent falls had us doubled over with laughter.
At the top of the climb, my cheeks sore from over-smiling, I shook my head: “There is going to be some serious carnage” were the last words I uttered before rolling 10 meters down the trail, planting my front wheel in 1 foot of fresh powder and flipping straight onto my head. The great thing about girlfriends is you know they’ll always be there for you; there to take photos and laugh as you struggle to lift a bike off of your back and stand back up.
A favor you are happy to return 100 m down the trail, when said girlfriends have to shimmy up trees to pull themselves out of 2 feet of fresh powder.
No matter how crappy the trail, or how crappy the day, riding with a bunch of girls makes life better. Maybe I should thank bikes for helping make it possible for me to vote or for giving me access to education and jobs that my grandmothers didn’t have. But mostly I thank bikes for giving me my awesome bike friends. Now that’s something to celebrate, with stereotypically pink champagne.