(photo taken by Bob Perkosi and provided by Deltrece Daniels)
Meet Deltrece Daniels. When her sons (now young men) were young teens, she took them to a neighborhood bike co-op to participate in an earn-a-bike-program. They, as well as a parent, were required to take a three-day Bicycling 101 class as part of the program in order for the boys to earn their bikes and certificates of completion.
Deltrece had always had bikes in her life and simply wanted to support her sons. Plus, she laughed as she told me how much she likes certificates — she obtained her Associate of Applied Science degree from Kent State University and an Administrative Award Certificate in Early Childhood Education from Cuyahoga Community College, and had even earned a certificate after taking a nine–week course to become a master recycler! She didn’t really expect to “get into” bike riding the way she did. She said:
“Never say never! Because here I am. Riding in the rain. Snow. 150 miles. Camping.”
Deltrece went car-free for a year and habitually rode three miles to and from work, which helped her build her skills and experience. She then saw another certificate within her reach and achieved becoming a League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructor*. That certification, coupled with her sixteen previous years of preschool teaching experience, made her a natural when Bike Cleveland, an advocacy non-profit for people on bikes in the Greater Cleveland area, was looking to expand its educational offerings.
As Outreach and Membership Manager for Bike Cleveland, Deltrece teaches people on bikes of all ages, but primarily adults during an education series and group rides (although there are no group rides right now during COVID-19). She also offers bicycle education, tours, and events through her own business, 3Dee Cycles.
Deltrece, who also serves as the Shero/Head of Black Girls Do Bikes Cleveland**, is especially excited about what she sees happening when women ride bikes. She shared about the time one woman with whom she was riding on the Gap Trail from Washington D.C. to Pittsburgh almost dropped out with just eight miles to go but persevered, as well as what she sees at the women-only tire-changing workshop she teaches. It comes down to one word, she said:
Deltrece also loves it when advanced riders show up to her classes and group rides because, as she says humbly:
“I don’t know everything, and that’s all right. I can teach based on my experience, but there’s always more to learn.”
It sounds like there may be even more certificates in Deltrece’s future.
* If you are interested in becoming a League Cycling Instructor, see here for details and to find out where the intensive classes are being offered (note there is one currently scheduled for Cleveland in mid-September). People pursue this certification for many reasons, and everyone’s journey is different. If interested, I take you through mine as it was happening in my book Traveling at the Speed of Bike.
** See here to see if there is a Black Girls Do Bikes chapter near you, or to find out how to start a chapter in your community or at your college.
Tap in every day in August for my “You Go, Girl” series showcasing 31 Women in 31 Days who are making it more welcoming to ride bikes in the USA. If interested, you may enjoy my book, Traveling at the Speed of Bike. All proceeds from the sale of my book help more women and girls ride bikes.
The complete series:
10. Meet Irene Lutts
14. Meet Jenn Dice
28. Meet Megan Ramey
30. Meet Aly Nicklas