Meet Diana. She was my Pedal Power with Pattie bike class student yesterday. She is from Venezuela and moved to the United States alone at age 16. This is the first time she ever rode a bike in her life. She actually needed to learn how to ride for her job as a nanny.
In one free class, she learned how to make sure her bike is ride-ready; how to wear a helmet properly; and how to get on a bike, balance, pedal, steer, switch gears, and brake to stop. Although she’s using my bike here (disinfected for her use), she borrowed a bike from the bike library at Kennesaw State University (from which she’s about to graduate in December) for free for three days. That’s cool that they offer that. You can see her glorious inaugural ride (after about an hour lesson) here:
Diana riding a bike for the first time in her life
Many adults never learned how to ride a bike. If you ‘d like to learn (or learn additional skills, for those who already know how to ride), check out my Classes and Bonus Resources pages. Note: I hope to meet up with Diana again (after she’s had a chance to ride for awhile) to teach her some additional skills as well as some helpful tips for riding with kids during her job.
In addition to the girls I’ve been teaching weekly in Clarkston, Georgia, I’m offering one additional free class each month to a teen girl or woman who lives in each of the 10 Metro Atlanta counties that I represent as Metro Atlanta Bicycle Mayor (according to this schedule). I am able to offer these free classes due to proceeds from purchases of my book (thanks) as well as these books (all of which I’ve purchased, read, and loved) in the only book shop in the world dedicated to bike books.
If you live in the City of Atlanta, contact me to lock in your date for December.
My proprietary class* is also available on my Traveling at the Speed of Bike Holiday Gift Guide via text (the only text-based bike class in the world, now for $9 — great for daily encouragement in small bites) and downloadable PDF (for free — great for bingeing all at once or doing in your own sweet time).
Package it up with an “Artsy Bike” face mask and the promise of a picnic and help that special someone on your list join the more than 200 people who have taken the class since May.
If you are thinking about adding bike riding to your life, you may find inspiration in the great work the women spotlighted in my recent You Go, Girl! series are doing to make the USA more welcoming for bike riders. I am also doing everything I can to ensure that cities that claim to be bike-friendly are bike-friendly for you. And for people like Diana.
You go, girl. I got your back.
* based on the League of American Bicyclists Smart Cycling curriculum, which I’m certified to teach as a League Cycling Instructor, plus lived experience and research specific to girls and women in public spaces