Who are WE? Laura Solís
Where are you from? The Bronx
Where do you ride? I usually start out in the Bronx, and somehow I end up in Brooklyn, or Queens, often Manhattan, a couple times in Staten Island and most recently in Philly!
When and why did you start riding? Back in the Summer of 2011, I wanted to go see a roller derby match that was not very easily accessible by public transportation. The smart guy I was dating, recognizing that there was a beautiful steel pony not being utilized in my living room, suggested we take our bikes on the train as far out as we could and then ride the 5 miles out to the venue. The ride to the venue was a voyage, it was my first day riding a bike as an adult, I was a bit squirrely on a ride that started on a very busy and dangerous Flatbush Avenue. We got there, I was sweating in new places, and I felt invigorated. There was no turning back after that. The ride back to the train station was a rainy one, which certainly motivated my legs to pedal faster, especially considering my afro-textured hair is not waterproof 😉
How has biking with a women’s organization like WE Bike NYC impacted your life? WE Bike NYC has exposed me to different parts and people in the #bikenyc cycling community. As it is in my “only-child” nature, I have always felt compelled to connect people and create a family around me, the cycling community is perfect for that! I attended my first WE Bike NYC meeting on March 30, 2012, after I purchased and figured out how to mount my first (adult) bike at Bicycle Habitat. The physical transformation is apparent to a few, but my personal transformation has been apparent to all.
Why do you want to go on the ride? This is going to be an incredible journey and I want in on it! I also want to see more people like me at the National Bike Summit. “People like me” are people from low-income neighborhoods, with limited resources with the odds against them, but with a strong desire to see beyond what’s at their immediate grasp. A machine as simple as a bicycle could inspire hope in many that find it difficult to do so for themselves. Riding a bike requires a lot of self-reliance, which often times is not presented in the best manner in neighborhoods that may be lacking opportunity. Oh yeah, I am also a women of color, but that is secondary.
Anything else you’d like to add? This is going to be EPIC.
Help Laura bring her enthusiasm for cycling to a whole new network by contributing to our ride: Click here!