Who are WE? Laura Solís

WE Bike NYC is organizing ten women from five organizations to ride 262 miles on bicycles from New York City to Washington, DC to represent their communities at the nation’s largest annual bicycle advocacy event, the National Bike Summit on March 3, 2014. WE are so pleased to be supported by WomanToursBicycle Times Magazine and Transportation Alternatives. For more about the ride, check out our fundraising page HERE!

Photo by Dmitry Gudkov

Laura Solís

Outreach Coordinator

Age? 27

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!