Who are WE? Liz Jose
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 WomanTours, Bicycle Times Magazine and Transportation Alternatives. For more about the ride, check out our fundraising page HERE!
For the next week, we want to introduce you to our riders and generous sponsors…
Founder of WE Bike NYC
Age? 30 (at the time of the tour)
Where are you from? Born in Minnesota, spent half my childhood in Massachusetts.
Where do you ride? I mainly ride in New York City, but I have also done tours all over the United States, Chile and South Africa. Oh and I did bike share in Mexico City too!
When and why did you start riding? I have been biking ever since I was a child. My dad was a big cyclist and we used to bike as a family to a pizza place to dinner about once a month. Biking has always been a mode of transportation as much as a way to exercise. In my adult life, I fell into biking again in college when I found a free bike and fixed it up as a way to get to campus in Santa Cruz. It doesn’t snow there, so it was a great way to travel all year. Since then I just keep biking more and more, and more than anything, the thing that keeps me coming back are the people. Biking seems like a solitary sport, but really, it puts you in a situation where you are forced to interact with people, and that can be really wonderful and important.
How has biking impacted your life? Like I said above, biking for me is all about the people, however, in NYC I felt very alone on the road. And strangely, so did all the other female cyclists I knew. By riding with WE Bike NYC I have met the BEST women I could imagine, and also so many people I would not have crossed paths with otherwise. When I am biking with my male friends, it becomes about the struggle in my head- “can I keep up? Will they think I’m slow because I’m a woman? What if i need to pee? I’m going to prove this to them once and for all…” But when I’m biking with WE Bike NYC it becomes all about the celebration! “Here WE are! Where can WE go next? What is the farthest WE can make it? How many ice cream cones is too many ice cream cones?” Finding this celebration, again, on my bike, and being part of this community has been one of the most important anchors and motivating factors in my life in New York City.
Why do you want to go on the ride? I want to be on this ride because it is one more way to celebrate being on a bike and it’s a way to make more visible to vibrant and diverse community of female bicycle riders here on the east coast. I see this as a way to make a statement, as a way to have fun, as a way to meet new people and to meet new sides of people I’ve known and worked with for almost two years now! WE are riding. And WE are loving it. And WE’d really like to have a voice in the national conversation about our passions!
Anything else you’d like to add? I’m sooooo excited! I just can’t hide it!
Help Liz bring the cycling celebration down to DC by contributing to our IndieGogo campaign: Click here!