Submission from Claire F:
I found this blog while I was looking for inspiration about learning to ride a bicycle and really enjoyed it! I noticed there wasn’t much (maybe anything?) about contemporary women learning to ride as adults. The journey was an extremely loaded and spiritual part of my personal feminist journey. I think it is tied in to many things for most of who have not learned to ride, which is one reason so many people are afraid to learn as adults. And there isn’t much support, though I was fortunate to find a great class here in Boston (http://www.bicycleridingschool.org/).
Tying my personal experience back to early feminist women learning to ride bicycles against cultural pressure gave the journey an extra depth of meaning for me. In one year, I have gone from no ability at all to being a competent bike rider to where I am now, able to ride all over Boston on bike paths and thinking of the next step of taking an on-road class. In my journey, I had to delve into my personal inhibitions and internalized shame, my view of myself and what I could do and my ability to change them. I learned to take my physical being more into my own hands. I gained the self-reliance a bicycle offers.
I just wanted to write and encourage anyone, and especially other women, to move towards learning to ride a bicycle if they have ever wanted to at all. It is possible and intensely rewarding, and you could learn a lot about yourself on the journey. Get some loving support and take your life into your own hands! Women have been doing it for generations, and no work however personal or small is a waste!
Thank you so much for sharing your story! I would love to hear more about it if you care to share. I haven’t seen much writing about the experience of learning to ride as an adult, but I certainly would love to include it on this blog. I hope you are an inspiration to other women as early feminist riders were to you.