Women Bike: Women Who Bike

“Once you get on a bike you will be surprised how long you can go without getting tired.”  – Olivia Q.

Olivia started biking in The Dalles. Growing up in a small town of 10,000 people, and with many siblings, biking was inevitable. She grew up with three older brothers, so being a daredevil and getting hurt was part of the fun of growing up. It wasn’t until she moved to Portland with her sister that she started biking as an adult.

Olivia splits her commute between two offices: one in Downtown, and the other in East Portland. For Olivia, commuting to work on a bike can be challenging, especially when it’s raining and you have to get from one point to the other. It’s a lot of multitasking when she has to carry her work laptop AND dry clothes. During the warmer months, Olivia loves to commute to work on her bike; because her commute to work is fairly easy and straightforward, biking becomes a pleasure.

Olivia is quite the busy bee. Along with a busy work schedule, she’s training for the Reach to the Beach event in May. She had a lot of fun last year, so this year she decided to do it for the second time. Olivia plans to bike the 80 miles option, from Newberg to Pacific City. She feels that she is not completely in shape or ready for the 80-mile ride, but she will try. Reach the Beach is not a race but an organized one-day event for all ages and levels; it’s about biking, having fun, and enjoying the scenery.

Olivia also leads a women bike group called Mujeres en Movimiento. This group is open to all women who are interested in biking. She thought it was a cool and amazing idea to create an encouragement space for women who are interested in biking. Olivia was inspired after attending a conference in Austin, Texas.

“There are tools and options for everything.” Lale S.
Biking was a fun part of Lale’s childhood, but as an adult biking is her best option.

As an avid biker, Lale commutes everywhere. She currently lives in Portland and chooses to bike instead of drive, because driving is not a feasible option. When she lived in Bellingham, Washington, Lale had the option to drive a car. Although she enjoyed the perks of having a car—such as waking up at a later time or arriving home at an earlier time—she was having a hard time. Lale drank more coffee and ate more food to stay awake and have energy, yet she was still tired. The cycle of waking up late and drinking coffee to stay awake and have energy wasn’t good for her physical and mental health. She chose biking as a way to improve her well-being.

Apart from working, she loves to bike everywhere, especially in Portland. This year, Lale is doing Reach the Beach and will join the Mujeres en Movimiento group to bike the 80 miles from Newberg to Pacific City. Lale is her own motivator to get on her bike (even on rainy days) and start her day. She advises other women who are interested in biking to join Mujeres en Movimiento and to keep going, because there will always be tools and options for everything.

“I have only biked a few times, but it hasn’t stopped me from biking. I love it.” Helena M. 

Helena started biking this spring, because she wants to participate in triathlons. As an avid runner, Helena discovered triathlons during her races. At these races she would meet inspiring runners who also did triathlons. She thought the triathlons were something new and interesting, so she decided to start biking.

Helena is the ambassador for Fleet Feet PDX, a sports warehouse mostly for runners but also works with other organizations and other events. Helena’s recent discovery of triathlons came after she completed her first full marathon in 2011, when she realized she didn’t want to do more marathons and shifted to triathlons.

As a biking newbie in, Helena has only been able to bike the sun is out and shining. Her current favorite place to bike in Washington (where she currently lives) is the Discovery Trail. The more Helena bikes, the more she loves it. This summer, Helena plans to do three triathlons, so biking will be done on a regular basis. She might also do Reach to the Beach with Mujeres en Movimiento, but she hasn’t yet decided.

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