ST. PETERSBURG, Florida – Cycling has grown in popularity during the pandemic. Now an organization in the Tampa Bay area is creating a campaign specifically aimed at women drivers.
Bike / Walk Tampa Bay has assembled a team of 21 women to lead the push in 2021.
“I’m really proud to share with other women how easy it is to drive here, how wonderful it is to drive here. It’s a year-round activity for me, ”said Vanessa Wheeler.
Wheeler is one of 21 women who are celebrated on bicywalktampabay.org for their commitment and commitment to cycling.
“They serve as role models for all women who want to ride a bike,” said Julie Bond, program director of Bike / Walk Tampa Bay. “We know that fewer women than men ride bicycles, so we want to change that.”
If you read their BIOS, these women differ in age, skills, and address, but they all have the same desire to grapple with life.
“I would like to get more women into cycling and I like to share my knowledge with women, especially the safety aspect,” said Lisa Snodgrass.
Anne Fidanzato manages Trek Bicycle in St. Pete. She believes too many women feel intimidated just to go to a bike shop.
“In this business there are two women working here and one woman in our other business. We focus on teaching women how to ride, equip and move into their own home, ”said Fidanzato.
Once you have that wheel set, many of these ambassadors, like Becky Afonso, organize monthly group rides in their own neighborhood.
“Residents who don’t think they can drive like me, but when we go out and do this slow drive I ask them how they feel every six miles and they say ‘good’ at the end of the day. ‘How do you feel? Great, did you know you drove 25 miles today? You’re amazed, ”said Afonso.
Whether you’re commuting to work, playing sports, or just having fun with the family, every woman can find a reason to take a ride, according to Bike / Walk Tampa Bay.
“This is long term for us. This is not just a short term initiative. We plan to increase this and increase the number of women cycling in Tampa Bay in the coming years, ”said Bond.
For more information on the cycling community, visit bicywalktampabay.org, floridabicycle.org, or abcbicycles.com.