With more than one billion people visiting Facebook monthly a burgeoning movement emerged when in 2013 one woman by the name of Monica Garrison put up a single page on Facebook igniting interest in a group known as BGDB or Black Girls Do Bike. Nearly four years later with sixty-nine chapters from Los Angeles to New York to Antigua, an island in the West Indies, with additional interest in future chapters emerging in Europe the birthplace of cycling.
Founder Monica Garrison explained why she started her club and what it’s mission is, “Black Girls Do Bike came about out of a desire to connect with other women like me who had a love of cycling. Ultimately it was disappointing to realize that I rarely encountered other African American women riding in my city. So I took my search online and created a Facebook page positively called Black Girls Do Bike. (blackgirlsdobike.com
) The number of followers swelled and we quickly established a website that aimed to be part information and part inspiration. We found ladies began to inquire about how they could connect with us in their cities and towns.”
“Black Girls Do Bike is an organization created with the mission of growing
and supporting a community of African American women who share a passion for cycling. We want to encourage ladies to cycle for ‘function, fitness freedom and fun’. We hope to be a resource for female cyclists around the world and a comfortable place to find support no matter where you are in your bike journey. There is something so very powerful that happens when a group of women ride together. The synergy is real. We encourage women of all shades to join us and pay it forward by inviting other women in their lives along for a ride. Our hope is that these women find that cycling is a wonderful way to manage their mental and physical health.”
Ms. Garrison calls her BGDB ride leaders “Sheros.” These women are all volunteers important to the cause encouraging, passionate about cycling, every ability welcomed to the group with a “No woman left behind” policy. There are no dues to pay to belong. If you have an interest in joining or starting one of the BGDB clubs in your area simply reach out to them via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Additionally you can support the group by purchasing club branded items from their store online at: http://blackgirlsdobike.storenvy.com/
According to the Office of Women’s Health, US Dept. of Health and Human Services, “African-Americans have the most, and many times the largest, differences in health risks when compared to other minority groups” ..having “more disease, disability, and early death…” These “illnesses and diseases…are among the top health concerns facing African-American women. Many of these problems are chronic, which means they last a long time, sometimes forever, yet, many also can be prevented.” Some of these health risks include, overweight/obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes to name a few.
Think prevention by taking charge of your health to live a longer life by choosing a healthy diet which includes eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains, high-fiber foods and lean sources of protein such as fish and by limiting foods high in saturated fat and sodium. Stop smoking and limit alcohol consumption. Exercise! Riding a bike is great exercise that can be enjoyed alone or in a group. Join a bike club to feel the love, to encourage and be encouraged by other women who like you want to get fit and enjoy a long and healthy life!
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