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Why I Ride #24: To Light a Spark

(Chene is a participant in the Gearing Up program, a student at Philadelphia Community College and works part-time for WashCycle Laundry, towing up to 200 lbs. of dirty laundry behind her bicycle!)


I bike, well… because I can.

It’s been less than a year since my passion for biking was born but, then again, it’s pretty amazing what can happen it just one year.

Less than a year ago I was struggling to get through life without a dependency on alcohol. During this time I was given the opportunity to join Gearing Up, a Philadelphia-based bike program offered to women as a means of self-growth and motivation.

“Sure, I’ll ride a bike,” I thought. “Can’t hurt any more than what I’m already going through.”

That first ride made me feel like a little girl again. A sense of freedom and independence from daily struggles had overcome me. Something in me had been sparked. How grateful I was to have those feelings.

So it began…

Goals were set and met, not only in my biking program, but in life, too. Riding became my outlet, my personal sense of freedom and accomplishment. The more I rode the more grateful I was to be able to.

Over this year I have learned to look at things from a different point of view. There are so many people in this world who would give anything to be able to do something as simple as ride a bike. But for whatever reason they are physically unable to. How can I take riding a bike for granted? That’s why I say I bike because I can.

Each and every time I am grateful to experience the ride.

May is National Bike Month and this year’s theme is One Ride, Many Reasons. To highlight and celebrate the many benefits of bicycling, throughout May we’ll bring you the personal reflections and inspirations of a diverse collection of bicyclists from coast to coast with our daily 31 Days, 31 Reasons blog feature.



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