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Women Ride Together for "CycloFemme"

Kara Lofton

As you probably already know, Sunday is Mother’s Day.It’s also the day of the annual CycloFemme ride – a worldwide biking event that unites female bicycle enthusiasts of all kinds under the banner “we ride together.” This year Charlottesville will play host to two CycloFemme rides. WMRA’s Kara Lofton reports.

The event isn’t exclusive to women, says Lindsay O’Conner, organizer of one of the Charlottesville rides, but it is meant to unite female riders with other women who are passionate about the sport.

The ride organized by O’Conner is part of Charlottesville’s Bike Month calendar. Participants have the option of 18, 30 or 40-mile loops, each led by experienced female cyclists. O’Conner hopes the different length options will give women of many abilities the chance to connect with one another and participate in a female-oriented biking event.

LINDSAY O’CONNER: I’d probably been riding a bike for a year before I ever went on a ride with a group of women. And it’s like night and day. It’s just so incredibly different the energy and spirit that women bring to cycling versus men. People are much more encouraging and supportive and less competitive than the men that I’ve ridden with. So showing up to a group ride almost always will mean showing up to a group that’s predominantly male and I have always felt like I have to prove myself in those situations, but I think with a group of women it feels very, very different, it feels much more supportive and encouraging.

The other Charlottesville ride is organized by Performance Bikes of Charlottesville. That ride is a more family-friendly, ten-mile loop through Charlottesville that begins and ends at the shop.

This is the fourth year of the global Cyclofemme ride. There are a total of 272 rides registered in 42 states and 20 countries.

Kara Lofton is a photojournalist based in Harrisonburg, VA. She is a 2014 graduate of Eastern Mennonite University and has been published by EMU, Sojourners Magazine, and The Mennonite. Her reporting for WMRA is her radio debut.