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Archive for the ‘Safe Routes to Cool’ Category

Yesterday was a bit bittersweet.  It was the last day for ‘Girls in Gear’ with this group of incredible girls.  They have just been the sweetest, most thoughtful and super enthusiased.  They have all been so kind to one another and have complimented and helped one another through the program.

The speaker / community leader that spoke with them yesterday is a dear friend of mine and life coach – Naila Chauncey Hughes.  Through the program and getting to know these girls, Naila was the one that kept repeating in my mind to meet and inspire these girls.  And, she did!  ‘The bike allows you to go at your own pace and that’s how you need live your life – at YOUR own pace and nobody elses.’  She engaged the girls in a way that they all could understand.  I was inspired.  I’ve only been in Nai’s presence a couple of times when she’s doing her thing and yesterday, she just reconfirmed how much she loves what she does and how good she is at it.  These girls are still sponges when it comes to opportunities and I want ‘Girls in Gear’ to be this eight-week tsunami of opportunities and experiences that they all soak in and hopefully use throughout their lives.  Thank you, Nai!

After, the girls received their bikes, we practiced the correct way to lock up your bike and then we took one last group ride together through the neighborhood.  We also rode on W. Broad St!  If any of you reading this are familiar with Broad St, it’s an inner-city highway that runs East and West.  I pulled the girls over before getting on Broad St. and asked them how they felt and they WERE READY TO CONQUER!  One of my graduates from the first round of ‘Girls in Gear’ Keagan took the very back of the group while I was in front.  She was fantastic at being the end leader 🙂

I’m currently recruiting for the next cycle and will be heading back to the Hilltop YMCA as they would love to have another round of ‘Girls in Gear.’  The girls from this round are all ready excited to come back and help mentor the upcoming round of young girl leaders.

Enjoy the pics.

Be safe and keep riding

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Yes, I know I’m overdue for a post.  Here it is:  ‘Girls in Gear’ round 2.  One of the summer program locations for the awesome ‘Girls in Gear’ is Gladden Community House.  I fell in love with this place a couple of years ago.  The kids that spend time here are full of love and big, huge smiles (most of them :)).

When I presented my program over there, they jumped at it and LOVED the idea.  So, since June 10th, I’ve been over there empowering five young girls and let me tell you, it’s been incredible.  These girls absolutely have fallen in love with ‘Girls in Gear.’  Thus far, we have taught the girls:  bicycle safety, basic bicycle mechanics, nutrition education, and they are currently working on the ‘community urband design’ portion of the program.  Monday, we performed a walk-audit of the neighborhood and they were extremely engaged.

I feel truly humbled to have created this program.  Not only is this a one of a kind program, I think what contributes to making ‘Girls in Gear’ so incredible are all of the female professionals helping me make it awesome.  They understand and believe that more young girls need the confidence and need to feel that they can pursue any career that they want.  These young girls need the motivation and positive reinforcement by adults that they can have engineer careers, that they can use their bikes as main modes of transportation, and that should something break on their bikes – they have full ability to fix it themselves.

“Girls in Gear’ is so much more than just a ‘bicycling program.’  It’s motivation.  It’s self-reliance building.  It’s self-esteem building.  It’s teaching them technical skills and healthy decision making at an early and cruical age where they can begin a pattern of lifelong decision making that’ll influence the rest of their lives.  ‘Girls in Gear’ is about mentorship and investment in these young leaders.

Here are a few photos of the current ‘Girls in Gear’ at Gladden Community House in the Franklinton neighborhood.

Be safe and keep riding!

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The girls decorated helmets and explained why it’s important to wear helmets when riding

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Kelly of ‘Green Bean Delivery’ taught two ‘Nutrition Education’ sessions to the girls.  Lots of yummy samples came along with learning!

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Anna of ROLL going over the parts of the bicycle.  In Session 2, the girls remembered and could recite 95% of the bicycle terminology

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Session 1 – the girls learned and changed multiple flat tires all by themselves.  Pretty awesome to watch

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Session 2 of bike mechanics.  The girls practicing release brakes and tires; both front and rear.

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Team work!!

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Emily of Paradise Garage

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Emily and Anna both showing the girls how to maintain and clean your bikes.

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Bicycle Safety / Group riding day!

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Aren’t they beauty’s!

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Mimi of Trek Bicycles came out and helped out.  We did a couple parking lot drills with signage and then rode as a group through Franklinton

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Seriously, how beautiful is this image!!!

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Session 1 of ‘Community Urban Design.’  The girls are comparing what makes a ‘friendly’ street and what makes an ‘un-friendly’ street

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The girls looking and planning out our ‘walkability’ study around the neighorhood.

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The incredible Amanda Golden (City & Regional Planner) came and taught the first session of ‘Community Urban Design’ to the girls.  P.S.  the girls LOVED their helmets I got them so much that they showed up on Monday wearing them.  They literally didn’t take them off.  Case and point above 🙂

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Standing and discussing the eye-sore and ‘uncomfortable’ feeling when passing in front of vacant homes.  Unfortunately, this is a common visual in the Franklinton neighborhood.

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Amanda and the girls rating their walk/neighborhood with a ‘walk audit’.

 

 

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This is probably one of my favorite photos I’ve taken thus far during my Safe Routes to School Days…..  and we’re not even half way over yet 🙂  This warms up my heart and then spills over:

Valleyview Elem girls representing two wheels!

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So yesterday was a good day to be on my bike.  Well, every day is a good day (unless its super cold and my toes and fingers go numb) but I captured random things happening on the bicycle as you’ll see below.  Hope you all enjoyed the BEAUTIFUL sunny day we had yesterday.  I finished my Safe Routes to School at Sullivant Elem. and then sun bathed over at Scioto Mile until my 5pm meeting.

This lady was commuting down Front:

Lockin up during the wind storm!

Enjoying the Mile:

Looking at these bike riders, I was going for getting the depth of the rider in the background as the two riders were resting in the foreground.

This rider was rockin’!  Talk about towin’ your bike…  while riding a bike!  AND he managed to give me a thumbs up!  Impressive to say the least! 🙂

How awesome is this photo below?  I was literally riding down Rich St. and I caught this guy proposing to his g/f.  I was meant to capture this b/c as you can see there is a ROCKIN’ tandem in the background.  Totally meant to be!  I hope they’re very happy.

Some good captured moments in the city via two-wheels.

Keep riding!

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I ‘unofficially’ helped out and biked my friend and her stylish daughter to school for the first time this morning.  It was super fun.  Daughter ‘A’ was a bit nervous riding in the road which is to be expected but she kicked butt.  My friend told me that her daughter was so excited this morning when she woke up.  Her daughter said, ‘mom, today we ride to school!’  That is awesome.    On days where I’m not in early morning meetings or doing Safe Routes on the west side, I’m going to gladly offer my help to my friend and her daughter.  Lots of kids were staring as we rode to school which is great b/c my hope is to have my friend and her daughter bicycle as much as possible and be the ‘trendsetters,’ heading to and from this particular school where maybe another parent will want to join.  That’s the whole point, showing everyone that it CAN be done.  You gotta start from a seed.

Keep riding.

..and yes, that is a Barbie on a bike – mounted on her handlebars 🙂

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