One day, I was sitting on my phone scrolling Instagram when my attention was immediately drawn to the Black Girls Bike page. There were dozens of Black women racing through the streets on two wheels, which is why MEF is excited to partner with Nike on their Play New campaign to inspire people to get outside and try something new. In this new series, MEF will be featuring dope Black women in the community who are staying fit and looking cute while doing it. Monica Garrison, the founder of Black Girls Do Bike, is a great person to kick off this series.
“MY PLAN TO IMPACT THE OUTDOORS IS TO POSITIVELY INFLUENCE AS MANY PEOPLE OF COLOR TO VENTURE OUTDOORS. EVERY DAY MY COMPANY, BLACK GIRLS DO BIKE, IS DOING JUST THAT. WE ARE HELPING LADIES DISCOVER THE OUTDOORS WHILE RIDING THEIR BIKES. WE EXPECT THAT SPENDING QUALITY TIME NAVIGATING THE OUTDOORS WILL MOTIVATE FOLKS TO BECOME ACTIVE STEWARDS OF THEIR NEIGHBORHOODS AND COMMUNITIES. OUR BGBD SHEROES ARE SHOWING THE WAY AND ASKING LADIES TO FOLLOW THEIR LEAD.”– Monica Garrison with SlimPickins Outfitters
Black Women Making the Wheels Turn
Black Girls Do Bike (BGDB) is an organization that supports women of color who have a passion for cycling. Their purpose is to create comfortable spaces for women to receive advice and network amongst each other. Since 2013, Monica has been architecting her journey on a bike and bringing others along for the ride. The organization started with 150 women who loved cycling, and it became a life-changing experience.
Additionally, with the pandemic forcing everyone indoors, her community has turned to cycling to help them find peace with a side of cardio. In fact, BGDB is full of women who are dedicated to their health while being adventurous enough to cycle through various terrains – from the streets to the steepest hills. The unlikeliest discovery for her members is that they never thought it would lead to meeting wonderful connections through cycling.
The National Cycle
Currently, Black Girls Do Bike has 90 chapters within the US. BGDB’s first National Meetup took place in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2016. Black Girls Do Bike chapters from all over took over the Tour De Cure for Diabetes in Atlanta. Together they completed a range of 14 to 100 miles. As a result, BGDB raised more than $21,000 for Tour De Cure for Diabetes.
Although The National meetup in Chicago was canceled due to complications of the COVID-19 pandemic, BGDB pivoted to an Indoor Cycle Series event in April of this year. Even in this unusual virtual setting, BGDB fulfilled its mission of supporting women through their love for cycling and promoting a healthy lifestyle.
A Virtual Cycle
To reach more women, their new initiative and program called “Let’s Roll” aim’s to encourage women to ride whenever and wherever. The participants will receive a custom medal and merchandise from BGDB. You can also register to win two bikes from TREK, REI, and Kuat Bike Rack.
It is comforting to see Black women committed to making positive and intentional connections. There is a need for more groups that encourage activating your body and mind. Their website has many heartfelt stories about their connection to the community, and a bike was the reason.
Register for this event now and find your tribe through cycling!
Like Nike’s PLAY NEW campaign, Monica is encouraging everyone to discover new ways to be active.
To find out more ways to Play New, check out our Twitter thread to view Nike’s official video and click here to view other cool ways to try something new.