Meet the co-founders: Willa, Deb and Vicki
5 years ago, a few women were standing at the Whistler Fondo finish line, waiting for their partners to arrive. We decided that we should cross that finish line as well. Most of us did not even own a bike! We had young kids and we had to start somewhere in our quest to cross the line.
What I realized very quickly was not the thrill of crossing the finish line, but the journey it took us on to get there. Many riders helped me in my pursuit of learning to road ride, and that is what drives me to give back to the sport and give women the opportunity to ride, learn, and have fun together. Many rides later, it is the journey each time I get on my bike that keeps me coming back. That is why I ride. BTW, I did not cross the finish line on my 1st fondo…
I started riding in 2010 thanks to my very dear friend Cathy Paterson. Over coffee, I asked “I want to do something physically challenging, any suggestions?” She replied, “Why don’t you ride up to Whistler” and told me about the RBC Whistler fondo. And so my love affair with biking started. I have now ridden over a dozen fondos and charity rides with more planned. I have achieved things on my bike that I never thought I could and that gives me a strong sense of accomplishment, pride, and strength. That is why I ride. Plus, it truly makes my soul sing.
I love exploring the world on my bike at a pace where I can truly see and experience more than in a car. I love the way I feel after a ride, with that buzz lasting long after the ride is over. And I love the friendships that I have formed while riding endless joyous hours on my bike. It was our bikes that brought us together and it is our bikes that keep us connected. I am really excited about connecting our vibrant female road cyclist community here in Vancouver.
As a breast cancer ass kicker, I got serious about cycling to regain my strength and cardio after treatment. My husband gave me his old bike and convinced me to give cycling a try. Together we signed up for and rode the Kelowna Gran Fondo. I was hooked. I have done RTCC 3 times, Ride2Survive twice, many fondos and my favourite by far, was climbing Mont Ventoux and cycling in France.
Cycling makes me feel like a kid again. I crave that euphoric feeling of pushing my physical limits and being proud. It’s that magical combination of experiencing the beauty of the outdoors while all your internal senses are firing. There were so many people who helped me become a better cyclist and they all shared a common characteristic… Passion. I am committed to helping other women become more confident and improve their cycling skills. Together we’ll check off bucket list items, cross finish lines or just ride our bikes for fun… #strongertogether. I also coach indoor cycling classes at Method Indoor Cycling. You’ll always find me pedalling with passion and purpose, indoors and out.
How it all started…
Right from the start, we wanted to create more than just a cycling club, but a strong movement to bring women together to ride together. We wanted our club to be fun, unique, energetic, supportive, strong, philanthropic, and incredible.
It all started with one ride together, then another ride with more women and so on and so on… WOWride Cycling Club was born.
The more women we talked to about this idea, the more excited we got as everyone said..”WOW, what a great idea”.
We found the core things women cyclists wanted were to:
- meet like minded female cyclists
- go on organized rides
- be safe and have fun
- learn to be better cyclists
Our name really hit a chord with us as it truly captures how you feel when you ride and how you feel when you meet amazing women…and WOW stands for women on wheels …bonus!!
Here’s what’s important to us
- We are stronger together by ability, speed, and experience.
- We don’t do it unless it’s fun, safe and meaningful.
- We make it easy for active women to ride together on scheduled rides.
- We facilitate connections with awesome women.
- We give members, no matter what level, the opportunity to learn to be better stronger cyclists.
- We do not want to be intimidating.
- We help the community and help each other achieve greatness on our bikes.
- We want to do more than just sitting on our seat and pushing the pedals. In 2015-16 WOWride donated $1500.00 to Trips for Kids Vancouver which provides at risk kids the opportunity to ride bikes.
- WOWride wants to have the best looking most incredible and comfortable kit on the road. Thanks SUGOi, our Official Apparel Sponsor.
It takes a village to raise a bike club!
Our board members (Kim Jakeman, Andrea McDonald, Kim Heath, Kathy Wardle, Vicki Greenwood, Deb Intas and Willa Kriebel), a great group of friends, sponsors and our Domestiques have helped us create WOWride Cycling Club. We have all put “our heart and spokes” into this and we could not have done it without their support. Thank you. You can “draft” us anytime…
We also want to thank Leslie, our amazing Syndicate Digital web designer (and road cyclist) living in Argentina who professionally captured the look and feel we wanted for our website. She was fantastic to work with and if anyone needs some professional website work done, we can connect you with her with a preferred rate for WOWride members. That’s part of our mission… we facilitate connections with awesome women.
And WOW… thanks our generous sponsors who
have supported the creation of WOWride Cycling Club: