I can still see the flicker of the sunlight in the aspen as my 5 year old legs swing freely off the back of my father’s touring bike. The year 1975, Dad and I were riding through the mountains of New Mexico. The love was ignited. I fell for the feeling of life on a bike. To this day, I say that we are indeed more alive on a bike. As we move through the world by bike, our senses are heightened and we are IN the moment.
My grandfather Jack built my first bike; it was made of parts from the garage and it was purple. I loved that little bike. Then at age ten I got a BMX, a “Minigoose” to play around in the dirt. I had lots of inspiration and support to get on a bike and ride. A defining experience for me was in high school.
I was not terribly enthusiastic about being in the classroom, but I loved the outdoor education trips that were part of my high school curriculum. We went climbing, kayaking and one trip was to ride your bike from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles. This was a pivotal moment on my cycling timeline. I learned to ride in traffic, feeling the freedom and responsibility a bicycle has at a teenager was incredibly valuable to me. It was the first time I had to change a flat on the side of the road and the first time I rode a long distance. It was incredibly empowering.
As an adult I became a commuter while living in San Francisco. I enjoyed bike culture in the Bay Area and really got to see how a community benefits from integrating the bicycle into city life. I absolutely love riding in the dirt, and fell in love with single track one summer in the Sierras. Last summer I got into the sport of triathlon and enjoyed that too. My Chicks On Bikes Radio show is a natural extension of my love and belief in the power of the bicycle. The show celebrates women and cycling ~ and not necessarily in that order. I interview incredible people and bring their stories to the show.
April Lemly is a freelance graphic designer and a native Californian. She is the producer, muse and hostess of Chicks On Bikes Radio Show. Her "Riders and Writers" project was born during the Alliance for Biking and Walking's Winning Campaigns Workshop during the fall of 2011. April is partnering a local non-profit to bring rider’s education to young women. The 1-2 day workshop will take place in early 2012. We will then use the radio show to have the girls interview one another and share their experience with others. The program aims at creating a sense of empowerment and freedom for all young women.