September 27, 2019

Celebrating Women’s Bike Month

Tips & Resources to Become a More Confident Rider

There are some incredible women and non-binary people who make the Healthy Ride program roll in Pittsburgh. From customer support to community ambassadors to marketing and social media to running daily operations, women and non-binary people are behind the scenes making biking better for all in the city. And so we look to these awesome individuals to offer their own experience and knowledge that helped them to become strong, confident urban riders and bicycle commuters.

What’s one thing that helped you become a more confident city rider?

LizzyBikePGH’s Women and Non-Binary Forum! Learning about biking from other women and GNC folks is super important for me – I gain new knowledge and more confidence every year.

Sara – For me, Healthy Ride x100000! Having a job involving bicycles and transportation helped me feel like a more confident rider. I also attended a bike maintenance class hosted by Bike PGH while I was at Pitt.

Coley – Being a Community Ambassador with Healthy Ride.

Erin – Group rides. I’ve ridden a bicycle my whole life, but never ridden on public streets and was super intimidated. So to ease myself in, I attended some social group rides and that really helped make me feel like I could do it on my own.

Merecedes – There were a series of events and people who helped me become a more confident city rider. Brittany Brown, Shequaya Bailey, Heather McClain, and Julie Mallis all had a hand in that accomplishment. Riding down Penn Avenue from Wilkinsburg to Point Breeze will do the trick for any intimidated, beginning rider. I defeated that challenge over the summer.

Joi – I hadn’t cycled for years when I met my partner, Anita, who found this unacceptable. She built me a bike and encouraged me to get back out there. I’ve been cycling for 11 years now through many different cities. Being back in the saddle allowed me to see cities in different and exciting ways that brought unique experiences in my life that I wouldn’t have been exposed to if not for a lady and a bike.

La’Vette – Leading and riding the Healthy Ride Group Rides and solo rides myself.

Brittany – Learning to own my space helped me become a more confident rider.

What’s one thing you do before you ride to help you prepare for your ride?

Lizzy – If I’m riding to a specific destination, I look at Google Maps or use BikePGH’s bike map to see if there are alternative routes that I haven’t explored yet. I’m always looking for new routes that use back roads or go through green spaces.

Sara – Get comfortable, change my clothes if needed and also braid my hair to keep it out of my eyes/vision.

Coley – Make sure my backpack is secure and close to my body so it doesn’t wiggle while I ride.

Erin – ABC Quick Check. A = Air. Check to make sure your tires are properly inflated. B = Brakes. Check to make sure those brakes are working! C = Chain & Cranks. Make sure your chain isn’t gunky or rusty and that your cranks are firmly in place. Quick = Quick Release. Make sure your quick releases are closed and positioned towards the rear of the bike. Check = Give it a little once over and a test ride, and you’re ready to roll!

Merecedes – Make sure everything on the bike is conducive to my riding styling. I like riding low.

Joi – Check my tires. Riding flat is the worst.

La’Vette – I make sure I have the proper clothing, shoes, helmet and water.

Brittany – Get my music playlist together.


Sara Khalil, Director of Operations

Erin Potts, Director of Marketing & Community Outreach

Lizzy Nolin, Digital Communication Specialist

Joi Roboch, Customer Support Representative

La’Vette Wagner, Lead Ambassador

Merecedes Howze, Community Ambassador

Brittany Brown, Community Ambassador

Coley Alston, Community Ambassador


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