I commute to work on my bike. Even though I love it, it can be a little stressful riding in a 3 foot shoulder where road debris alongside speeding traffic. I long to ride: more often, in an area where I don't have to constantly look over my shoulder, where I'm having fun, with a group that doesn't intimidate me. I've been invited to a long-standing weekly group ride by a male colleague. I think to myself "ah, here's an opportunity." But the reality, "I just want to ride and let my hair down." Nothing against the guys, but sometimes girls just wants to have fun.
I want to chat, laugh and listen while I ride. I want to feel comfortable with who I am on a bike and where I'm at. I want to ride on a safe, separated path removed from traffic that winds through fields, along rivers, in neighborhoods. Group riding can be intimidating, and sometimes folks don't even mean to or realize their approach and what's said can be off-putting.
No fancy clips or shoes? Don't have a $3,000 race-ready bike? Not even sure where the next turn is on the route? It shouldn't matter. It's all about getting out and having fun. After a day at the office in an environment surrounded by older guys, I look forward to the future opportunity to ride with women. I look forward to finding my tribe.