When surveyed, women stated they were apprehensive to take up cycling because they fear for their physical safety, like getting hit by a car, as well as personal safety. This includes being harassed to outright physical or sexual assault. You can’t be adventurous if you’re afraid and cycling is all about adventure. So how does a woman stop being afraid and become empowered? By taking back the power and building confidence.
I recently sat down with Nicole Snell, CEO of Girls Fight Back, to discuss this very subject. Nicole took over the company in 2020 amid the pandemic. It was perfect timing since more women started exploring the outdoors and venturing out to new places by bike or on foot. Safety was a real concern for many of these women.
During our discussion, we touched on the importance of trusting your gut. This just happened to be a topic of a blog post I wrote several years back. Nicole mentioned intuition and awareness are some of the most powerful tools you have when it comes to personal safety. She cited the book “The Gift of Fear: And Other Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence” by Gavin de Becker that addresses how intuition is our body’s way of noticing danger.
As part of her company’s offering, Nicole provides personal safety and empowerment self-defense training. Practicing what she teaches, Nicole is an avid solo traveler and hiker. She’s also a hike/adventure leader for Black Girls Trekkin.
My key takeaway is that seizing control and being empowered to keep yourself safe on the bike translates to so much more. It empowers you to discover new places. Who knows, it may even encourage you to consider a solo vacation. Life is too short to live in fear, get out and explore.
Enjoy the ride!