A Cycling Revolution
Revolve is a cycling club for women of all abilities and skill levels. Established in 2009, they provide bike rides, social trips, community events and other fun cycling activities for the women of Wellington, and have just opened a chapter in Rotorua.
NZRA spoke to the current President of Revolve, Meagan, about how the cycling club was started and how you can get involved.
Meagan started out as a Ride Guide for the charity and gradually got more involved until she took on the role of President. Alongside her full time job (all the Revolve team are volunteers) she manages the charity and sends out weekly e-newsletters to provide a wide variety of cycling information and opportunities for women.
When we asked about the benefits of being part of Revolve, Meagan said "The friendships that are made through Revolve are amazing. Everyone has lots of similar experiences to share and seeing the friendships and the community that is building around cycling is amazing".
Revolve's objectives are to help beginners break into the sport and enjoy biking, as well as facilitate the continued improvement of riding skills and confidence of all levels of participants. They offer weekly/fortnightly rides throughout the year and encourage participation in regular skills clinics and maintenance clinics to improve knowledge of bike handling skills and bike equipment.
Meagan is most proud of the little moments. She organised a trip in 2012 that tried to combine road cycling and mountain biking that she didn't think was very successful. "It worked out fine but it wasn't as good as I hoped!". When leading a ride a year later, she was approached by a woman who said that she was really nervous when she first moved to Wellington, but that attending that event was the best weekend of her year and introduced her to some great friends. "Any ill feeling I had towards that trip not going right just disappeared" she said, "because if it's awesome for one person, then that's what matters."
Revolve aims to promote biking to girls and women of all ages to encourage self-improvement and confidence in themselves and others which can relate to skills used in everyday life. And it's not just women getting involved, lots of men are lending their experience by volunteering at events and local bike shops are supporting events through sponsorship. The charity even has an award they give to the 'Best Revolve Man Friend' each year - celebrating the support they are receiving.
When we asked Meagan about the popularity of mountain biking, she said "There's not a lot of time in life as an adult where you get to scare yourself if you're not throwing yourself out of a plane, and mountain biking let's you do that in a controlled space on a regular basis".
Ultimately, Meagan wants people to know that Revolve exist and be aware of the work they are doing. If you want to see what it is all about, take a look at their website and get involved by being part of the crew or volunteering.