BOONE LIFE: All-female bicycle group makes its own rules

Sunday, October 23, 2011 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 12:04 p.m. CDT, Monday, October 24, 2011

The bike club’s name contains a word we normally don’t print because it can be offensive. For more information you can go to the group’s Facebook page.

COLUMBIA — The all-female cycling group isn't against letting men join them, but there is a catch.

“Guys have to wear skirts if they want to come ride with us,” said Aimee Cunningham, who has been a member since the beginning. 

This past spring, Victoria Paul, who now lives in St. Louis, decided to create the all-female bike ride, which was new for Columbia. It was named PCBC.

Cunningham said most bike activities are dominated by men. This group tries to give women interested in bike riding an opportunity to hang out with other women.

“It’s kind of like the only girl thing to do on bikes,” Cunningham said. “Guys play (bicycle) polo, and Victoria’s not comfortable with polo, so she started this instead.”

Members meet at Ragtag Cinema about 7 p.m. every Tuesday and decide where they want to ride that evening. They usually make four stops, spending 30 minutes or so at each. Afterward, they wind up at a bar or someone’s apartment before parting ways.

Although some of the same women are staples on the rides, there is a different group every time. The PCBC Facebook group has 117 members, but usually about eight show up for each ride.

Brigid Foley, an MU art student, heard about the group from a woman in her department. Foley has been coming to the rides since April.

“I knew almost no one,” she said. “Everyone was just super-friendly and super-open and outgoing, so I had a great time and made a lot of friends.”

Cunningham said the lack of males makes the atmosphere more laid-back. “They set such a fast pace and kind of intimidate people that are new to riding.”

The lack of males also gives the women a chance to form female relationships.

“It’s a chance for us to just hang out,” Cunningham said. “It encourages them to be more social with other women.”

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Derrick Fogle October 23, 2011 | 10:25 a.m.

Awesome! You go, ladies!

I'd don a skirt or dress to ride with the ladies in a heartbeat. I will, however, resist that temptation.

(Report Comment)
Matthew Schacht October 24, 2011 | 10:32 a.m.

Great work.

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