If you give a girl a bicycle

If you give a girl a bicycle, she's going to want to ride it.

But first, she'll need a helmet.

When she goes to buy the helmet, she'll probably pick up a bike computer, too.

Because her sense of direction is lousy, she may get lost and inadvertently ride 20 miles.

She'll realize if she can do 20 miles accidentally, she can ride 30 on purpose...after she buys some bike shorts.

She might get carried away and register for a week-long bike trip.

She'll have so much fun that she'll sign up for a century. Or two.  She'll discover that miles are much shorter and much longer than she ever thought, and that 8 hours is always better on a bike than in a car.


For 100 miles, everyone who passes her will say, "You need a road bike."

She'll agree, and then she'll start saving for a road bike.

She'll find out that doing something alone is a thousand times better than sitting at home resentfully when no one else wants to go.  Somehow, she'll never make it through a ride without having at least one conversation with a stranger.

When she starts logging her training on Daily Mile, she'll meet some local bike friends.


She'll join their club and meet a ton of awesome people.

If one of them does an adventure race, she might get hooked and use her road bike savings on a mountain bike.


She'll probably fall. A lot.


Instead of giving up, she'll enter a race.

Photo credit: Lori Vohsen

And another.

Photo by Nicole Stacy
Photo credit: Nicole Stacey

She'll replace "I could never" with "I wonder if I could..." and discover the answer is an emphatic yes.

over tree
Photo credit: Lori Vohsen

She'll learn that, while 20 degrees is not necessarily cold, 102 is always hot...and neither temperature has to keep her inside.  She'll remember when she spent Saturday mornings sleeping in, and then she'll go hug her bike.

When she writes about biking, her friends might say she's crazy. But then they'll say they'd like to do that, too.

Eventually, someone will sell her a road bike. She'll win a small race.

Emboldened, she'll enter a local crit, where she'll fall on her face...but she'll meet a girl who races cyclocross.

Photo credit: Robin Rongey
After reading enough CX posts on Facebook, she'll want to go to one of the races.

Halloween & Cycloscross 050
Photo credit: Keith Timmins
And chances are, once she's there, she's going to want a new bike.


  1. This is wonderful. Go put it in Shutterfly or similar place and make it into a book.

    I repeat. It is wonderful!

  2. what a beautiful evolution! i have some funny, back in the day mountain biking and duathlon pics. maybe i'll dig em' up and scan them and if i get brave, i'll post em!

  3. Love this post Kate! Also love the attitude of doing something alone is better than sitting at home. I need to remember that one. After the CX bike, you still aren't done. There's always a tri, recumbent, and tandem to add to the collection :-)

  4. finally I can comment here! it works! you should make a book with these it is super easy, snapfish has coupons all the time.

  5. Awesome post! My girls have read these types of books at school, and they live them. I'll have to have them read this one too. Great job!

  6. LOVE this! Just make sure that the girl has some cookies in her supply pack :)

  7. Beautiful!!! I agree, you should make this a book! Makes me want to hug my bikes!

    Also...sounds like your next stop is the track!

  8. This is so much better than my kids' books!

  9. Yes! Make this a book! It's fabulous!
    I tagged you for some random crap on my blog.

  10. A great story to love more the bike!
    If only I could .... mine is locked in the garage.
    The pictures are wonderful.

  11. such a good post! I love how it evolves from the start to the maybe ending?......congrats on all you've accomplished on the bike. mountain biking can be difficult as scary...but I still like it myself.


  12. I don't know if this is ready for publishing yet. I can think of all sorts of other purchases I'm sure you've made along the way that could be added and adventures that will be added and of course you forgot "And once this girl has completed some of these adventures, she'll want to document them with words and photos to share with others in a blog. And once she has a blog, she'll want a blog name that is SUPER!" :) But agreed, this puts that stupid Moose or Mouse to shame! Loved those books when my kiddos were little (what am I saying - still do!)

  13. Brilliant, it is amazing what you can do if you just think- can I ? Well done

  14. Always LOVE to read your blog! Especially love from this post "She'll find out that doing something alone is a thousand times better than sitting at home resentfully when no one else wants to go." because that's what I've learned over the last year. And I've noticed that the hubs isn't resentful either (for not being able to go and do some of the things I've learned to do alone-1/2 marathons).

  15. cool story. Check out the Yeti CX bikes, super awesome.

  16. I thoroughly enjoyed this post!! Thank you!!! Funny how girls and bikes go so well together!!! Just signed up for my first duathelon!!! Gulp! o.O

  17. I love the original book but I love your take on it much more. You almost make this girl want to go buy a bike (of some sort). You're the best! Truly super!


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