WXXI AM News

Local women's group changing the face of cycling in Rochester

May 13, 2019

Black Girls Do Bike is an international cycling club whose mission is to introduce more women of color to the sport. Members of the local chapter recently teamed up with renowned cyclist Richard Fries for the third annual "Roc Urban Slow Ride" through Rochester.

 

Mental health therapist Kecia McCoullough, heads the Rochester chapter. She said that after purchasing her first bike at age 50, she was looking for a community of riders who looked like her.

 

“For about a year and a half, I rode my bicycle with a couple of friends who are males. And I was kind of looking around like, 'Where are the women? And more importantly, where are the black women?' ” McCullough said.

 

McCullough discovered Black Girls Do Bike's online community and started a local chapter in 2016. A year later, she met Fries at a cycling convention.

Laura Deirdre, Richard Fries and Kecia McCullough.
Credit April Franklin / WXXI News

 

“He was just smitten with Black Girls Do Bike," said McCullough. "He was like ‘Oh, I’m coming to Rochester for the (Twilight Criterium). I’m the announcer and I would love to ride for Black Girls Do Bike’ … And so that’s how we started riding with him.”

 

Fries has been visiting Rochester consistantly for 8 years. He said it wasn’t until he went biking with McCullough and her group that he discovered that Rochester is a winning city for cyclists.

 

“I never realized Rochester was so great until these women saved my soul," Fries said.

 

"And (they) rode me around to parts of it, ranging from the farmers market to the High Falls to Corn Hill to all the neighborhoods," Fries said. "It was just mind-blowing what a great city Rochester is."

 

Black Girls Do Bike hosts other events throughout the year. On Wednesday, the group will participate in the National Ride of Silence to honor and raise awareness for cyclists who have been killed or injured on public roadways.