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Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to meet the ladies who formed Join the Cycle as they passed through Chicago on their cross-country journey.

the ladies of Join the Cycle

Melissa, Casey and Hannah (plus a fourth adjunct member) created the Join the Cycle team and are riding bicycles across America the summer of 2009 to inspire others to make cycling a part of their lives. Back on June 11th the ladies set out from L.A. and rolled into Chicago on August 17. I met up with them during their meet and greet event at REI on August 18.

Why are you doing this?
Well, each of us has slightly different motivations of course, but we all love riding bicycles! And we each strongly believe that cycling has been a positive change in our lives, and want others to experience the same benefits we have. We think that cycling is the best way to get around, because of the health of our planet and our bodies, and we want other people to try it out and fall in love just like we did! Please see our mission for more.

How can I get involved?
There are so many ways you can get involved with Join the Cycle! The best thing you can do is challenge yourself and sign our pledge to try biking more for transport! Then help spread the word by following our blog, becoming friends with us on Myspace and Facebook, and telling your friends! Want more? You can always host us, feed us, ride with us for an afternoon, help us organize an event in your area, or best of all, ride our homestretch from NYC to Boston for a week in September! Contact us for more info.

I’d like to try riding a bike for transport, but I don’t know what to do!?
Check out our Pledge Tips when you sign the Pledge. It’s full of helpful hints for first-time commuters, and links to even more info!

Their journey has relied on the generosity of sponsors, friends and the couch surfing community as they make this self-supported trek from coast to coast – and hauling about 100-lbs worth of gear on their bikes.

full gear bike

Their final destination is Boston, where they plan to arrive in time for the city’s Critical Mass on Friday, September 25, and conclude the trip with a finale celebration on September 26.

Along the way, Casey admitted (and Hannah and Melissa agreed), “The problem with this trip is that we wish we could stay longer at every place we visit.” Chicago represents the two-thirds point of their route. These women are making their mark on each city, despite their short stays. They are visiting community bike shops, like Chicago’s West Town Bikes and Blackstone Bicycle Works, where they hope to educate youth and “hope to make it safer so many more will bike.”

If you want to get involved and support Join the Cycle’s cause, take the pledge:

I pledge to use my bicycle to bring me places, to use my car less and to have fun doing it!

Chicago welcomed Join the Cycle. I hope you have the opportunity to meet this team of women along the route, too.
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