Rapha Women’s 100 – New Orleans by Kimberly Clements

We’ve already posted many great photos from the ride on our Facebook page, but we thought a proper blog post was needed. Thanks to Kimberly Clements for offering her take on the ride! – YYR

This was my second year participating in the Rapha Women’s 100K hosted by Rouler in New Orleans. It was nice to see the size of the group grow from the previous year.  New faces, more stick on tattoos, team kits, commuters, and a rocking stereo all were in the line-up for the 3rd annual ride. The route was the same as last year starting at Café Du Monde in the French Quarter for coffee and beignets before heading south following the Mississippi River along the remnant marshes and native communities of coastal Louisiana.  The rolling enclosure with nutrition and hydration support was life-saving and much appreciated with the scorching heat and high humidity.  Along the way I watched many ladies make new friends, take selfies on the ferry, and claim their first ever 100K distance ride holding their bikes proudly over their heads.  We celebrated the end of the day with a Rapha cheer and homemade cookies before retiring home.

The Rapha Women’s ride holds a special place in my heart. Last year’s event, and my first ever women’s ride, was a pivotal moment in my riding portfolio.  Up to that point, I had been participating solely in various riding activities such as charity rides, triathlons, and riding mountain bike trails.  The support the event host showed for women in cycling and the fellow cyclists I met that day changed my perspective on cycling forever.  Since then I have joined a cycling team, started competing in bicycle racing, and now connect with all aspects of the cycling community in a way I would have never done alone.  My focus for this year’s ride was to share this support to more women interested in riding and who were looking for the guidance I was searching for just one year ago.  It is amazing how much influence one person can have on another with just one ride!

I look forward to participating in the event again next year!  I think there are more women in Louisiana interested in joining the ride from neighboring cities, so it would be great to expand locations.  I’m willing to volunteer to help organize and lead a ride in Baton Rouge next year.

-Kimberly Clements

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