Local cycling group aims to promote safe and inclusive community


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The cycling group is about creating a community that’s safe and inclusive, said co-founder Brooke Goudy.

DENVER — A divisive time in our nation was the foundation for a friendship between Stephanie Puello and Brooke Goudy.

“It was the summer right after George Floyd was shot. And we were together leading these protest rides. We gathered 200-300 cyclists from Denver who were all together with kind of the same voice, same message, same purpose,” shared Puello. It was a turbulent time, but the bond it helped create has stayed strong to this day.

It wasn’t long after the protest rides that Goudy joined Puello to lead the Denver chapter of the non-profit “Black Girls Do Bike.” The group is focused on helping black women, and other women of color, have more access to cycling and all that it entails.

“Black Girls Do Bike in its very name is about biking. But it’s about more than that. It’s about creating a community that’s safe and inclusive…where black women can talk and celebrate each other,” said Goudy.

The group works to accomplish this goal through a multitude of ways. It hosts informational events like clinics about bike repairs and community strengthening activities like spin classes in the winter and bikepacking trips in the summer.

Goudy and Puello emphasized that cycling isn’t their profession. Goudy is a school nurse and Puello works in higher education. They shared they’re just ordinary people striving to do extraordinary things.

“You don’t have to be a professional. It doesn’t have to dictate your entire life. It’s more than that. It’s an opportunity that you can tap into, if you want,” expressed Puello.

Puello challenged herself to bike the Trans-America trail in 2016. She said, “biking across the country wasn’t a dream of mine. It wasn’t something I aspired to do or planned, but now it’s one of the most important things I’ve done in my life.”

It was this massive undertaking that inspired her to start the Denver chapter of Black Girls Do Bike the next year.

“I certainly noticed that there weren’t very many black people, or people of color, and fewer women than men on the trail,” she shared.

“For me, I had a very narrow idea of what spaces I belonged in or what I was supposed to do…I didn’t grow up seeing cyclists in my community,” Puello said. “That wasn’t nurtured. I wasn’t necessarily encouraged to stray too far beyond what we knew and what was familiar. And I suspect this might be a similar experience for at least some of our members.”

She wanted anyone who felt the same way she did, to know there was space for them, too.

“To say I’m going to do whatever I want. I’m going to try this new thing. I’m going to assert myself in this space that doesn’t expect me…and I think that’s huge. Cause, again, it’s happening through cycling, but I think that those things translate to just how we live and approach our lives,” said Puello.

After spending time with Puello, Goudy eventually followed her example. She went across the United States the other way and rode the Great Divide Trail from Canada to Mexico.

“I thought there’s no way I can do something like that. That’s insane,” said Goudy, “I remember Stephanie looking over at me and saying, ‘Well, I went across the United States the other way. And I was just a bike commuter before then.’” Goudy shared that Puello’s example and words of encouragement were what helped her to see, she could do it, too.

“Representation is important. It’s important for the little black girl who is so beautiful and has so much to give the world but can’t see themselves yet. Until that is shown to them,” Goudy expressed.

The two know the space they’ve created reaches far beyond the miles they’ve pedaled.

Goudy explained, “we want each other to know that we are capable and that we are strong. And the bike and the trail is just a representation of what we can do.”

This will be the last year Puello and Goudy lead Black Girls Do Bike Denver. Puello is moving out of state and Goudy is narrowing her focus to building spaces for black women in the world of mountain biking, specifically.

The two say they have loved their time with this group. They know it will continue to thrive and have the same values and goals, just with someone else at its helm.

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Local cycling group aims to promote safe and inclusive community

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